September was National Library Card Sign-Up Month.
The Palmerton Area Library's Teen Advisory Group tried to encourage people to sign-up in fun and surprising ways. All those who signed up had their names put in a pool. One person's name was drawn and won a Gold Card, which is like a "Get Out of Jail Card." It allows the holder a year with no fines and no due dates.
The winner was Patti Garey of Palmerton.
"My family's very excited about this. We have five children and we do tend to check things out and not get them back in time," said Garey.
Diane Danielson, the library's director, said that anybody can donate money for a Gold Card. It costs $100 and is tax deductible.
"We have many husbands who buy the Gold Card for their wives for birthdays and Christmas presents," she said.
The Teen Group came up with other incentives to become a patron with surprise coupons.
They tucked one of three different kinds of coupons in random items throughout the library: Fine Forgiveness cards; $2 Gift Certificates to be used anywhere in the library; Special Check Out for borrowing a children's DVD on a child's library card.
There are no expiration dates on these coupons.
Marianne Kmetz, assistant director and youth adviser, said the library acquired 76 new patrons and credits the Teen Group for its creative incentives.