What is a Virtual Library Card?
In order to ensure that the 30,000 K-12 students in the Clinton-Macomb Public Library’s (CMPL) service area have access to resources critical for success in school, the library is partnering with local school districts to ensure every student has a library card. Students with a traditional library card are already set to go. Those who do not have cards will be given access by using the student’s school ID number. Cards issued this way will provide access to electronic resources, including books, magazines and music in electronic format, research databases, free homework help sessions with a qualified online tutor, and internet access in the library.
In recognizing that giving a student library access does not ensure use of the resources, the library board has worked hard to make policies “educator friendly” so that use of library resources will be integrated into classroom instruction whenever possible. This means that teachers are given access to the same resources as students regardless of residency and that every student in a classroom located in the library’s service area has access to the same resources. Our goal is for every student to become a lifelong, educated consumer of quality information for success in school and in life.
The impetus for the collaboration between CMPL, local school districts and elected officials was an invitation from the White House in early 2015 for CMPL to participate as just one of 30 libraries nationally in the ConnectED Library Challenge. To participate the library board, elected officials and school superintendents had to agree to:
• Support student learning and school success through programming and other activities that develop students’ language, reading and critical thinking abilities
• Provide digital resources such as ebooks and online collections to learners
• Provide broadband access through public computers and WiFi
• Give access by providing every student with a library card
Since the inception of the program the library has issued over 12,500 new student cards. Of those, more than 1,000 parents took the initiative to upgrade their child’s card to full access for checkout of physical materials, use of group study rooms and more. Participation in the program is voluntary and parents are given the chance to opt their child out at any time (fewer than 5 out of 16,500 did).
As CMPL serves just parts of some school districts it is collaborating with neighboring public libraries so that entire school districts can begin the program in a unified manner. Students in the following school districts may use their student number as their library barcode and access digital services and databases:
Do you have a student number, but are having trouble logging in? Your password will be the last four digits of the phone number you have on file with the school. If you are still having trouble, please call us at (586) 226-5020.
If you are a teacher or school administrator and are interested in a visit from a CMPL librarian, please visit the Teacher Portal page for more information.