September and October are great months to celebrate the legacy of the past and the promise of our library’s future. Bring your youngster in to get a library card (or get one yourself), pick up some Bookmark Design Contest entry forms (or download them here), and remember how much there is to love about the library…
September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, when we promote library card ownership to everyone, especially kids. Receiving a first library card is a special experience: it’s a first engagement with civic life, it’s having something to keep in your pocket, and it’s a wee bit of autonomy for young readers whose lives are otherwise kept under close control. Cardholders can use the self check-out machine all by themselves, request materials from other libraries, and access all of our electronic resources, including databases, online tutoring, and ebooks.
When can a child get a library card? A child must to be able to write his or her first and last name and have a parent or legal guardian with identification (or a library card) present to sign the application. At the Mill Valley Library, we believe that getting your own library card makes sense if a child is old enough to have an inkling of what it means to have one. Children who receive their first cards at the Mill Valley Library pose for a celebratory photo and receive a free book in honor of the occasion. Photo bookmarks of all new library cardholders are then posted on our My First Library Card wall for the month. Library cards for both adults and children can be applied for online or at the library.
As if that’s not enough: September is also time for our annual Bookmark Design Contest, in which kids are invited to create original designs that celebrate books, reading, or the library – or all three. The Grand Re-Opening of the library in 1998, with its spectacular Children’s Room, was the occasion of our first-ever kids’ bookmark design contest and has now become one of our most popular annual events. Kids up to age12 can submit as many entries as they want before the deadline on October 31 at 9:00 p.m. Librarians will choose the top 30 designs which library patrons can view and vote on. The top five designs will be printed in December and given away for free to all who visit the library – some winners from previous years are shown here!