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April 4, 2002
Toronto Public Library aims to sign up 5,000 new library card holders in special junior kindergarten campaign
In a library card sign-up campaign launched this week, Toronto Public Library
is putting new, free library cards directly into the hands of junior
kindergarten children in the City of Toronto in packages sent home from

The campaign kicked off at Lillian Smith Branch, 239 College St., on April 2,
with Toronto Poet Laureate Dennis Lee teaching youngsters from Orde Street
Public School and Hydro Kids Daycare the newest stanza of his famous Alligator
Pie poem:

Alligator card, alligator card
If I don't get one, my luck will all be hard.
Give away the green grass, give away the yard,
But don't give away my Alligator Library Card.

Between now and the end of June, the library hopes to sign up at least 5,000
new card holders. It wants junior kindergarten kids to come into their local
library with their parents to activate the card -- and receive their free gift
pack to take home.

"Meeting the needs of children and youth in Toronto is one of our most
important service objectives," says Josephine Bryant, City Librarian. "We hope
with this outreach to encourage parents and kids to come in, use the card, and
get to know their library. We know that there is a strong connection for young
kids between reading, being read to, and success at school. And we offer lots
of free books, and lots of choice in books, to support this."

Children's materials make up 26 per cent of total library materials at Toronto
Public Library, and account for 30 per cent of Toronto Public Library's annual
circulation of about 28 million. Toronto Public Library offers many programs
for children including storytimes for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, and a
popular Summer Reading Club. It also offers volunteer-supported homework clubs
and reading support programs in many branches throughout the city.

Toronto Public Library has 98 branches city-wide. To inquire about programs and
branches near you, call Answerline at 416-393-7131.

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