For the month of September, Saline County Library cards do more than get access to the library's wide variety of resources. It also gets discounts at businesses around Saline County.
The library has partnered with 76 businesses to offer discounts and freebies.
"It promotes us and it promotes our local businesses," said Marketing Manager Kari Beesley regarding the Power of the Card promotion.
She said the offering ranges from a discount on roofing to discounts on various enrollments to food, adding there is "lots of food."
Many of the available discounts 10 to 20 percent off, a dollar amount off or a free item with purchase.
Beesley likes that the library is able to partner with the community for its sign up month.
This is the fourth year for the campaign. The first year, only 33 businesses signed up. The next year it was 35. The third year it jumped to 65. The 76 businesses this year is the largest thus far.
"We can't put any more on the card," Beesley said, noting they could get a bigger card if they need to next year.
The library won the prestigious John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations award for last year's signup month campaign from the Library Leadership and Management Association. Only eight libraries across the country received it.
Beesley said that the win gave them the confidence to make a new addition to this year's program and add sponsors. In previous years, she had businesses that wanted to participate but couldn't because they could not offer discounts, such as insurance and health care. Some businesses chose to sponsor the program and still offer discounts.
The sponsors are Brown Bear Designs, Bryant Laundromat, Camp Happy Tails, The Nutrition Nest, Centennial Bank, Dave & Buster's, First Electric Cooperative, the Gann Museum, KSSN 96, HealthCare Express, Just Ice Cream, VBCPA Accounting and Tax, Rivendell Behavioral Health, The Saline Courier, Saline Psychological Services, Shelby & Company Inc., Urban Air, Tacos 4 Life Grill and Realty Title.
The sponsorships allowed the library to hold a kickoff event with sponsors and community partners. It was a Mystery Night at the Library where participants came in costume and had to solve a mystery of who stole the golden key to the special archives. It gave the businesses a chance to learn more about the library and network.
In addition to the discounts being offered, Beesley wants card holders and potential card holders to know the card also gets the free resources both at the library and through www.salinecountylibrary.com
Beesley said many people are surprised to learn the library has around 160 cake pans ranging from traditional to character shapes. The Buzz Boxes at the library contain trending items such as an Instapot and Instapot cookbooks.
"We let you try it before you buy it," she said.
The website has offerings such as tutoring and job search help through Brainfuse and a video tutorial database through Lynda.com where patrons can learn how to play instruments, to use the Adobe suite of products and even receive human resources training.
Plus, the library holds programs regularly for all ages.
Beesley said libraries all over the country take part in library card sign up month and celebrate in different ways.
To sign up for a card, new patrons can bring an ID that lists their Saline County address or an ID along with proof of address. Cards are also available for those who work or attend school in the county. New patrons get the library's welcome kit when they sign up. Beesley said signing up takes less than five minutes and renewing is even faster.
Those who do not have a card or have not used theirs in a while Beesley encourages them to stop by the library during library card sign up month to check out what the library has to offer.
And the resources are free.
A full list of businesses taking part in Power of the Card can be found on the library website and at any of the participating businesses.