Struggling to Find that Perfect Gift? Gift the Library

By Rachel Johnson

Okay, so maybe you can’t gift the actual library itself – that would take a lot of wrapping paper – but if you know someone who doesn’t currently have a library card, encouraging them to get one is the of the easiest (and cheapest) gifts you could ever give. Children as young as five may sign up for a Prince William Public Library System library card. Imagine, for a moment, the world that a library card opens up:

The library’s physical collection: everything from books, Playaway Launchpad tablets, and puzzles for young minds, and add to that graphic novels, magazines, DVDs, and music CDs. The library system has nearly 700,000 physical items throughout our 11 branches ready to be checked out.

The library’s digital collection: mobile apps such as hoopla digital and Libby, by OverDrive offer e-books, audiobooks, TV shows, movies, and music for all ages. The library’s Digital Library offers free access to many websites that typically require a subscription, like Ancestry, Consumer Reports, and Creativebug.

Library programs: Our library system offers more than 1,200 programs every year. Everything from weekly story times and book clubs to special events, like magic shows, cooking classes, and author visits are offered to the general public.

The library itself: All 11 of our libraries offer free Wi-Fi for patrons, public access computers, and volunteer opportunities. In addition, our community and regional libraries offer small group/study rooms as well as community rooms available for non-profit organizations to reserve for meetings of a civic or cultural nature, and to government agencies.

Literacy programs: We’re committed to literacy, both within the walls of our libraries and when our patrons leave our doors. We offer literacy programs for all ages:

  • 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is designed to get young children, from birth to entering kindergarten, to read 1,000 books. Any book will do! Reading the same book over and over… and over again? That counts multiple times! Children will receive special rewards along the way and a Certificate of Completion once they reach the milestone of reading 1,000 books.
  • 1000 Books Before College was created to get students in grades 9 – 12 reading 100 books before they graduate from high school. At every 25 books completed, they receive a prize and, at 100 books, they receive a Certificate of Completion and College Supply Kit.
  • Summer Reading: Every summer, our Summer Reading program has challenges for children, young adults, and adults as well as special programs, and even more opportunities to win great prizes just for reading and participating!

Here’s even better news. Let’s say you “gifted” someone else the idea of a library card and they are just so excited, they can’t wait to sign up. You can sign up for a library card online! Visit, select the blue “My Account” tab on the homepage, then click on “Don’t have a PWPLS library card? Click here to learn more!” on the next page. This will give you access to our digital resources right away – no waiting.

So, there you have it. Pretty easy gift, right? And you don’t even need to remember to get those pesky batteries!

Prince William Public Library Staff
About Prince William Public Library Staff 33 Articles
For more information on the Prince William County Public Library, please visit their website or call 703-792-6000.

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