SEPTEMBER IS LIBRARY CARD SIGN-UP MONTH!
September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time to remind us that a library card is the most important school supply of all. A library card is a ticket to free educational resources and activities that bring families together and can transform how families spend time together. It costs nothing to apply for a card and it costs nothing to check out a book.
Reading and writing are important skills for children to have. Studies show that children who read in the home and who use the library perform significantly better in school. High performing students are then more likely to use the library as a source of lifelong learning. The ability to read and write is vital to a child’s learning process. Reading helps children make connections between what they already know and what they read about in books. These connections build a child’s knowledge and help him or her to understand the larger world.
Through reading, children are exposed to worlds they might not know about. Because reading requires an excellent imagination, children are able to interact with people who are not like them through the characters they meet in books. Books give children a wider exposure to the world which means children who read have a better sense of the world and will be well-poised to live in a global society. Readers tend to be creative and entrepreneurial—two skills that are needed for success in an information society.
We live and work in an information society. Without fluency in reading and writing (fluent reading creates strong writers), children are left behind, ill-equipped for 21st century jobs which require at their core strong communication skills. In many ways, it doesn’t really matter what a child reads, as long as he or she reads. Reading cultivates better attention spans and provides a time of quiet in a world that has far too many distractions. Like all skills, reading takes practice. Just fifteen minutes of reading every day, either silently, or together with a parent, can help build the skills required for easy fluency.
Children who come to the library can explore the world around them through books, making selections which appeal to them. Get into the reading habit, first by obtaining a library card and then finding a time every week or two to select reading materials. It is a good habit for every family member and one that has long-lasting impact.
Children age 5 through 13 who apply for a card in September will receive a free children’s book to keep. Those signing up for a library card in the month of September will receive, upon their second visit to the library, a multilingual READ wristband.