September is Library Card Sign-Up Month! The goal is for every child to sign-up for their own library card. I believe they are referring to a public library card. But, how does this work at your school library?
So, why is this important? Think back to your childhood. Did you have a public library card? How did that impact you? For me, it made me feel “big”. Having a library card made me feel like I was old enough to do important things like checkout books and bring them back on my next visit. It made me feel connected to my community because I could visit the library and see advertisements for things that were of interest to me. It might have been a poetry contest or even an upcoming fireworks show. My public library made me feel special and important.
Your students can have a similar experience. In our modern times, families don’t always visit the public library in person. Many have e-cards where they can check out ebooks, audio books, and access other digital resources. Some public libraries even have objects that can be checked out like wifi devices! Did you hear my interview with Romeo Rosales? He’s a public librarian and is doing awesome things in partnership with his local school districts. Your public library may be the bridge to services your students and their families need during hybrid and/or remote learning.
I have seen where districts invite the public librarians to visit and register students and their families during events like Open House. I have seen a high school invite the public library to visit with every freshman so they could sign up and access the additional resources found at the public library vs the school library.
So, let’s start promoting Library Card Sign-Up Month now! You need to have a link to your public library on your school library website. You also need to have your own collection in tip top shape so your students will know what you have vs what they will need to get from the public library.
I invite you to join me this month in analyzing your collection. A good collection analysis will provide reports and data to help you make decisions to strengthen your collection overall. The collection analysis will give you a breakdown by Dewey and by age, just to name a few things. These reports will help you make purchase decisions and help you make weeding decisions.
I invite you to make an account with your favorite book vendor and upload your MARC records to get a free collection analysis. If you do not have a vendor who will do this for free, make an account at Perma Bound and then visit the Collection Analysis page. There are some steps you need to do, like export your MARC records so you can upload them to their site. They have directions to help you do this. (Disclosure: I am a Perma Bound rep in South Texas and can help those districts directly.)
If any of you take me up on this challenge, I invite you to enter a drawing where 10 winners will earn a Color Collection (value $65) from my online store. It includes the color option you choose for: the program planner, handbook organizer, daily planner, weekly planner, and monthly planner. The contest closes at 11:59 PM CST on September 30, 2020.
Did you meet Nicole Cruz this week? She has some fabulous advice for all librarians as you get the new school year started.
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