Love Your Library Card: Sign-Up this September with SAPL

It’s September!

The kids are finally back in school, and we starting to feel like we are getting our feet under us. Right on cue: we get to move right into the thick of homework fights.

It seems that for just about every grade, there is a request from the teachers that our kids read. As parents we try to help our kids find and grow a love of reading.  Do you have a lover of mysteries, fantasy, graphic novels, or science fiction? Our school library is a great resource, and our librarian is always available to help my kids find their next favorite author. But the only real way to find new favorites, is trial and error.

If your kids are anything like mine, they are fickle creatures. The author they love today is boring and uncool tomorrow. Like most parents, this mama just doesn’t have a money tree planted in her back yard to buy an unlimited supply of books… San Antonio Public Library to the rescue!!

When I was a kid, the library was a place of magic. The aisles went on forever, and around every corner there was another story to find. Best of all, I could take as many books as I could carry because they were FREE – just as long as I promised to take care of them and return them safely in two weeks. My little yellow library card got so worn out, it cracked in half, and I had to go get another one.

the cover of a book and an orange cat in the background
Sometimes a girl needs her book and her cat at the end of a long day.

As soon as my kids could write their own names, we headed to our nearby library branch and got them their very own cards. Our closest location is Cody, and they have a great children’s section with little tables and chairs for the kids to settle in and make their choices. The staff put together themed bundles – dinosaurs, adventures, friends, sibling stories, strong girls – which are a great resource for the short attention span of kids. This enabled us to grab a theme bundle to explore and, once the kids decided they liked a certain author or type of book, we could hunt down more of the same.

two kids on a bench holding up books
Our haul from the summer reading challenge!

As the kids have gotten older, the library has opened up lots of new adventures. Each summer, the kids get to participate in the mayor’s reading challenge. Did you know your kids can get a free book every summer with this program?  Now my kids have very definite ideas about who they like, they go straight to those authors for new finds. Last time we went to the library, my son was asking questions about World War II and the tanks that were used. I walked him over to non-fiction and we moved our way through the Dewey decimal system to the area he was looking for. I left him happily sitting on the floor pulling books off the shelf.

For myself, I love using the library to access ebooks. During Covid, when we were all trapped in our houses, SAPL definitely upped their game and vastly expanded their ebook collection. They have continued to do so, and it’s now very rare that I find a book that does not have a ebook option. What’s more, if they don’t have a book, a quick click in my SAPL app allows me to request that they get it.

The San Antonio mayor has signed a mayoral proclamation declaring September to be Library Card Sign-Up Month, and has urged all residents to visit one of the 30 local branches to sign up for a free library card. Library cards are one of the last truly free forms of entertainment left for us to enjoy. To get your library card, all you need is your photo ID and something showing your address in Bexar County (electric bill, water bill, etc). It’s quick, simple, and free. Adventure awaits!

Shanti is the product of recovering hippie parents. She’s a lifelong Texan, born in El Paso, with stops in Lubbock and Austin for college, before settling in San Antonio. She met her husband when she was 18. They both married and divorced other people before they realized it was meant to be. She now owns a firm with her partner in crime and together they practice family law in San Antonio and the surrounding area. Her husband works for a multi-national company making sure the cold stuff stays cold at your local HEB. They are raising twin tornadoes affectionately known as the Aliens, along with a rotating menagerie of dogs and cats. In her free time, she is involved in local nonprofits, runs, and serves proudly on the Broad Board.