September Is Library Card Sign-up Month! - National Council of Teachers of English
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September Is Library Card Sign-up Month!

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the American Library Association and libraries unite in a national effort to ensure every child signs-up for their own library card. This initiative got its start when then Secretary of Education William Bennett stated, “Let’s have a campaign . . . Every child should obtain a library card and use it.”

Read more about this story and the history of Library Card Sign-up Month in this blog post from the American Library Association, “A Library Card for Every Child: Library Card Sign-Up Month,” by Cara Bertram.

Looking for some library-based activities? Visit these teaching ideas from


Dear Librarian: Writing a Persuasive Letter

Students write persuasive letters to their librarian requesting that specific texts be added to the school library. As they work, students plan their arguments and outline their reasons and examples.

Exploring the Library

Plan a visit to a library to discover more about this magical place.

Promoting Diversity in the Classroom and School Library through Social Action

Students explore the effects of stereotypes by analyzing children’s books. Then they create bookmarks that encourage readers to question the assumptions of stereotyped books and to seek out matching, balanced texts.

A World of Readers: Libraries around the World

Treat your bookworms to an enjoyable lesson researching and sharing information about online library services in places around the world.

Did you know that you can also get a free library card to the Library of Congress? Learn more from the nation’s library. I have one and carry it with me every day!

A library card is one of the most cost effective back to school supplies available. Do you have yours?


Curious about the NCTE and Library of Congress connection? Through a grant announced recently by NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE is engaged in new ongoing work with the Library of Congress, and “will connect the ELA community with the Library of Congress to expand the use of primary sources in teaching.” Stay tuned for more throughout the year!

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