I love reading. Many of my best memories, mental images and life experiences can be attributed to the times I spent picking up a book and absorbing the dialogue and information I held in my hands.

Year round, Pima County’s 27 branch libraries provide children, youth, adults and seniors with access to the resources they need to be engaged, informed residents — and with knowledgeable and helpful assistance in finding and using those resources.

This month, our library system reminds you of the countless opportunities you have when you visit your neighborhood library branch or you access our vast online resources from the comfort of your own home, and of the advantages of obtaining a free library card.

Today’s libraries are unique and multifaceted community assets. Cardholders have access to an array of databases and digital resources.

Anyone can use the libraries’ computers. Students can receive homework help. Job-seekers have access to employment-seeking assistance. People can attend English Language Learner classes at a library. Many of the libraries’ resources can be tapped online.

Branches have meeting rooms for community groups of all types to use. Parents can take their toddlers to story times. Our library branches contain important health care information, and we have a first-of-its-kind program in which our Health Department nurses visit our branches to provide free consultations.

Our library branches have not lost their mission as repositories for a wide variety of books, periodicals, DVDs and other basic resources. And they remain staffed with friendly and helpful librarians.

A few weeks ago, the Board of Supervisors dismissed delinquent accounts from our system for children and teen cardholders. We want you using our libraries.

It’s library card sign-up month. A library card gives you the ability to check out books, DVDs and other materials to take home for up to three weeks at a time. If you don’t already have a library card, please get one for you, your children, your niece or nephew — any loved one — today.

It’s free and the opportunities for enrichment it provides are endless.

Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías, an avid reader, has represented District Five on the Pima County Board of Supervisors since 2002. Email him at district5@pima.gov