Story March 15, 2022

My 1st Library Card builds a lifetime library relationship

My 1st Library Card, which launched in January 2022, creates a lifelong relationship with the Library. Children aged five and under receive their very own library card featuring San Diego Public Library’s new mascot Odi the Coyote.” The new library cardholders can take a photo in front of an Odi frame. And, while supplies last, they receive a copy of the book Odi’s Library Day and an Odi plush doll.

The Library Foundation supports this impactful early childhood literacy program and its goal to create lifetime readers and library lovers.

We know that reading to children at a young age improves their future literacy,” said Library Director Misty Jones. My 1st Library Card introduces children to the Library at an early age and sets them up to be readers for life.”

And the project is already flourishing. In the first two months of My 1st Library Card, the library issued 1,388 cards to children aged five and younger, a 564 percent increase over the same period last year!

Otay Mesa/​Nestor Library patron Jessica Navarro De Leon is sold on the impact for her two children (pictured below).

We were interested in getting my daughter her first library card and knew that the library was having a special promotion for first-timers. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by the librarians and directed to the children’s section.

A few weeks ago, my son mentioned to Ms. Claudia Apodaca that he wanted to check out Captain Underpants books, so Ms. Apodaca ordered one from a different library,” Jessica said. 

When we visited the library on Friday, Ms. Apodaca had the Captain Underpants book ready for my son and he was so happy. We have been reading it every night. My daughter was happy to get a new book and her new stuffed animal, Odi! I live five minutes from this library and every time we visit, we are happily greeted by the staff and have a great time there!”