A library card is your child’s most important school supply

Zoe Bedgood shows off her library card in 2007 at the Maple Falls Library, which is now known as the North Fork Community Library.
Zoe Bedgood shows off her library card in 2007 at the Maple Falls Library, which is now known as the North Fork Community Library. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

As summer comes to a close, swimsuits and flip-flops make way for school attire, and beaches and parks make way for classrooms. And while none of us like to say goodbye to the long, lazy days of summer, there is something special about the new beginnings that each school year brings: new teachers, new friendships and new school supplies.

This year, add a library card to your list of supplies. It’s the most important school supply your child can own.

Studies show that kids who read at home and use the library do better in school.

Library cards are free, easy to get, and give you access to more than you can imagine.

You get all the resources you’d expect to find; books, magazines and online resources on any subject that your child might study in school, along with magazines and educational movies to enhance their learning.

Need a computer, Internet, and word-processing?

They’re available at all of our libraries. Need help with homework or research? Ask a librarian!

Can’t make it to the library? As much as we love seeing you, we understand that you are busy and we’ve got you covered. The library is never closed online at www.wcls.org.

Get homework help anytime on our kids’ page www.wcls.org/kids-page, including live homework help from HelpNow, available from 1 to 10 p.m., seven days a week for grades 1-12.

Whether you have a little one starting preschool or kindergarten, or an older child entering a new grade, there’s always first-day jitters.

Try these titles for your kids:

Picture Books

“Bob and Flo” by Rebecca Ashdown

Flo is excited and ready for her first day of preschool. She has a new pink bow and her lunch in a bucket. She was having a lot of fun trying new things, when she realized that she lost her lunch bucket! But Flo solves the mystery with the help of her new friend, Bob. These two adorable penguins are sure to help with first-day jitters.

“Monkey Not Ready for Kindergarten” by Marc Brown

Kindergarten starts soon, but Monkey is not ready. What if he can’t find the bathroom? What if they have peas for snacks? Monkey is overwhelmed by all the thoughts running through his head. But when he gets a new lunch box and backpack, and when his family and friends tell him all the fun things he will do, Monkey is ready for the big day.

“Dad’s First Day” by Mike Wohnoutka

Dad and Oliver have spent the whole summer together, and when it’s time for Oliver to go to school, dad’s not ready! He’s nervous, his tummy hurts, and he wants to stay home. Oliver, however, is excited about his first day. This comic exaggeration is a great way to address a child’s anxiety about the first day of school.

Young Readers

Middle-grade readers can start reading now for the voting for 2016 Sasquatch award nominees.

“Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures” by Kate Dicamillo (YRCA nominee)

The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but lucky for him Flora Belle Buckman was there to step in and save him. What neither of them could have predicted is that the accident forever changed Ulysses (the squirrel) by giving him powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry, and that Flora would change too by gaining a renewed sense of hope.

“The 14 Fibs of Gregory K” by Greg Pincus (Sasquatch nominee)

Gregory K is the middle child in a family full of mathematical geniuses. Does that mean that Gregory is good at math? It most certainly does not! His strengths lie in writing and he wants to go to author camp. But in order to get his parent’s permission, he has to pass math class. To make matters worse, he’s been telling his parents he loves math, his teacher that he’s entered a math competition, and his friend that he’s going to author camp, and at the moment none of these are true.

Tammy LaPlante the Whatcom County Library System’s youth services specialist.