Feb 9, 2024 - News

Hillsborough adds limits on kids' library cards

Illustration of a stack of books with a question mark printed on the pages.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hillsborough County rolled out a new library card system this week, giving parents more control over what books their children can check out.

Why it matters: The new system limits the borrowing privileges of 53,000 cardholders at Hillsborough County libraries.

Details: Parents can now select a library card for their child or teen from three options, each with different limits.

  • There's a basic card for kids younger than 12, which only allows children's materials; a "plus card," which allows nonfiction and classics; and an unlimited option.
  • The teen card allows 13- to 16-year-olds access to children's materials, young adult fiction, young adult graphic novels, general nonfiction and classics.
  • Hillsborough County libraries also offer a "limited card" that restricts access to align with the "kids plus" option, a teen plus card and an unlimited one.

Be smart: Libraries aren't removing books, and parents can still choose to give their children access to all materials.

How it works: Library workers sorted all existing cardholders into the basic tiers. If a parent wants to change their child's access, they must do so in person with a photo ID.

  • If you haven't registered your child or teen for a library card, you can select an access level option on the registration form.
  • Parents can change which card their child has at any time.
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