As your kids head off to school, make sure they have one very important school supply: a library card.
A library card is more than a piece of plastic. It's usually the first tangible thing a child has in their own name. It gives them a sense of ownership and independence and it opens doors for children in so many wonderful ways.
One of my favorite parts of being a children's librarian is giving out those very first library cards. I love watching their faces light up with pride as they receive something that's all their own. Here's what I say:
"Take a good look at the children's reference desk. You're never interrupting a librarian at the desk... we're sitting here waiting for you to ask us a question. Come to us if you need help with homework, or the computer, or finding a book. We'd love to recommend a good book or series for you. No question is ever silly or unimportant."
September is National Library Card sign-up month. It started in 1987 to meet a challenge proposed by then Secretary of Education William Bennett who said: "Let's have a national campaign... every child should obtain a library card- and use it."
Does everyone in your family have a library card? Do you remember getting your first library card? How old were you? How about your children? When did they get theirs?
What would you say to a child getting their first library card?