Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children.

Hannibal Free Public Library is busy celebrating Library Card Sign-up Month this September — a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all.  This year marks the 30th anniversary of Library Card Sign-up Month, a national observance that was launched in 1987 to encourage every child to obtain a library card and use it. Since then, thousands of public and school libraries join each fall in a national effort to ensure every child does just that.

At Hannibal Free Public Library, borrower’s cards are free to those living in the City of Hannibal or Ralls County. People living outside the Library’s service area may pay $40 for individual or $80 for family Non-Resident cards.  To get a borrower’s card, the Library requires patrons to complete an application, identify themselves, and provide proof of address.  In the case of minors or incapacitated adults, the signature of a parent or legal guardian is also required. 

Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children. Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.

Librarians are literacy experts. Libraries offer a variety of programs to stimulate an interest in reading and learning. In Hannibal, Preschool Story Time on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. exposes young children to the joy of reading, while Homework Help on Monday afternoons provides computers and assistance to older children and teens after school.  Other programs are offered throughout the week for more audiences.  The Summer Reading Program keep children and teens reading during school vacation, and this reading has been shown to be the most important factor in avoiding the decrease in reading skills that educators refer to as "summer learning loss."  A calendar of Hannibal Free Public Library’s programs may be found in the upper right corner at  Find the Library on Facebook, too.

Society is changing in the way it consumes information. Libraries are evolving with these changes to serve the public and to continue to fulfill their role in leveling the playing field for all who seek information and access to technologies.  Hannibal Free Public Library is a thriving technology hub that many patrons rely on as their first or only choice for Internet access and digital content. In addition to books, magazines, DVDs, and computers, our Library provides access to downloadable e-books and e-audiobooks.  The e-book collection is growing rapidly in Hannibal, from 4,663 titles in 2014 to over 30,000 titles today.