Aug 7, 2015 - News

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library + CMS announce ONE Access partnership turning student IDs into library memberships

new uptown Charlotte library

Charlotte library

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced yesterday a partnership to bring access to library materials to some 145,000 students in 168 schools throughout the county. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library CEO Lee Keesler calls it their “most ambitious initiative yet.”

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

The ONE Access initiative, launching September 1, 2015, will turn student ID numbers into library accounts, granting students access to the library’s research databases, digital materials and print/audio books.

The goal, according to Keesler, is to improve literacy and academic achievement by extending learning at CMS into evenings, weekends and summer with easier access to library materials.

Lee Keesler

Ask a kid their student ID and they’ll recite it from memory. Ask a kid their library card number and they either won’t know it or won’t have one. ONE Access eliminates barriers to access to library materials by letting students leverage an ID number they already know and use daily.

Beattie's Ford Library

According to a Pew Research Center study, 85% of Americans want libraries to work more closely with public schools, a statistic that prompted Keesler and the library’s executive team to reach out to CMS Superintendent Ann Clark.

Clark described the school system’s partnership with the library as “a good-to-great opportunity that keeps getting better every year.”

According to Director of Libraries David Singleton, this is the largest partnership of its kind of this scale in the country. All students will automatically be enrolled and can use their student ID number to access library services beginning September 1.

Singleton said the library will be able to track student usage down the the grade level at each school to assess the program’s reception, accessibility and relevance. Superintendent Clark said she is particularly interested in tracking walk-in book rentals and use during evening/weekend hours to ensure that students are getting materials not just at school but at home.

How can the community get involved? Superintendent Clark said it best, “Every time you see a kid, ask them what book they’re reading. It starts with adults asking the right questions.”

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