A Must-Have for Newborns: A Library Card

KDL Day of ServiceEight volunteers from Grand Rapids legal firm Miller Johnson visited the KDL Service Center on January 21 and put together 1,000 KDL “Play-Grow-Read to Your Baby” bags, which will be distributed to new moms in Kent County through a partnership with First Steps Kent. The bags are paid for through donations from Huntington Bank, the Blodgett Foundation and individual donors.

KDL is thrilled to have community partners who recognize how crucial early literacy is to lifelong literacy.

The findings of a recent public opinion study showed that most people in Michigan think the state should invest more in early childhood education. Governor Rick Snyder, in his State of the State speech on January 16, called for “a major budget commitment” to early childhood education.

Literacy development begins in the first three years of life, and even babies as young as six weeks old are developmentally ready to begin early literacy activities.

A few KDL programs that target early literacy: Early Childhood Essentials programs aimed at giving parents and childcare providers tools for success, a monthly Early Lit Bits eNewsletter packed with practical literacy advice and Babytime storytimes aimed at encouraging children’s love for reading and imagination at a time when their brains experience such crucial development. And KDLville play spaces in all our branches do not have a minimum age restriction.

It’s never too early for a library card.


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Written by Lance Werner

Lance Werner

Lance Werner is the director of Kent District Library, the state’s second largest public library system. Before coming to KDL, he served as director of the Capital Area District Library in Lansing, and as Library Law Specialist at the Library of Michigan. He lives in Rockford, Michigan with his wife and four children.

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2 Responses to “A Must-Have for Newborns: A Library Card”

  1. Miranda Says:

    This is great. Both of my sons have had library cards since they were a month old. People have actually laughed at me for this. In fact, in the case of my older son I was told to wait until he could right his own name. But I insisted. From a purely practical standpoint, it keeps the kids books organized and seperate from mine and my husband’s library books.

  2. Lance Werner Says:

    Dear Miranda:

    Thanks for your post and for setting an example of the importance of obtaining a library card for your newborn. Not only does having a card allow you to keep items organized, as you so rightly point out, but it is a great first step in growing your child into a life-long library user. A library card is the key to a magical world of story, ideas, and imagination. I can’t think of a more worthy gift to bestow upon a child. Thank you for giving this gift to your children and for spreading the word to other parents.

    Best regards,

    Lance Werner