From left, Christopher Barrera, 10, Hernan Llerena, and Christine Barrera, 10, of Galloway Township flaunt their library cards.

As the school year quickly approaches, the best school supply to have in any child’s bookbag is a library card. During the  month of September, the Atlantic County Library system is joining a national effort to ensure every child has their own library card. Although September is Library Card Sign-Up Month at the Atlantic County Library System, the benefits of having a library card are available the all 12 months of the year, especially during the school year.

Throughout the school year, public librarians and library staff will assist parents and caregivers educational resources and services for students. Libraries are vital to the home schooling community as well. Beyond books, there are many other library resources to add to the home schooling toolbox,including access to STEAM programs/activities, educational apps, in-person and virtual homework help, technology workshops and the expertise of librarians. A library card is one of the most cost-effective back-to-school supplies available, regardless of your educational setting.

This September, Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” characters, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep and friends, are joining the American Library Association to promote the importance of a library card. In their new role as library chairs, they will remind the public that signing up for a library card opens a world of infinite possibilities.

The Atlantic County Library System knows library cards help bring great stories to life. From borrowing books, magazines, audio books or movies, to enjoying story time or group play, there’s no end to the exciting activities you can access with a library card. It is the library system’s mission to offer informational and recreational materials that educate, enlighten, and enrich the lives of area residents.

The library system includes nine branches located throughout Atlantic County. In addition, the library offers a Books By Mail service and participates in the Interlibrary Loan program. There is no minimum age to have a library card. Children 13 and under must have the permission of a parent or legal guardian, showing current form of ID and proof of Atlantic County residency.

To find a location nearest you, visit the Atlantic County Library System at, and find out more about the American Library Association at

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.