Lately, the most crowded area in stores has been the school supply aisle. Now that parents, students, and teachers have stocked up on paper, pencils, glue, and all that a new school year requires, it is important that they get the most important school supply of all – a library card. September is National Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when Bossard Memorial Library joins the American Library Association and libraries nationwide to remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step on the path to academic achievement and lifelong learning.
Registering for your own library card is empowering. Through access to books, technology, media resources, and educational programs, a library card gives students the tools to succeed in the classroom and provides people of all ages opportunities to pursue their dreams and passions.
Beginning September 1, in celebration of National Library Card Sign-Up Month, children ages 4-12 who register for their first library card at Bossard Library will receive a library-branded wallet, while supplies last. This special promotion, in partnership with River City Leather, will provide children a unique way to carry their library card – the “smartest” card in their wallet.
The library will also commemorate this special month by distributing COSI Connects Kits to families to support youth learning in the community. These children’s science boxes, available while supplies last, are filled with five days’ worth of themed STEM activities and science experiments. Themes of these kits include energy, nature, water, and the human body. In addition to these kits, the library will also distribute space-themed COSI learning lunchboxes through a collaborative effort between the Ohio Library Council and COSI to help make science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities more accessible to children in the library’s service area.
Since 1987, National Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the American Library Association and libraries work together in a national effort to encourage children and adults to sign up for their own library card.
If you or your child are interested in registering for a library card from Bossard Library, the following guidelines apply: Anyone who is at least four years of age who is living, working or attending school in Ohio and anyone who owns property in Gallia County, Ohio may apply for a free library card by registering at the circulation desk or with the mobile services department of Bossard Library. In addition, residents of Mason County, West Virginia are eligible to apply for a free library card. Proof of eligibility is required.
When applying for a card, the applicant must provide two acceptable forms of identification. One form must be photo identification or valid state-issued identification and the other form must contain the applicant’s current mailing address, as the library will mail the card to the patron.
Minors may obtain a library card with the consent of a parent or legal guardian. The parent/guardian must present valid identification and verification of address and demonstrate proof of child. Lastly, the parent/guardian’s signature must be on the application.
Bossard Library continues to offer digital library cards for eligible applicants who wish to exclusively access digital content such as eBooks and digital audiobooks. The digital library card application is located in the “digital downloads” area of the website at bossardlibrary.org.
A library card opens the door to worlds of opportunity. I encourage you to visit Bossard Library or your local library during National Library Card Sign-Up Month to register for a card and see the many opportunities that libraries have to offer. For more information, visit Bossard Library in person, contact the library at 740-446-7323, or online at bossardlibrary.org.
Debbie Saunders, MLIS, is library director for the Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library.