Library Card Sign-up Month

A Library Card is ELEMENTAL!

Get in Your Element this September—sign up for a library card! From borrowing books, ebooks, and museum passes to getting homework help, learning new skills, or attending story time, a library card helps you do more of what you enjoy. Get a library card and dive into a new hobby. Use your library card to tinker in a maker space and spark your creativity. A library card is your most important school supply—it's elemental, really—and everyone should have one!

Celebrate and Spread the Word

Visit your library to see what's new and take part in the celebration. Libraries across the country are participating. Do you have friends who don't have a library card? Invite them to sign up during September.

Smiling characters Ember and Wade from Disney Pixar Elemental ride a scooter. Wade holds an Element City library card.

How Do You Library? Tell Us for the Chance to Win.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and we want to celebrate the value of libraries with all of you! Show some love to your local library on social media by sharing how you make the most of your library card.

Do you love the library’s summer reading program, storytime, or book club? Checking out DVDs, magazines, or cake pans? Do you simply enjoy getting lost in the magic of a good book?
We want to know how YOU library!

Participating is easy:

  1. Snap a pic or shoot a video showcasing how you use your library or choose a library element that best applies to you.
  2. Post to Instagram, X, or on the I Love Libraries Facebook page with the hashtag #HowILibrary.
  3. Tag your library and your friends to help spread the word!

#HowILibrary. What's your library element? Tell us for a chance to win! A library card is elemental. Depiction of things available at the library as elements of a periodic table.

What's in it for you? In addition to the gratification of supporting libraries, there’s also a chance to win great prizes.

So, let's see those book stacks, creative reading spots, and all the adventures that libraries take you on! If you don’t have a photo to share, check out the Library Elements graphics at

Join the #HowILibrary movement, and let's make this the best Library Card Sign-up Month ever!

#HowILibrary Facebook Share | #HowILibrary Instagram Share | Official rules (PDF)

Help Spread the Word

Tools to Celebrate

Full size poster and bookmarks are available at the ALA Store.

Poster:  Characters from Disney's Elemental animated movie ( Ember and Wade) happily frolicking in a bed of tulips near a river, with romantic bridge in background.  A library card from Element City in the foreground. Text: Sign up for a library card.

Library Card Sign-up Month History

The campaign started in 1987 as a response to then Secretary of Education William Bennett, who stated, “Let’s have a campaign … Every child should obtain a library card and use it.” Read a detailed account in this 2015 blog post at the American Library Association Archives, A Library Card for Every Child: Library Card Sign-Up Month, by Cara Bertram.

Contact Us:

We'd like to hear what your library has planned for Library Card Sign-up Month or answer your questions. Contact us at

Library Card Sign-up Month is made possible with support from:

Movie poster for Disney Pixar ElementalThank you to Disney and Pixar for allowing Elemental characters Ember and Wade to help spread the word about the value of a library card during Library Card Sign-up Month 2023.

Disney and Pixar’s Elemental, in theaters now, is an all-new, original feature film set in Element City, where fire-, water-, land- and air residents live together. The story introduces Ember, a tough, quick-witted and fiery young woman, whose friendship with a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade challenges her beliefs about the world they live in. Elemental is directed by Peter Sohn, produced by Denise Ream and features the voices of Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie.

Check out Elemental books available from Disney Publishing.


For 25 years OverDrive has been on a mission to provide access to compelling, easy-to-use digital materials that reach, engage, and satisfy readers. Since 2002 we have worked with ALA member libraries to invest how libraries lend eBooks and digital audiobooks. Visit to learn more.

Sora, the student reading app, is the easiest way for schools to provide ebooks and audiobooks to students.  Developed by OverDrive Education, this app supports school libraries and classroom reading as well as free access to the local public library using school credentials.  Available for iOS, Android and Chromebook.


LibbyOverDrive's free Libby app is the easiest way to get started with digital books, audiobooks, and magazines from your public library. Libby is available for Android, iOS, Windows 10, and some Chromebooks.


Library Champions logoALA Library Champions support ALA’s efforts in raising public awareness about the value of libraries and librarians.