Frederick County Public Libraries recently began a partnership that will benefit our patrons and the library, and it allows us to offer a debit card that benefits Urbana’s Regional Library. Local residents can sign up for a Frederick County Public Library card that can also be registered and used as a VISA® Prepaid Card, a convenient alternative to cash that supports the library every time it’s used. Every time you make a purchase, a portion comes back to the library.
There are lots of choices for prepaid debit cards out there on the market, but this one offers several extra benefits. First, customers know that a portion of their fees are donated back to the library, and second, these cards are enrolled in “Linkables,” a rewards program that entitles cardholders to get special deals from local and national businesses.
The Library is working with the Chamber of Commerce and local merchants to make connections that will hopefully benefit the local economy. More importantly, we feel this card is an important element of the financial literacy programming we offer in partnership with the United Way’s Frederick County Financial Literacy Coalition. Offering “unbanked” people this prepaid card is a great alternative to costly check-cashing services that were formerly one of the few options available.
These prepaid cards are an effective tool for families trying to stay on a budget, for travelers, or for parents hoping to teach their children about financial literacy. They are reloadable at many area locations and are accepted anywhere VISA debit cards are accepted — online, in stores, or over the phone. You can set it up to receive direct deposit, and it isn’t necessary to have had a previous credit card or bank account. All you have to do is register the card, add money, and it is fully functional and ready to use.
As with all prepaid debit cards, there are fees associated: a one-time activation fee, monthly fee, and other fees depending on how you use the card, but there are no fees for getting the card unless and until you decide to register it and load funds onto it. The library cannot access your financial information, nor will your financial information be shared with the library. Once you get the card, you are under no obligation to register it — you have the option to simply use it as a library card. Library staff are happy to answer any questions you may have about the card, but for more complete information visit: http://www.fcpl.org/library-services/i-love-my-library-visa-prepaid-cards or call the library circulation desk at 301.600.7002.
Editor’s Note: Amy Whitney is the Branch Administrator for the Urbana Regional Library.