When do you give your child a library card?

I have taken my daughter to the library since she was an infant. Most of my 25-book limit comes from her books. She is now 5 and is finishing up K4. Now that she can write her first and last name, I’m thinking about letting her have a library card of her own (I would keep it in my wallet, but she will be able to use it.). I want her to realize that this is a privilege with responsibilities. What are some guidelines that you use and at what age did you let your children get a card?

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My husband’s rule for our children has always been that when they can neatly write their name in cursive, they can get a library card. My daughter, Emma, was all proud of herself for perfecting her cursive signature last year(age 8), so I took her to get her own card. The librarian made a huge point of telling my daughter to make sure to write her name in print, not cursive. Haha. Needless to say, Emma was a little disappointed that she couldn’t sign in cursive! Anyway, I think we will still use that as an incentive for our other children. It gives them something to work towards.

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We don’t have a rule or guideline about when the kids can get the cards. The library allows the kids to get cards when they are 5 - as soon as they each turned 5, they got cards (I keep them in my wallet). If they were allowed to get them sooner, I would have let them. The library also gives out the little tiny keychain cards - I gave each of my kids their own - they each made a necklace and put their little library card on it. We keep them in the car - sometimes they remember to bring them in, other times they don’t. Our library charges .10 when a book is late. We typically have an average of about 75 books out each week between all of our cards. The rule is if it is my fault books are late (because I don’t get us to the library on time or I don’t renew online) then I pay the late fees, BUT if the kids temporarily misplace a book and it ends up late, then THEY have to pay the fine. It’s worked fine… we’ve all had to pay from time to time. :smile:


Our kids all have a library card as well. They love it! Like triton17 we make them pay their fines as well. Helps teach responsibility because only fines they have had is a lost/damaged book. I think they only have had to pay 1 each. :wink:

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Our library allows the children to get a card when they turn 6. I was thrilled when that day came for my daughter because she always takes out so many books which limited the number I could take out for homeschool. (You can only take 20 books per card.). Our rules are you have to be able to carry the books in your bag on your own and they must all go right back into the bag after reading (to avoid misplacing them.). We haven’t had her pay any fines yet because up to this point, the lateness has ALWAYS been my fault. For someone who likes to read a lot, I’m awful at getting us to the library enough!:blush:


My son was 6 when he got his card. I don’t know when the library allows them here nor do we have any reason for waiting. The only rules we have are that he respects the books and doesn’t take them anywhere other than the grandparents’ houses. If he ever loses one or damages a book he will have to pay for it but he is great at remembering when they are due and helping me to remember as well.

Our library has a children’s card program, they can only check out books from the children’s section and since we live out side the city it would have cost money to get me a card but the children’s was free. So my girls had cards as toddlers but their cards stayed in my purse until they started carrying bags of their own.

5 years old :slight_smile: Daughter has a library bag with a wallet in there to put library card in! Stays in there…her responsibility :slight_smile: Whatever she can fit & carry on her own is what she can check out! 50 books is our library limit!! Praise God she can’t fit 50 :slight_smile: No fees for kids books…Praise God for that too!!! :wink: She keeps books in bag or her nightstand :slight_smile: We also have a spot in our TV unit that kids can put library books!

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@HSintheCity - no fees for kids books?!?!?! I want your library!!! :smile:

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My older two got theirs right before kindergarten when they turned five and could write their own name without help. My third got his at 4 1/2 because he really wanted it and learned to write his name by himself in four days to get it.
The youngest wants his now but I am sticking with the rule of being able to write his own name. He’s not interested (only 2) so he’ll get it when he is ready.
I do limit my kids to 4 books each when we go each week. But that still totals 16 books on top of what I take out. It turns out to be plenty.

Our library doesn’t charge late fees! So everyone in the family that wants a card has a card. That way my husband and I can check out as many books as we like for ourselves, and the kids can as well. Everyone’s happy. We also have ebook check out through overdrive (limit of 7 books at a time and 4 holds) with our library accounts. Having our own account numbers really helps. If we were to share, someone would be stuck without a book.

Mine were pretty young, not sure the age. You can check out more books if they each have a card! I didn’t make rules tied with the card, but DID make rules about where to keep the library books–otherwise it was not pretty when we looked for all our books to take back!

At our library children have to have a card to participate in any program (storytime, lego club, etc) so they’ve had theirs since infants. But I dony check out books on their cards. For me that’s too much to keep track of. I have a limit of 100 books I ca check out so it all goes on my card so it’s easy to keep track of the books, their due dates and renewing online when I need to. Since we usually have 100 out at a time this works well there was on time I had to carry over some books on to one of the kids cards but that was because I had stocked up a few weeks ahead of time for school books we needed.

You can check out 100 books at a time???!!! Holy sheep. My library has a limit of 7!

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Hahaha - I’ve never heard the expression, “HOLY SHEEP,” but I totally love it :slight_smile: We can check out an unlimited number of books - it’s FABULOUS! But the late fees sure can add up! I’m totally envious of the people who said their libraries don’t have late fees! AMAZING! :smile:

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LOL. That is funny. I missed that when I originally read it.

Thanks for all the suggestions! Our library is 5 years old, and you can write your own name. Since our limit per card is 50, we’ve had no problems with needing another card. I’m been worried about the fine part, but I’m totally stealing the idea of my fault/your fault for fines! The other trick is our library requires a pin number to check out, so I’ll need to have him memorize a number.

Does anyone else have a pin number required? Any suggestions?

@bestcee - I don’t really have a great suggestion, but our library uses pin numbers also. I just used the same pin number for myself and both kids - that way I don’t need to memorize more than one number… and it’s a very easy number (1122). You could also try their birthday - in numbers (like January 25 could be 0125… could get them started on memorizing birthday in numerical form :slight_smile: Good luck!


Our library required the kids to each have there own card this year for the summer reading program. I have not been to the website yet, but they told me its because there are games and such that they can get “tokens” for and its associated with each child’s card number. In any event- my 8 year old and 5 year old were both THRILLED to get their own card. I’m keeping them in my wallet with my card, just so they don’t get lost.
Also- we are another one of the “lucky” ones that don’t get charged late fees for children books. :slight_smile: LOVE that.