Students can become their own superheroes – with the help of a library card

Back to school time presents students with an overwhelming set of options to help them achieve their best. There is one simple item that helps students of all ages and capabilities accomplish goals and make them superheroes in the classroom: a library card.

Library cards not only allow patrons to use the books, magazines, music and movies available from a library’s collection, but they also provide access to computers, the internet, educational programs and reduced ticket prices to museums. In New Hampshire, a library card connects patrons to the more than 500,000 items that are shared statewide through the state library’s interLibrary loan service, so that if a student’s public library doesn’t have a particular item, it may be borrowed from a library that does.

Library cards also provide something that can’t be purchased: the expertise of librarians, who every day help students find the correct information they need while teaching them how to evaluate sources so that they can independently incorporate credible material into their assignments.

The best part? Library cards are almost always free to those living in a public library’s town or city.

Each September, the American Library Association works to make sure that students of all ages know how important library cards are through its “Library Card Sign-up Month” campaign. This year’s co-chairs are the DC Comics’ Teen Titans; posters and bookmarks featuring the Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman and other superheroes have been created to help promote the event.

“New Hampshire has arguably the strongest library traditions in the country: We established the first state library, the first library supported by public funds and the first library association, to name a few,” said State Librarian Michael York. “Our library community is extremely devoted to making sure students have access to the materials they need both to excel in school and to enhance their lives outside of the classroom.”

The New Hampshire State Library promotes excellence in libraries and library services to all New Hampshire residents, by assisting libraries and the people of New Hampshire with rapid access to library and informational resources through the development and coordination of a statewide library/information system; by meeting the informational needs of New Hampshire’s state, county and municipal governments and its libraries; and by serving as a resource for New Hampshire. For more information, go to nh.gov/nhsl.