By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
What is more exciting to a child than a trip to the Library? Shelves full of adventures yet to be imagined, storytimes involving singing and puppets, and games and toys that make early literacy activities fun. You can make the experience even better by getting your child their very own library card! Here are Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s top five reasons to get (and use!) a library card today:
1. A library card opens new worlds
While it is wonderful to have a personal library in your home, budgets don’t always allow for spending on every book your family would like to read. At the Library, children can browse the stacks and discover materials they may not have known interested them. And, if they decide they don’t like something, you can return it on your next visit and try something else.
2. Regular library visits lead to more reading
Make visiting the library a tradition in your family, and develop an early love of reading in your child at the same time. Reading not only provides foundational language and literacy skills, but reading aloud provides a connection between reader and listener. When we read aloud to children, we send them a message: you are important, this time is for you. These early, positive experiences can instill in them a love of reading that will last a lifetime.
3. Owning a library card teaches kids responsibility
As card-carrying library customers, young children learn how to treat with care things that belong to others. When children check out books on their own library card, they feel trustworthy, responsible and more like a member of their community. A child’s first library card is an early rite of passage.
4. Online resources are available for those days when you can’t make it to the Library
It isn’t always possible to pack the family up and make a trip to the Library. Fortunately, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has wonderful online resources perfect for families.
A collection of animated, talking picture books. Can be read by you or to you. The collection includes story books, books in French and Spanish for language learning, non-fiction books, graphic novels, puzzles and games.
Search hundreds of children’s book reviews by title, author, reading level, interest category and number of pages. New reviews are added monthly.
– Get Set 4K
Help your young child prepare for kindergarten with the Library’s month-by-month guide to school readiness.
The Library’s bilingual website for young children. Listen to stories and explore interactive online activities and games.
5. CMS students already have library cards!
If your child is enrolled in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, they already have a library card! Starting last year, CMS students’ school identification numbers double as their library card. With their ONE Access account, students can:
– Access library research databases
– Borrow digital materials such as e-books, e-audiobooks, magazines, music and videos
– Borrow up to 10 print or audiobooks (no DVDs or music CDs)
For more information about this program, visit cmlibrary.org/oneaccess.
So, what do you need to do to get started
– Parents can bring an ID (or bill) that shows current residence in Mecklenburg County for a free library card (non-residents can get a library card for $45 per year
– Fill out an application with library staff (process should take 5 minutes
– Any child (starting at birth) can get a library card; parents are responsible for items check out on child’s car
– Children can check out materials from any of the 20 Library location
– Parents can request for children to have access to check out children’s DVD
– Parents can request for children to have access to use the Internet
Librarian tips for a child’s first library card
– Tell library staff that this is your child’s first library card so that they can be a part of the experience
– Talk to your children about the responsibility that comes with having their own library card. Decide what age you think is appropriate for this responsibility and make it a milestone
– Pick out a bag that your child can use for their books. Maybe they are allowed to check out as many books as they can carry in their library bag
– Let your child check out their own books with the Library’s self-checkout kiosks (with your help, of course!
– Have your child ask a librarian to help find books; they might introduce your child to their new favorite book or genre
– Designate a shelf in your home where your library books are kep
– Mark library book due dates on your calendar. And renew online to avoid fines
– Use the Library’s online catalog to put books (for yourself!) on hold so that you can quickly pick them up while checking out children’s book
– Participate in programs at your local branch