Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Library Cards Provide Many Teachable Moments

By Selina Johnson, Wylam Branch Library 

Recently, a school-aged young girl and a woman that I assumed was her mother walked up to the circulation desk. The young girl’s eyes sparkled with anticipation as the woman stated that she wanted to get the young girl a library card. When I asked the woman if she was the young girl’s parent, she replied that she was her aunt. I explained that her niece would need a parent to come and complete the application for her to receive a library card. The face of the young girl who had been patiently waiting and soaking in our conversation with bright eyes of anticipation quickly turned to obvious disappointment.

The aunt immediately used her mobile phone to communicate to the young girl’s mother of the need for the child’s parent to complete the library card application. Within twenty minutes, the young girl’s mother was at the circulation desk to complete the application for her daughter to get a library card. The young girl’s smile widened into a bright grin as I placed her first library card into her hands. It was so uplifting to witness a student anxious to have a library card of their own and a parent that went out of their way to make it happen.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month and it is a perfect time for students like the one aforementioned to begin the quest of lifelong learning with the assistance of a library card. A student’s first library card can be a conduit for many lessons. They learn to be accountable for items that they have checked out; it teaches about the consequences for damaging material and not adhering to due dates; and the student also learns about decision making when selecting resources to check out. Of course, the guidance of responsible parents during these experiences is crucial to the success of the young library card owner and should not be taken lightly.

Do something that your future self will thank you for doing. Sign up for a library card today!

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