In the midst of the Great Recession two California librarians came up with a plan to provide students without a public library card remote access to the public library’s online resources. As long as there was an Internet connection, the library e-card allowed students to log in from home, school, or Starbucks and use the databases, Live Homework Help, and place holds. The only problem with the e-card was it did not allow students to check out print, eBooks, or borrow from another public library.
Times change… Last spring the public library installed a new integrated library system (ILS) and joined a larger consortia. This increased the amount of available materials, including print and digital which would not be accessible through the e-card. It was obvious that this simple fix had outlived its usefulness and something else was needed.
The school and public librarians met and discussed different options and decided on the single card model. When school opens later this month, all secondary students will be able to use their district-issued student ID card as a public library card. This will be an automatic process, but parents will be given various avenues to opt out. Designated as the One Card Project, it will give valuable resources to AP students by providing a robust collection of materials from the public library consortia. At the same time, the One Card will enhance English Language Learners’ literacy journeys and provide informative opportunities for the Project Based Learning curriculum and senior projects.
If we had not had a strong school and public library partnership in place, this project would have taken much longer. We know there are other school districts across the country that have implemented similar programs. However, we would like to thank Margy VanDyke, Teacher Librarian, Mount Tahoma High School, Tacoma Washington for sharing the Pathway Project implementation. It reminds us that all partnerships are vital to the health and power of our libraries!
Author: Kate MacMillan
18 years as Coordinator of Library Services for Napa Valley USD and Napa Valley School Library Consortium; 2010-current CDE Recommended Literature Committee member; 8 years as an outside library consultant for Follett Library Resources; 6 years as a Napa County Library Commissioner; Current member of California Dept of Education’s Literature Committee; Napa TV Public Access board member; ALA, AASL, CLA (Californiia Library Association), CSLA (California School Library Association) and CUE (Computer Using Educators). Conference presentations include: United We Stand; School and Public Libraries Working Together (CLA 2016, CSLA 2017), It’s Not Your Mother’s Library 2012 and 2013 (CUE); Enhancing Online Resources through Library Partnerships (CUE 2010); Implementing School Library Consortium (CSLA 2008); Athletes as Readers and Leaders (2008 Association of American Publishers & CSLA Project). Contributor to School Libraries: What’s Now, What’s Next, What’s Yet to Come!