A Library Card of One’s Own and Other Ways to Inspire Reading

Library CardIt is such a simple concept, but it was not until a recent discussion with Emma Walton Hamilton, author of Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment, that it hit me: every child should have his or her own library card. I always knew this on an intellectual educator level, but on a practical parental level, I overlooked it. We love taking family trips to the library, but when we are finished selecting our books, I take them all to the counter and check them out myself.

Emma suggested that children should have their own library cards so that they can check out their own books and be responsible for returning them. So after my Emma-inspired epiphany, I took the girls to get their own library cards and it was a completely different experience for them. They loved signing the back of their own cards and took great care in selecting their books. It is a small thing that makes a big difference!

For more practical tips from Emma on inspiring reading in your home, check out my latest column, “Encouraging Children to Love Reading,” over at the East Hampton Star.


With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.


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