Library card month underway

Elizabeth Taylor, Associate News Editor

National Library Card Sign Up Month occurs every September to coincide with the beginning of each school year.

At Eastern, every student, faculty and staff member already has a library card for Booth Library; this is one of the functions of Panther Cards.

Library cards may seem insignificant, but they grant access to a wealth of resources such as any of the books, CDs, DVDs and other materials in the library, as well as use of the library computers and access to online resources and interlibrary loan.

Illinois residents over the age of 18 who are not affiliated with Eastern can get access to all of these resources at Booth, too, but they must apply for a library card. They also can’t access Booth’s online resources and interlibrary loan except through library computers.

Brad Tolpannen, head of circulation services, said that around 200 community members currently have library cards for Booth Library.

“The library would welcome all community members to apply for a library card,” Tolpannen said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many libraries have had to shut down temporarily or make major changes to their operations.

Books are difficult to sanitize and library patrons have to touch them to check them out, so even with social distancing and masks enforced, libraries can’t run as normal.

At Booth, patrons do not currently have access to any of the bookshelves, but they can stop by the circulation desk and ask library employees to get whatever materials they need.

Despite these adjustments, the library will still be promoting the Big Read from the National Endowment for the Arts, which will feature programs related to An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo.

The Center for Student Innovation is currently going through renovations, but it may be open to the public once it is finished.

In the meantime, though, Tolpannen just asks that visitors be mindful of safety precautions.

“Even though patrons don’t have access to the bookshelves right now, our staff can get you what you need,” Tolpannen said. “We want our students to know that we are still here and ready to help.”


Elizabeth Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]