The Cheapest Way To Keep Your Kids Out Of Your Hair

library cardWhen you spend the day writing about stuff like this, it takes a lot to horrify you.

But when someone asked me how much it would cost to get her kid a library card, I was horrified.

If there's anything every American child should know, it's the wondrous world that is the library.

And chief among its wonders is the price.

Abso-frickin-lutely free.

You know what they say about the best things in life . . .


That there are kids out there NOT using the library makes me cringe. I started my daughter off with story hour when she was just a baby (Mother Goose hour made specifically for the youngest kids), then transitioned her to taking out books on my card by the time she was old enough not to chew on them.

Then this summer came the moment I'd been working toward since she came out of my stomach.

She was finally 5, and officially eligible for her first library card.

I'm still smacking myself for not getting a picture of the moment. On a scale of childhood milestones, it ranks an 8 or 9 for me.

Forgive me, but decades later I still remember my first library card number -- J4149 -- and can still find it in my messy child's print on the rear page of many a book in our town library. The "J" stood for "junior," like the driver's permit before they let you take to the open road alone.

And I took to the road like a NASCAR driver. It's that library card I credit with my job today, and the pile of books that continues to grow on my bedside table because I never don't have a book going.

Turns out September is National Get Your Lazy Butt to the Library and Get Your Kid a Card Month (OK, that's just my name for it --the American Library Association decided they'd prefer to attract flies with sugar).

Come on, there's no time like the present to get the kids out of your hair -- and stick their noses in a book.


Image via MGShelton/Flickr

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