Posted Sep 19, 2021
By now, you’ve crossed off most of the things on that Back-to-School To-Do List. Before you toss the list, make sure you remember of the most important things – getting your children their own library cards.
September is Library Card Sign-Up Month. Many parents already know the benefits of a library card. With a card, your family has access to free books, movies, and music, the ability to request materials from all of the public libraries in Milwaukee County, 24/7 access to online databases and the ability to download e-books, audiobooks, music and movies free of charge. A library card is a free pass to a world of information, entertainment, and enjoyment.
For children, having their own library card offers all of that and important life lessons. A library card is empowering. For most kids, it is their first official card with their name on it. It is a rite of passage like a driver’s license. It symbolizes being acknowledged as a member of society. It provides a sense of pride and accomplishment and it is something to carry that is just theirs. That is a very powerful experience for a little person in a big world.
With adult guidance, a library card can be a great teaching tool. Children get real life experience with responsibility as they keep track of their card and what is checked out on their library card account. They learn about consequences. Returning library materials on time and in good condition means being able to check out more items. Returning items late or damaged or losing library items may result in fines. They learn what it means to be a good citizen – taking turns sharing and caring for library materials so others may also use them.
For the youngest children, using their library can also provide practice in math skills – counting how many items are checked out and using a calendar to track when they are due. For older children, a library card gives them access to a world of online resources from research databases and language learning programs to online study tools and tutoring help. As we continue to cope with the educational disruptions caused by the pandemic, a library card can help fill some of the gaps. For all children, having a library card supports the importance of reading and learning – in and out of school.
That 5” x 3” piece of plastic packs a lot of power and it’s easy to get. You can register in-person or online. Find out how here.