To help businesses in the sluggish economy, many towns have created discount cards that encourage residents to shop locally.
But the Roselle Public Library is devising a creative twist on the idea: offering incentives to shop -- and read -- in the village.
Its new program, called "Use Your Roselle Library Card, All Around Town!" will offer card holders free items, services or discounts at participating businesses when they present a library card during September.
Executive Director Amy Cawley said staff members first heard of the idea from a library in Kentucky. Then, a new staff member came on board from the Lisle Public Library, which has run a similar program, and they chose to adopt the idea for Roselle, too.
"We thought this was a great way to get the word out to get a library card, as well as to promote Roselle businesses in the economic downturn," Cawley said.
The library is accepting applications from businesses that want to participate.
In exchange, the library will create and distribute brochures highlighting its business partners, which will be given to patrons when they visit the library or check out materials. The library also will feature participating businesses in the fall "Library Lights" newsletter and on its website.
Participation is free for both businesses and card holders. So far, eight businesses are on board, but Cawley said she hopes to start with 20.
"This way you get something just for getting your library card," she said.
Businesses wanting to join the partnership have until May 30 to contact Cawley at