“Libraries are community treasure chests, loaded with a wealth of information available to everyone equally, and the key to that treasure chest is the library card. I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card.<em> ~ First Lady Laura Bush
As many of us were growing up there was an incredibly important part of our school going kit, and that was the Library Card. With our library cards, we were able to pursue the answers to questions that may elude our time in school, we could learn how to construct things that interested us, or just find a new favorite story to fall into. Library Card Sign-Up Month was established to encourage every generation to dive into the wonders of the library by signing up for their own library card.
History of Library Card Sign-Up Month
In order to pursue the history of this celebration we have to dig back into history and find the roots of the library, and in turn, the library card. Our first example of what we would consider a library can be found in 2600BC when they were essentially massive archives of inch-thick clay tablets inscribed with one of the first forms of writing, cuneiform. In these archives, the tablets were stored much like our modern books, complete with a description of their contents inscribed upon the side. In Egypt, we’d find papyrus being used that contained temple and government records, and in these times both public and private archives were found.
One of the greatest libraries of all time was the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, which functioned as both a storehouse of knowledge and a place of great scholarship until it was burned in 30 BC during the Roman conquest. This library also had one of the first organizational systems found. As the years moved on libraries were a part of every great culture, and in the modern world, they still serve an important role, with library cards tracking what we check out, when it should be returned, and when it’s returned.
How to Celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month
Celebrating Library Card Sign-Up Month is simple! Just go out and get yourself a library card. If you have children who have yet to experience the wonders of the library then this is the perfect opportunity to get them out and get them their first library card! There’s nothing like a library to help inspire the mind and prepare us for the world ahead!