By Tiana Schweim
Chilly days have hinted of autumn for several weeks. Sports practices are in full-swing and grade-level supply lists greet me as I walk into local stores. It would appear that the calendar is concurring with the breeze: back-to-school time has arrived!
As America prepares to go back to school, the American Library Association (ALA) is also gearing up for an important campaign. September is Library Card Sign-up Month, “a time to remind parents and children that a library card is the most important school supply of all.” When you’re going out for school supplies, don’t forget to stop at the library to update your family’s library cards and set them up for a successful school year.
Your library card can be used at any Pioneerland Library System library and most other public libraries in Minnesota. Your first library card is free; please be prepared to show photo ID and proof of current address. Parents can use their judgment to decide when their child is capable of having their own library card. Young people benefit from learning how to navigate the card catalog and search for items in and outside of our system.
Summer programming tends to see larger audiences. Kids are out of school and families are mobile. We have increased attendance at our story hours and special events. Our records show that 296 children ages 3-12 were registered for “Dig Into Reading”, and 57 teens signed up for “Groundbreaking Reads” for a total of 353 young people reading the summer away! Let’s take a look at some more of our summer successes:
We had a marvelous attendance of 132 when we welcomed Professor Marvel’s Amazing Archaeological Adventure in June. Don’t miss his reappearance during preschool story hour on September 15th for the Once Upon a Time Magic Show. We hung out with the Willmar Stingers and got creative with 4-H. St. John’s Arboretum visited us with the show Soil Rocks—Can You Dig It? We've had a rockin’ good time this summer!
Today's final summer event gathered a record number of visitors! We lost count at 76 kids and over 30 adults as we welcomed visitors from the Minnesota Zoomobile. A skunk in the library? Crazy!
Teens enjoyed an after-hours event complete with pizza and a raucous round of “Murder in the Library” on July 31st; they haven't stopped talking about it so we're planning a similar event for October! We’ve also used our monthly book club time and a special morning at Cricket Meadow to brainstorm ideas for giving back to the library. Watch for details on our new Teen Advisory Group (TAG) meetings. We’re also taking our monthly book club on the road. We plan to meet at the Litchfield High School Media Center on Monday, September 23rd at 3:00. Join us (grades 6-12) for casual discussion about your favorite book, and celebrate Hobbit Day with us!
Not only were the school-age kids making good use of the library, but the teachers and staff of ISD 465 were frequent visitors as well. It would be amiss for me to comment that teachers have had the entire summer off, for I know from an insider’s perspective the amount of planning and preparation that occurs between the last day of school and the first. Teachers have been reading for professional gain as well as pleasure and I have enjoyed weekly conversations with many of them. Students, your teachers are ready for another fantastic school year, are you?
A library card is the smartest card in your wallet, purse, or backpack. Put it at the top of your school supply list. Get yours at your local library today!