On Dec. 7, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined the Los Angeles Public Library and Los Angeles Unified School District to launch the historic Student Success Card program. For the first time, the Los Angeles Public Library is partnering with L.A. Unified to issue a Student Success library card to every student. Bringing together the nation’s second-largest school district and the library system that serves the largest, most diverse urban population in the nation, the Student Success card provides unprecedented access to live online homework help and the library’s vast digital resources to support students’ educational endeavors while preparing them for college.
The special Student Success library card will allow L.A. Unified students to check out up to three books and access all online resources—without incurring fines or fees. The first batch of close to 58,000 cards was mailed to all kindergarten students throughout LAUSD and to all students at three pilot schools—Virginia Road Elementary, Audubon Middle, and Dorsey High Schools. The program will get a Student Success card into the hands of approximately 655,000 L.A. Unified students in the next two years.
“L.A.’s public libraries are the ultimate resource for our entire city,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “With this new partnership between LAUSD and the libraries in the form of the Student Success Card, young people can take advantage of all the libraries have to offer without worrying about late fees or other barriers. This program brings endless new opportunities to our students—and gives them access to a digital platform created especially for them. When we support their education in and out of the classroom, we put students on a path to lifelong learning that gives them a greater change of academic and career success.”
“Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Garcetti and the true collaborative spirit of Board President Zimmer and Superintendent King, we are thrilled to partner with LAUSD to continue our efforts to help students succeed,” said City Librarian John F. Szabo. “Students across the city rely on their neighborhood branch libraries as an extension of their academics—taking advantage of services such as our tutoring and coding workshops. By exposing even more young people to the tremendous print and online resources we have available, we hope to spark a lifelong relationship with the library.”
The school district and library always have worked closely together, particularly at the local levels. Children’s and young adult librarians at each of the library’s 72 branches coordinate directly with staff at neighboring elementary, middle and high schools. They communicate with teachers to share information about programs and services (demonstrating databases, for example), visit classes and assemblies, host class trips to the library, etc. All of that will continue, but this expansion of the program means that students will have individual access to all that the library has to offer.
“On behalf of our students, parents and teachers and librarians of L.A. Unified, I would like to thank the Mayor and John Szabo from the Los Angeles Public Library for their collaboration in making sure that students have access to library cards,” said L.A. Unified Board President Steve Zimmer. “A library card opens the door to many new worlds and will make sure that students continue on their path to academic success.”
“I remember my first library card and how my visits to the library would open my imagination to all types of adventures,” added L.A. Unified Superintendent Michelle King. “Thank you for distributing the Student Success cards so that new worlds will open up for our children.”
“From anywhere—at home, at school and on their mobile devices, students now will have free access to the tools they need to succeed, including electronic books, live homework help, and online tutoring in math, science and English,” said Szabo. To find your local library, visit www.lapl.org.