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When Ron McNair was growing up, he loved going to the library to read books about airplanes and outer space. To take the books home though, he needed a library card. But in the 1950s in South Carolina, racist rules said that Black children could not have their own library cards. In Ron’s Big Mission, written by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden, and illustrated by Don Tate, Ron decides it’s time for that rule to change. In this story, based on the real childhood of astronaut Ron McNair, Ron is determined to be treated fairly, and to help kids like him be treated fairly, too! A new exhibition at the New-York Historical Society, The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming, also asks viewers to think about ways to help those who are being treated unjustly.
Today we are going to make our own library card craft and share our favorite books and stories! Follow along with the steps below, and don’t forget to join us live at 3:30 pm ET every Tuesday via Zoom and Friday in-person for our Little New-Yorkers Hello Song, silly games and dances, a craft, and, of course, our read aloud!
- Library Card template
- Something to color with: markers, crayons, pencils, pastels, or a cool combo!
* A note on supplies: If you don’t have exactly the supplies listed, improvise! These projects are designed to be versatile, so feel free to use whatever materials and tools you have at home. And if your final product looks different than what you see here, that’s wonderful!
STEP 1: You!
The first thing you need to do is write your name on your library card. This way everyone will know it’s yours!
Next, add a picture of yourself in the open rectangle! You can draw yourself or even glue in a photograph or yourself.
STEP 2: Decorate
Add some extra decorations on your card to make it pop! Use your favorite colors and designs.
STEP 3: Cutting
It’s careful cutting time! Use your scissors to cut out your library card, as well as the two rectangles below it.
STEP 4: Staple
Now, stack the three pages on top of one another and staple them together into a booklet. Two staples on the left edge will do the trick!
STEP 5: Add Your Favorite Books
Now you have a little library card book! Ron’s favorite books were about airplanes. What books do you like best? On the blank pages following your card, you can write and draw your favorite books and characters. And you can add more pages when you discover a new favorite. You could even write your own story in these pages!
STEP 6: Done!
You did it! Ron showed his town that every kid should have a library card who’d like one - and now you have an awesome library card craft.
Ron’s favorite books inspired him to become an astronaut. Do any books that you’ve read make you think about what you’d like to be when you grow up? Thanks for following along! We hope to see you, and your creations, at Little New-Yorkers soon! We’d love to see your artwork - join the conversation and tag us on social media @nyhistory!
Written by Meagan Raker