I'm lucky. I grew up in a household that believed in the importance of reading every day. Our mother, a teacher for nearly four decades, instilled in us how books can enrich our lives. We went to the library often, participating in reading programs like "Book It" and "Accelerated Reader". We got lost in the seemingly endless aisles and stacks of books.
Not only was reading an institution in our home but it was also stressed at our elementary school. The local public library partnered with our school to help sign up kids for library cards and get students engaged with reading. Having the library work side by side with our school created a feeling of familiarity. It made the library a part of our everyday life. Borrowing books wasn't a unique experience but rather something that was a part of our routine.
Many libraries and schools still partner this way but if you aren't doing so, now is the perfect time to start. Back to school time is a great "excuse" to introduce students to the library and with access to your digital collection it's never been easier for them to access titles for required reading, source materials for papers or, of course, for enjoyment!
Many students aren't as lucky as I was. They may not have a strong influence in their household guiding them to the library. By joining forces with local schools you can help be that driving force. Working with your community schools provides the students greater access to vital resources and it also creates a brand new group of users for you. It's a win-win. September is Library Card Sign Up Month and a free library card is the most important back-to-school supply. What better time to introduce young readers to everything you have to offer. You never know, you might be the one thing that makes today a young student's lucky day.
Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive