As students prepare to head back to school, there is one essential school supply that requires no shopping and doesn’t cost a penny – it’s a library card.
This September, the Natchitoches Parish Library (NPL) is joining with the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide for Library Card Sign-up Month, to encourage parents, caregivers and students to obtain a free library card that will save them money while reaping rewards in academic achievement and lifelong learning.
Whether it’s providing free access to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) programs, educational apps, in-person and virtual homework help or technology workshops, a library card is one of the most cost effective back-to-school supplies. Resources at the NPL are available to anyone with a library card. This includes programming dedicated to children, teens, and adults. Maybe you have seen a few of the NPL’s offerings? With computer classes, art workshops, live musical performances, fitness programs, an anime club, and outdoor movies, there is something for someone of any interest!
Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children. Studies show children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.
“Throughout the school year, our library offers a variety of programs to stimulate an interest in reading and learning and we continue offerings into the summer to reduce the chances of a ‘summer slide’ while children are out of school,” says Alan Niette, Community Outreach Coordinator. “Weekly story times expose young children to the joy of reading and encourage school readiness, while older children have access to technology and digital tools such as our children’s computer lab and preloaded Launchpad learning tablets, and the help from library staff to use those resources.”
This year, Disney’s the Incredibles are Library Card Sign-up Month honorary chairs, helping to promote the value of a library card and bring attention to the many ways libraries and librarians transform lives and communities through education. During September, the NPL will be out in the community to promote its services to prospective patrons. The NPL will also be offering free library card replacements all month long for those who have lost or well-worn cards.
Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the ALA and libraries unite together in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card. For more information about how to sign up for a library card, visit please the Natchitoches Parish Library in person or online at natlib.org.