New partnership aims to provide every LAUSD student with library card

Fifth-grade students at Virginia Road Elementary School were given free library cards Wednesday to mark the beginning of a Los Angeles Public Library effort to provide the cards to every Los Angeles Unified School District student over the next three years.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King and Board of Education President Steve Zimmer joined city Librarian John Szabo to distribute "Student Success'' library cards to the students, beginning the Student Success partnership between the district and the library.

About 58,000 of the cards have already been mailed to kindergarten students throughout the district and to all students at Virginia Road Elementary, Audubon Middle and Dorsey High schools. The program will eventually distribute about 655,000 cards to LAUSD students.

Library officials said the Student Success program will provide library cards to students, allowing them to check up as many as three books at a time -- with no fees charged if the students fail to return the books on time. Once the books are returned, they will be able to check out additional titles.

Using the cards, students will also be able to access services through the Los Angeles Public Library's website. The site offers services such as reading recommendations, access to downloadable e-books and online homework help, with tutors available to work with students online.

The site also includes links to science projects for kids, and SAT and ACT test-preparation help.

"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,'' Szabo said. "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.''

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