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Libraries introduce student e-card

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Delta County Libraries' staff has long promoted library cards as one of the most valuable school supplies for students. A library card opens the door to endless resources for building literacy skills, conducting research, discovering new topics, and exploring ideas. That is why library staff are excited to announce a new kind of library card specifically geared toward helping students.

"Beginning in January 2018, students in Delta County will be able to apply for a student e-card through their school," says Lea Hart, district director of Delta County Libraries. "With the introduction of the student e-card, we are eliminating certain barriers that previously hindered many students from obtaining a library card."

The decision to review and revise the libraries' library card and borrowing policy to include a student e-card option came after receiving feedback from teachers. The policy requires that children over the age of six and under the age of sixteen apply for a library card in person, at the library, with a parent or guardian.

"The libraries have been visiting classrooms and sharing resources with the schools for years. However, it became clear after speaking with school faculty that our policy was conflicting with that collaboration. It was prohibitive for many family situations and limiting student access to the very resources we were trying so hard to promote," Hart explains. "We knew that we needed to come up with a solution."

In early October, library administration developed a proposal and Hart met with Caryn Gibson, superintendent of Delta County Schools, to discuss options for collaborating with the school district. Later in the month, Delta County Libraries' board of trustees voted to approve a revision to the library card and borrowing policy.

The policy now states, "Students of Delta County may get a student e-card through their school. We require the signature of a parent or legal guardian on the application. If you are a student of Delta County, you may obtain a student e-card by request of your teacher, counselor, or school administrator."

One of the highlights of the student e-card is that there are no fines or fees associated with the card. The e-card offers access to online library resources such as e-books, downloadables, research databases, and online classes, but does not allow the student to checkout physical items from the library. It also allows students to use on-site technology like computers, high-speed internet, and scanners.

Starting in January, teachers will have access to the student e-card application and associated materials to send home with the student. The parent or guardian will need to review the materials, including information regarding privacy, and grant permission by signing the application form. The libraries will work with the school staff to collect the applications and issue student cards.

"Then, if a parent wants to allow their child to check out physical materials from the library, they can upgrade to a full-access card by visiting the library together," Hart explains.

Library staff attended the Nov. 7 principals meeting to announce the new student e-card option. "We are so excited to work with the schools and expand on the resources and opportunities available to youth in Delta County," says Hart.

Stay tuned for more information on the student e-card and other upcoming important library news. Visit www.deltalibraries.org for more information on the library district, a calendar of events, and access to the online library.

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