ALBANY, N.Y. – The Albany Public Library has joined forces with the city and school district to enact new literacy initiatives aimed at increasing children’s access to the library and emphasizing the importance of reading.
Beginning with Friday’s event, free children’s and young adult books will be available in the City Hall Rotunda while supplies last.
The library has an annual Summer Reading Program, which is designed to encourage children and teens to continue to read, and engage in other educational pursuits, during the summer.
The program, which runs from June 28 through Aug. 16, rewards children for their reading and participation in mind-enriching activities.
A new library card for children, called MyCard, that allows city children to get a card on their own and use it to borrow up to three items at a time without late fees was also announced.
“Amazing cause you don’t have to watch out for fees, and you dont have to come up with a lot of money,” said 12-year old library patron Nyzair Sheldon.
MyCard also gives users access to the library’s free public computers and to digital materials, like eBooks and eMagazines, which are available for free from the library’s website.
“The benefit of MyCard is that youngsters can come into the library on their own and get a card that lets them borrow up to three items at a time, and have the freedom to take as long as they need to read those books without racking up late fees,” said Albany Public Library Assistant Director Melanie Metzger. “Once done with a book, a MyCard user can return it to the library and borrow another one. This new card gives children and teens an opportunity to explore the library, and the world of reading, on their own.”
As part of the MyCard rollout, which begins on June 27, Albany Public Library is waiving late fees on all current children’s cards. This one-time waiver will put current children’s cardholders on the same level playing field as new MyCard cardholders.
The library hopes the card will encourage more kids to spend their summer reading at the library.
“We were seeing a hole in a service, for hitting the kids in the community, we were finding a lot of kids were coming to the library, but their parents weren’t able to make it in to sign them up for a library card or they had multiple fines on their card, because kids are kids and they return things late,” said Metzger.