September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month and Madison Public Library is celebrating with a number of activities and celebrations throughout the month.
Why do we celebrate?
Library Card Sign-Up Month is a national campaign to emphasize the importance of library cards to a child’s education and to combat illiteracy. The campaign first started in 1987 as a response to then Secretary of Education, William Bennett, who stated: “Let’s have a campaign … Every child should obtain a library card and use it.” On August 27, 2021, Governor Tony Evers made a proclamation in recognition of Library Card Sign-up Month this September.
Library locations expanded hours to full service on Tuesday, September 7, offering more flexibility and additional times for people to come into the library and get a new card or renew their old one. A library card from Madison Public Library provides access to thousands of physical and digital books, online databases, DVDs, CDs, records and more.
“We want everyone to take advantage of Madison’s wonderful libraries,” said Greg Mickells, Library Director. “Libraries have something for everyone, and are important centers for community activity, from voting to computer use to engaging with others through art, events, or visiting a library.”
Madison Public Library has been promoting literacy this year through a partnership with Forward Madison FC. The library’s Dream Bus has been attending select Forward Madison FC home games to share library materials, celebrate We Read and get people signed up for library cards. Soccer fans will have an opportunity to get signed up for a library card inside the stadium during the game on September 11 or at the Dream Bus before the game from 5-7 p.m. Large library cards will be available for selfies and a green screen photobooth will be up featuring the We Read in a Flock image. Share your selfies using #WeReadinAFlock on social media!
“We are focused on investing in our community and we see supporting Library Card Sign-Up Month as a way to do that,” said Connor Tobin, the Community Engagement Manager at Forward Madison FC. “When people are empowered and given resources that allow them to grow and learn, that benefits everyone in the community. It goes beyond just supporting literacy for us.”
How Can I Sign Up?
Madison Public Library will be attending numerous community events to help sign people up for library cards this month, including:
- Forward Madison FC Game | September 11 | Breese Stevens Field, starting at 5 p.m. at the Dream Bus outside and continuing through halftime.
- Madison Night Market | September 16 | Downtown Madison
- Educator Open House | September 18 | Pinney Library, 2-4 p.m.
- Live Well @ Your Library | September 19 | Central Library, 1-4:30 p.m.
- Anytime at any Madison Public Library location and on the Dream Bus | Various locations
- Anytime online at madpl.org/apply
While libraries were closed for the pandemic, Madison Public Library created some new ways to apply for a library card. Madison residents can now apply for a library card online and kids who attend Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) schools can apply for their own library card for the first time using just their student ID online. (Applications for the student card are limited to online, as information is verified by MMSD and then sent to students in the mail.)
“We are incredibly excited to have this collaboration with the Madison Metropolitan School District. Being able to apply with just your student ID and being fine free eliminates many of the barriers for youth in terms of being able to access the public library independently,” said Rebecca Millerjohn, the Youth Services Librarian who helped facilitate this new library card option.
Take A Shelfie!
During Library Card Sign-Up Month, large library cards will be available at each library location, as well as the Dream Bus, for new and first-time card holders to take photos with. Celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month and share your photos online using the hashtag #WeReadMadison and tagging @MadisonPublicLibrary on Instagram and Facebook or @MadisonLibrary on Twitter!
Visit madpl.org/apply to apply for a library card online.