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    The Smartest Card

    What is the smartest card in your wallet? It's a library card! The El Paso Public Library is joining libraries across the nation in observing September as National Library Card Sign-up Month. This is a time when we remind parents and students that the most important school supply of all is available only at your library. So come by any public library facility during September, get a library card, and check out what's new.

    Studies show that children who use libraries perform better in school and in life. Libraries contain all the information and resources necessary to complete even the most difficult homework assignments. They are great places to spend time after school studying or just hanging out with friends. Libraries also teach responsibility, as the library card is often the very first card of privilege many of us carry.

    Libraries are the people's university! Thousands of El Pasoans use libraries to better their lives whether through independent study or through more traditional education such as English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, GED preparation or citizenship classes. Libraries are less intimidating than more formal institutions of learning and thus attract people of all ages, as well as people of all social and cultural backgrounds. No other institution offers communities and families so many different free activities and opportunities to succeed as does the public library.

    A library card is easy to get. Simply visit any El Paso Public Library facility and bring a picture I.D. and proof of current residence. Most cards are granted within the hour. A parent or guardian must accompany children younger than 14. El Paso Public Library cards are free to all residents of the State of Texas, Dońa Ana County, New Mexico, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The cards are good for two years and may be renewed after that for another two years. For more information, call your nearest branch library or visit www.elpasolibrary.org.

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