Give your child the gift of books. Give your child a library card.

I remember getting my first library card in kindergarten.
Child excited about her first library card.I needed to be able to write my own name with my mother promising to be responsible. As the librarian looked on, I carefully printed my name in block letters on a paper. Then the librarian put a blank library card into a typewriter, typed my name on it, and handed me the gift of books.

I felt so grown up, like when I earned my driver’s license years later. And did I ever use that card!

Luckily, my public library was three blocks away from my home, on a corner I passed to walk to kindergarten. Once a week my mother would meet me there after school and I would pick out two or three books. How I loved wandering through the tiny children’s section to pull my own selections. How I loved it when the librarian stamped my book!  My mother would take out books for my younger siblings using her card, but I took out my books on my own card.  And when I was in first grade, I could go all by myself, two or three times a week, and exchange books I’d read for new selections.

If your library allows young children to get their own library cards, this is a rite of passage worth celebrating. Keep the library card in your own wallet, if you think your child might lose it, or find a special place for it at home, but get your child a library card.  Take your child to the library, and let her relish the thrill of using a library card. Take her picture with her spanking new library card to show that you consider this an important milestone.

Just like enrolling your child in school, encouraging her to be a faithful library patron is one of the best investments in her education that you can make. And summertime is a great time to get a library card and to take part in the library’s summer reading program. –Mrs. K

Getting my own library card was a momentous occasion. Luckily, I had a short name so I could print it in the tiny space allotted. Back then, a library card was made from card stock. Each library book had a card and a pocket in the back for the book’s card. I never could quite figure out the system for keeping track of it all. But the stamp with the rolling date! I’m not even sure if those are sold anymore!

Living in a city, the library was available on a daily basis. Summer days it was a place to go! And it was free! Yes, the library was then and has always been a big part of my life. –Mrs. A

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