The Mount Airy Public Library enlisted the aid of local superheroes Saturday to kick off Library Card Sign-Up Month.
Sign-Up Month has been held each September sine 1987 to mark the beginning of the school year. Libraries work to remind parents and youth that signing up for a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning.
The American Library Association partnered with Disney Pixar to enlist their superhero family, “The Incredibles,” for the campaign. That connection was enough to convince library assistant Angela Llewellyn that a superhero motif was a good fit to launch the drive. To represent for the Library Association, she took on the role of Mrs. Incredible for the day.
Most of the A-list superheroes were represented: Iron Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Superman, Spiderman, Thor, Batwoman, Captain America and Supergirl, among others.
The superheroes were photographed in and around the library by Nikki Hopkins, doing library things (such as checking out books) and superhero things (such as flying and hovering in mid-air).
“My knees are going to hurt for three days,” said Llewellyn, after the second of three choreographed jumps off a wall outside the library’s front entrance. But she was game for a third take to ensure Hopkins got the perfect shot.
Meanwhile, inside the library, the sign-up drive was working.
“We signed up three people as soon as we opened,” said Pat Gwyn, branch librarian.
Gwyn issued a library card to James Rodgers, whose wife Kaela was checking out some books.
“Why not? urged Gwyn. “It’s free, and you’re here.”
Rodgers said his wife was a regular customer at the library.
“She comes in here all the time,” he said.
After checking out some books for their grandchildren, Janet and Bob McPherson took the grandkids — Russell, Tori and Sam, who were dressed as Batman, Supergirl and Captain America, respectively — into the multi-purpose room for some photos. All three kids were getting into it, mugging for the camera and striking their best superhero poses.
“They’re visiting us from Burlington,” said Janet McPherson. “We saw this in the paper yesterday, and we’re always looking for fun things to take them to when they visit. Some things cost so much. It’s $60 to take them all to a movie.”
“They’re having so much fun here right now,” she said, as Russell, in his tiny Spiderman suit, pantomimed spinning a Spidey web with cameras flashing around him.
Library Sign-Up Month continues through the rest of September. Kids who sign up for new library cards during the month will be able to participate in a drawing for bookbags filled with school supplies and reading material. New registrations during September will also participate in a drawing for gift cards donated by local businesses. Those drawings will take place at the end of the month.
Also during September, the usual $2 fee to replace a lost card will be waived.
Later in September, the library will be observing the National Day of Peace on Sept. 21 at noon and “Divorce Done Mayberry Style” on Sept. 27 in observance of Mayberry Days.
All libraries in the Northwestern Regional system will be closed on Sept. 28 for staff development.
Additional photos from Saturday’s event can be seen on Facebook at “Friends of the Mt. Airy Public Library” and on Instagram and Twitter at @MTAPubLibrary.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.