Get it, Use it, Love it! Library Card Sign-Up Month

Library cards are promoted during the month of September. Show your students how to get one, the great ways to use one, and the joy of having one!

By Bethany Stagliano

library card

What is one of the most important school supplies that children of all ages should have? A library card! And once they have one, their learning possibilities are endless!

Get It

As a teacher, you probably already have a library card. Your goal now is to get all of your students (and their parents!) to obtain their very own library card. Most libraries do not allow teachers to get library cards for the children in their class. Therefore, it's imperative give parents this important task for homework. Inform parents about the process, and just how easy it is:

  • Fill out an application at your local library (give parents exact addresses of the libraries in your area), or fill out an application online if available.
  • Most likely a photo identification or proof of address will be needed to obtain a card.
  • Allow each child to have his very own library card. Libraries do allow children to get their own cards with parental permission.
  • Set up e-mail notifications so the library can send messages when borrowed materials are overdue, when it's time to renew, and other important library information.

Use It

Libraries have much more than just tons and tons of books! Besides using books for reading and research, share these additional ways that the library can be advantageous:

  • Use a computer to browse the Internet, perform research, or write a paper.
  • Do you have a device, such as a kindle, nook, or iPad? Download e-books for free!
  • No Internet access at home? Bring your own computer and use the free Wi-Fi.
  • Let the librarian recommend a good book that suits your tastes.
  • Many libraries offer homework help after school.
  • Too hot in your house, or too cold? Go to the library, curl up with a good book, and take advantage of their air conditioning or heating.
  • No need to pay to rent a movie anymore, libraries have the latest blockbusters ready to borrow—at no charge! 

Love It

When children begin to explore their library, they will find that programs and activities offered will exceed their expectations. Encourage your students to visit their library to participate in events such as:

  • Take part in a kid and teen book club.
  • Get your game on at Game Night (and play chess, checkers, UNO, and more)
  • Watch a movie screening of a latest hit.
  • Love animals? Read to a dog!
  • Join an active group, such as the Teen Advisory Board.
  • Volunteer as a tutor, and teach younger children how to read.
  • Get your hands dirty and plant seeds in your library's community garden.
  • Check the library's calendar for special events, such as concerts, special guest appearances, and more. 

Activity Ideas

  • A library card is a passport to learning. Have students create a specialized library card showcasing the people, places, and things they have learned at the library.

  • Your local library will be more than happy to take your class on a tour of the library, showing off all the great things they have to offer!
  • Be a librarian for a day. Ask your library to participate, and let pupils shadow the librarian. Or, set up a mock library in your classroom.
  • If I was Book... Oh the Places I'd Go! Assign your learners  this fun project. Write a paper or create a project from the point of view of a library book. Who borrows them? Where do they go? What happens along the way?
  • Does your library need a little sprucing up? Offer up your pupils to come in and hang up artwork, build fun Lego creations to exhibit, and more.

When children have a library card and take advantage of all that their library has to offer, their academic success is often high. It also sets up the opportunity for quality family time. Encourage your pupils to not only get a library card, but to love their library!

Related Lessons: 

Library Treasure Hunt

After reading a book about a mouse who goes on a treasure hunt, pupils learn about their library in a treasure hunt kind of way!

Andrew Carnegie and Libraries 

Your class will learn the important role Carnegie played in forming libraries, and how their local library needs support.

In the Library

Children learn about the different sections in the library.