One of the most valuable cards you can own, especially in today's economy, is a public library card. This applies to both young and old. Parents can help their child succeed in school this year by making sure they have a library card. Students with a library card have free access to thousands of resources at their fingertips.
September is National Library Card Month. Parents can celebrate by bringing their children into one of the Public Libraries of Warren County to get a card. Those under the age of 18 do need to have a parent or guardian's signature on the application card. While obtaining a card at the Warren Public Library (WPL) parents may also want to sign the Internet Permission Form. All libraries have different Internet policies. At the WPL those under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the permission form before utilizing the public computers. Once the form is signed, the information goes on the child's card. Anytime a child wants to utilize an Internet computer they must have their card scanned at the main desk. Once staff sees that the child has permission to use the Internet, a computer will be assigned. Students 14 and under use the computers in the Children's Department; students 15 and older utilize the computers in the Adult area. In the Children's Department the Internet computers may be used for research or for gaming. Many students come into the library after school to use the computers.
Children of any age are able to obtain a library card as long as a parent or guardian signs for them. This library card will open so many doors as they explore and experience books, audio books, movies and library programs through the years. Many youngsters have learned to use their public library for both school assignments as well as for entertainment purposes. Despite all of the electronic gadgets out there, there are still many who like to get lost in a book.
Throughout the school year many students seek and read titles from their respective schools' Accelerated Reader (AR) lists. Some of these AR books can be found at the public library. Each school year the WPL Children's Department obtains current AR lists from area schools. These lists are kept in marked binders behind the Children's staff desk. The public is welcome to look through these at any time.
Teachers can celebrate National Library Card Month by calling and arranging for a tour of their closest public library. They might also arrange for the public librarian to come to the school to promote library services and/or read a story to the class. Students should know that they have access to both school and public libraries. Both types of libraries exist to serve children and those who work with children.
In the early stages of the 2009-2010 school year parents, teachers and students can review and strengthen skills by checking out the many resources at the library. The WPL Children's Department currently has some school-related books on display throughout the department. Fun stories about friendship, missing mother and what to expect at school abound. Examples include: Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee; Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes; The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Sing; I am Absolutely too Small for School by Lauren Childs; The Sunday Blues: a Book for Schoolchildren, Schoolteachers, and Anybody Else who Dreads Monday Mornings by Neal Layton.
Young students who need to review their letters and numbers can do so with the numerous alphabet and counting books located in the picture book area. Jane Belk Moncure's Sound Box books have an entire book dedicated to each letter of the alphabet. These Sound Box books are popular with those who work with young children. Jim Aylesworth's One Crow: a Counting Rhyme uses the concepts of rhyming and seasons to teach numbers one through ten.
Examples of the newer chapter books for second through fifth graders that deal with school situations are: Anything But Typical by Nora Baskin; Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur; The Red Blazer Girls by Michael Beil; NoTalking by Andrew Clements; The Talented Clementine by Sara Pennypacker; Lenny's Space by Kate Banks; The Dodgeball Chronicles by Frank Cammuso. Some of these books are humorous while others deal with realistic situations such as autism and attention deficit disorder.
Don't forget to take advantage of the movies in the WPL Children's Department. There are wide ranges of movies that deal with school. Some fun stories on DVD are: Crazy Hair Day; Emily's First 100 Days of School; Arthur's Best School Days; First Day Jitters, Last Day Blues; Eloise Goes to School; Chrysanthemum. These movies are considered fiction and are shelved by the title of the movie. Nonfiction movies are shelved according to the Dewey Decimal system. These school-related movies are followed by their respective Dewey numbers: The Story of Ruby Bridges 370.19 Coles; The Cave Painter of Lascaux 930.1 Cave; Happy, Healthy, Ready for School 649.68 Sesame; You're Rude, Dude 395.1 You're.
The Magic School Bus series is very popular with the children. They enjoy the zany Ms. Frizzle who engages both her children and yours each time she departs on specific field trips on her Magic School Bus. The Magic School Bus videos and DVD's cover a variety of science topics such as insects, rain forests, plants, chemistry, energy space and dinosaurs.
For those who already own a library card, use it as often as possible. Take advantage of all the free resources. Parents and teachers should teach the value of libraries to their children and encourage them to become active members of this valuable community center. Those coming into the library for the first time to get a card need to be sure to have a photo ID that shows you are a Warren County resident. Children obviously do not need an ID, but the adults signing for them should have one.