When I got my library card, that was when my life began.
- Rita May Brown
September is National Library Sign-up Month. Oh I’ve had a city library card for years, which I frequently use. Yesterday, I received my library card for my entire county. Hopefully, I’ll get books faster on two waiting lists. There were two women in front of me also getting library cards that sparked the excitement even more. I simply presented my driver’s license as proof of residency and I was given my new magical library card. Of course it’s magical since it has so many uses. I probably picked the card geared for children, yet it made me smile and states ‘I’m a born reader!’. My fingers glided over the simple plastic card and I smiled as I thought of the possibilities.
You need to present a current photo ID and proof residency. Some libraries grant temporary cards for students and visitors. Children 14 and younger can also receive a library card with a parent/guardian signature.
Many of these activities don’t require a library card, so you can still participate. These are just a few ideas to fully use your library!
Check out these sites to learn more about how to get the most from your library.
http://www.ala.org/ (American Library Association)
There are 52 items on this list for ways to use your library card, which makes it one idea for each week of the year. I didn’t create this list, but it’s a good general idea. I’m sure you can think of many more wonderful ways you can use your library card. So get out there and enjoy your library!1. Get to know your librarian, the ultimate search engine @ your library. 2. Browse your favorite Web site(s).
September is a fabulous month for libraries. (Every month is a wonderful month for libraries.) September is library card sign-up month. American Library Association along with other organizations are promoting the library and obtaining a library card. Individuals submit a photo of themselves or with family and show why your library card is so important. Along with the photo the individual states why their library card is so valuable. There will then be a random drawing and a lucky individual will win a Target gift card (U.S. residents only). Adults, children, and even the family dog can be in the photo as long as the library is somehow promoted. Click HERE to submit a photo.
I absolutely, positively love my library. Yes, I have my library card number memorized and can state exactly when it's open. This little card is your passport to endless knowledge.
The library opens up so many possibilities to individuals and the community. It's a shame that so many libraries in the United States faced with economic troubles have closed. My own city closed two libraries.
If your library is not “unsafe,” it probably isn’t doing its job.
Alia Muhammad Baker is the librarian of Basra, a city in Iraq. Her library is a meeting place to discuss books, but also to discuss war. Alia worries that fire from the war will destroy the books, which are very precious to her. She asks the governor for permission to move the books to a safe place, but he refuses. Alia decides to protect the books herself and secretly brings books home every night. Finally, war reaches Basra. Alia asks her friend, Alia Muhammad, who owns a restaurant next to the library to help save the books. They quickly remove the books from the library and hide them in the restaurant. Only nine days later, a fire burns the library to the ground. They move the thousands of books to her house and friends’ houses to protect the books from harm.
The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq is a true story about a brave women in Iraq. War is a sensitive issue and I thought this book demonstrated that a community can work together to save precious books. The text is straightforward and doesn’t become too graphic when discussing war. It’s a good book to start a discussion about war with children. The pictures are vibrant and beautiful.
Tomás’ family is moving to Iowa again, since his mother and father are migrant workers. They pick fruit and vegetables in the summer for Iowa farmers and in the winter for Texas farmers. Tomás loves to listen to his Papá Grande tell stories. Papá Grande tells Tomás that he is now old enough to visit the library to then share new stories. Tomás has never seen so many books in one place. The librarian asks what he would like to read about and he says tigers and dinosaurs. Soon Tomás forgets about the library lady, Texas, and Iowa. Instead, the story becomes alive as he rides a dinosaur. The time quickly goes by and the library lady lets him check out books. Tomás returns home and reads the new stories to his family. During his visits to the library, Tomás teaches the library lady Spanish words. Sadly, Tomás must say good-bye to the library lady and the place that made him feel welcome as the summer ends.
I really enjoyed Tomás and the Library Lady, because the stories really come alive when Tomás reads and shares the books. The book is based on a real person named Tomás Rivera who was a migrant worker and became a writer, professor, and national education leader. He died in 1984. Tomás and the Library Lady won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, an International Reading Association Teacher’s Choice Award, and was nominated for the Texas Bluebonnet Award.
Margriet Ruurs wondered how books were brought to children around the world, so she researched different mobile libraries throughout the world. She contacted librarians who shared their information, stories, and pictures about various mobile libraries. Ruurs explores how books reach readers in Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, England, Finland, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Thailand, and Zimbabwe. The methods varied greatly from a bookmobile in Australia to a wheelbarrow at the beach in England to book boat in Finland to a library camel in Kenya to even an elephant library in Thailand! My Librarian is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World presents each country in alphabetical order on two pages. Each country includes detailed information about the book program, photographs, map, and the country’s flag.
Miss Dorothy always knew she wanted to be a librarian when she grew up. She wanted to be a librarian in charge at a red brick library in the center of town just like her hometown in Massachusetts. Well, Miss Dorothy went to Radcliffe College and was ready to be in charge of a brick library but her plans changed slightly. Miss Dorothy married and moved to a farm in North Carolina. There was a slight problem, because there was no library. There was a community meeting and they agreed that they needed a place to store books and check them out. They decided that the town would raise money for a bookmobile and Miss Dorothy would be the librarian. Miss Dorothy was a little disappointed at first, since she believed a library was a building with shelves and books. She drove the bookmobile all over town to make sure everyone had a book to read. Miss Dorothy drove the green bookmobile to every school, farm, grocery store, post office, church, and even the courthouse. A generous reader donated a white house to be used as a library. Miss Dorothy never got her red brick building for a library, but she still shared her love for books and reading. Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile is loosely based on the author’s experience with a woman named Dorothy Thomas who greeted people with books in her van.
Brief History of the Bookmobile:
The bookmobile service in the United States began in the late 19th Century. The first bookmobile service started by Mary Lemist Titcomb in Washington County, Maryland in 1905. Titcomb wanted to extend library services into rural areas. She referred to it as a “library wagon” and consulted with wagon makers to design the best horse-drawn wagon. In 1912, the county received a motorized bookmobile.
The First Bookmobile in the United States(neatorama.com)
Every Tuesday, Lola and her mommy visit the library. She carefully puts all her books in her backpack to return. Lola enjoys spending time in the children’s area where she listens to stories and songs. After storytime, Lola takes her time and picks new books to check out. When Lola and her mommy are finished checking out books they get a snack after visiting the library. Before bed, Lola’s mommy reads a library book to her.
Lola at the Library is a simple and sweet story about a young girl visiting the library. The book is a great introduction about the library. It takes many trips to the library for children to become comfortable, feel safe, and most importantly desire to come back. Now that I’m an adult it sometimes feels weird if I didn’t make my weekly library visit! Thanks Mom!