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Liz McGettigan

RLQ Kids Only card

State Library of Queensland has successfully negotiated with famous Australian illustrator Judy Horacek and leading author Mem Fox to use an image from 'Where is the Green Sheep?' on a library card especially designed for kids.

Having seen the benefits of introducing the Tourist Card to the Rural Libraries Queensland (RLQ) network, State Library introduced the Kids Only card, with the aim of increasing membership of individual RLQ libraries and enhancing the visits to and loans from RLQ libraries.

Providing young people with cards of their own stimulates their interest in libraries and reading. The Kids Only card helps families with young children in establishing a habit of using their public and school libraries to enhance their learning experience. Evidence clearly supports the links between positive library experience, success in school and other longer-term positive life outcomes.

The Kids Only card supports principals, teachers and parents to provide access to high quality learning resources and services to students through public libraries. By partnering with local libraries to distribute the Kids Only card, schools will provide families with a useful way to extend their children’s learning beyond the classroom.

Prizes to encourage uptake of the Kids Only card were awarded during the introduction of the card. Read about the winners on Public Libraries Connect blog.

For more information about the aims and management of the Kids Only card, read the Frequently Asked Questions. You can choose to use either your own membership form or State Library’s RLQ membership form (PDF 93.7 KB) to assist in the distribution of the cards.

Should you require more Kids Only cards for your library, email your request to Public Library Development.

RLQ Kids Only card example
Noosa Library Services library card

More reasons to introduce a library card for kids

By Maureen O'Shea, Young People's Librarian, Noosa LIbrary Service

What library manager doesn't love the satisfying rise in membership statistics resulting from programming and outreach? Campaigns that encourage children to get their own library card deliver in many ways.

The idea for a library card for children came initially from Houston Public Library's 2005 Power Card campaign. Their slogan, "Small enough to fit in your wallet, big enough to change your life", was inspiring.

The opportunity to offer an exclusive library card for children in the Sunshine Coast area occurred when councils amalgamated in 2008. The new Sunshine Coast Libraries requested author/illustrator Terry Denton to use the fish from his popular Gasp! Zapt! Splat! books. A few years later, a new design, with Leigh Hobbs' Old Tom character, revived the campaign. Both cards are illustrated at right.

Noosa Library Service was re-established in 2014, but not without a cool card for kids, designed by a local, Cartoon Dave Hackett (pictured below right).

Reasons a personal library card is important for kids:

  • It's the first card bearing their name that they can carry in the community.
  • Young children begin a lifetime of library habit
  • Kids are collectors – fast food restaurants and big supermarkets know that! Changing card design enables kids to collect the set as they grow

Benefits for libraries:

  • Partnering in the community around literacy
  • Promotion and personal appearances with local/popular author
  • Outreach opportunities to further promote library services
  • Connect with kids by having a new card design competition

Interested in a "Kids Only" card for your library?

If you would like more information or are interested in introducing a "Kids Only" library card in your library, contact Noosa Library Service for details.

Maureen O'Shea, Young People's Librarian
Noosa Library Service
Phone: 07 5329 6513

Last updated
27th March 2017