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News from the Superintendent

Posted: March 29, 2019

Library Cards

In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy talks about a program that is working to put library cards in the hands of APS third graders.

I am so appreciative of all of our community partners, but one that is especially near and dear to my heart is the public library.

I was at Coronado Elementary School recently when representatives of the Public Library of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County provided every student with a library card (or a reminder that they already have one).

This was part of a program that began a year and a half ago under the guidance of our own Library Director Rachel Altobelli to provide library cards to third graders across the district. So far, nearly 2,000 students at 18 schools have benefited from the program. While the program normally targets third graders, it was extended to all students at Coronado after a busted water pipe during a cold spell flooded the school’s library. 

As I presented my own black and red library card to the crowd, I told students and staff how special the public library was to me as a child. We didn’t have a library in our school, so it wasn’t until my mother took me to the city library that I realized what a wonderment it truly was – all of those books stacked floor to ceiling about all of those people, places, and things. It was a palace!

Like the students at Coronado and hundreds of third graders across the district, I got my first library card at a young age, though mine was paper, not plastic, and it didn’t have a bar code that could be scanned.

I am grateful to Albuquerque and Bernalillo County residents who willingly dedicate a small portion of their taxes to the public library, a place where children of all ages can learn or escape, explore and dream. Even in this computer age, we should teach our children the value of books. To this day, I can’t go to sleep until I read a chapter.

I reminded the students at Coronado that they will have lots of cards in their lives – driver’s licenses, social security cards, credit cards, discount cards. But the value of a library card is unique. There’s nothing like it, and I am so pleased that the good people at the public library are working with the good people on our staff and in our schools to get those special cards in the hands of our students.

If you haven’t been to the library recently, I encourage you to visit “the palace.” And if you don’t have a library card, get one. There’s no better way to escape the craziness of daily life than between the covers of a good book.