Raising kids? Top 5 reasons you need your library

Know someone without a card? September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month. Help us spread the word about all the great things libraries have to offer! Learn more about getting and using your card »

Stacks of books and child

#1: You get to say yes more

No late fines and automatic renewals? Go ahead, get all the books, music, and movies you can carry—and then some. With each library card, you can check out up to 200 items at a time, including:

  • More than 50 Discovery Kits with play-and-learn activities that encourage kids to explore nature, make art, practice coding, and even learn to play the ukulele
  • More than 35 American Girl Dolls, each with their own journals, books, and accessories (and without an expensive price tag)
  • Offers and discounts to kid-friendly destinations, including the Bronzeville Children’s Museum and The Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn

Also with your library card, stream quality shows and movies—curated for ages 2-8—from Kanopy Kids

Homework Hub

#2: A library card is one of the most important school supplies

Studies show that kids who are read to at home and who use the library perform better in school—and they’re more likely to use libraries as a source of lifelong learning. That’s why we partner with Oak Park Elementary School District 97 to make signing up for a library card part of the school registration process.

Here are a few ways a library card is useful for kids in school:

Dedicated space for homework help. The Homework Hub, a dedicated study room for students in grades K-6 on the Main Library’s first floor, is stocked with supplies like workbooks, calculators, wipe boards, and an ADA-accessible computer installed with educational and disability access software. To reserve up to two hours a day, once a week, call us at 708.452.3420.

Online resources that help with school assignments. Access subscription-based, kid-focused digital resources like AtoZ World Culture, Mango Languages, and ScienceFlix anywhere, anytime. They’re designed to make learning more interactive, more visual, and more fun! Find them in our recently refreshed online Homework Help section.

Devices to get the work done. Check out a mobile hotspot to connect your WiFi-enabled devices to the internet, and borrow iPads, Chromebooks, DVD players, and laptops for use in the library. Learn more about tech access for different ages »

Baby's library card

#3: It’s never too early

Did you know all Oak Park residents, even babies, can get their own library card?

And it’s never too early to participate in our early literacy programs. We share books, songs, stories, words, rhymes, sounds, and play, giving little ones the building blocks they need to learn how to read later.

Most don’t require a library card, and all are free:

Learn more about our research-based early literacy programs »

Family at eclipse

#4: There’s a whole big world to explore together

STEAM programming all year. Since 2017, we’ve celebrated a solar eclipse in Scoville Park, partnered with District 97 to offer Code Fest, launched a Girls Who Code club, and conducted experiments with kids and families led by our STEM Investigator teen summer volunteers. Programs this fall include:

  • Nature exploration for babies and toddlers and children with disabilities
  • Launch of our new accessible sensory garden at Maze Branch
  • Programming play with Code Play Learn
  • Maker labs for kids in grades 6-12 to tinker with creative technologies, including a 3D printer and sewing machines

Multicultural learning with artifacts from around the world. Cultural artifacts are engaging and hands-on tools for learning about a culture in new and different ways. With your library card, you can check out objects from around the world at Dole Branch. Learn more about the Multicultural Collection and related programming »

Language learning and more with digital collections. Practice languages with your library card, using the online tools Mango and Muzzy, and dive into the curated Global Studies and Languages collection from Kanopy Kids.

Family Workshop: Digital Global Citizens

#5: Quality family time, solved

Family workshops throughout the year. This fall, spend quality time together while getting resources and support in our Social-Emotional Learning and Race Conscious Readers series.

Space to be together. Amid all the events and programming we offer, like storytimes, workshops, and concerts, we offer spaces for everyone to come together—for unstructured play, to meet other kids and caregivers, and to simply get out of the house.

Books, movies, music, and more at home. And, of course, where else can you find so many free resources to have family fun at home? Don’t forget, with your library card you can check out up to 200 items at a time. With automatic renewals and no more late fines, plus endless free streaming options, a library card is one of the easiest, most economical ways to bring the whole family together.