September is National Library Card Signup Month. I’ve always dreamed that every student in our school would have a library card, but each year it seems to slip off my plate. This year, I brought the idea up at our monthly media specialist meeting and we started brainstorming ideas with Evan Bush, the children’s librarian at the main branch of the Athens Clarke County Library. At the same time, Deirdre Sugiuchi, librarian at Oglethorpe Elementary, shared how she invited students to meet her one night at the library to sign up for library cards. This evolved into all of the 14 elementary schools signing up for a night to encourage families to visit the library.
Two weeks before the event, I sent home a flyer and wrote about it in my monthly newsletter. I also created a Facebook event page on our David C. Barrow Elementary Facebook page. Our principal also added it to her own newsletters that go out to families electronically and in print. Each morning on our broadcast announcements, I shared 1-2 things that a public library card can get you. I included things like holds from any PINES library in Georgia, ebooks, audiobooks, Bookflix, Mango foreign languages, ukuleles, and up to 50 books at a time. I reminded students what families would need to bring in order to sign up for a card. I also told students there would be a tour, a raffle, and a ticket to get a popsicle at school the following day.
From 5:30-7:00PM, I stayed in the children’s department of the Athens public library, and the Barrow students flooded in. We had 43 students visit the library and multiple family members came along too. Our principal and assistant principal came as well as several teachers.
Students received bookmarks and buttons, entered a raffle, received their ticket for an ice pop, and had a great tour of the children’s department and all it had to offer. Families connected with one another, and I showed several people how to search the online catalog and how to pair audio books with printed text.
I would of course love to see more families attend, but this was a great first event. We plan to hold a second event at a smaller branch of our library system that is right next to where some of our families live.
Happy Library Card Month!