Program gives all students access to local library

State College Area School District  |  Posted on

At home as well as school, all State College Area School District (SCASD) students now have access to their local library’s resources under a new program.

This fall, the State College Area School District and Schlow Centre Region Library began the latest chapter in their long partnership to promote reading.

After months of preparation, SCASD and Schlow launched the All Ready Access Program, an initiative spurred by the pandemic and aimed at increasing digital equity. Under the program, all of the district’s nearly 7,000 students have a district-sponsored library card and online account, allowing them to use Schlow’s resources from home — a boon to families in a time of widespread remote learning.

In the spring, Schlow proposed building the All Ready Access Program, and discussions ensued. The result: All SCASD students now can tap into the library’s collection of ebooks, audiobooks, digital magazines, databases, and language learning courses. Schlow and SCASD libraries are part of the PA POWER Library portal, a link to thousands of library collections and resources across the state, but previously, students without library cards could use it only while at school.

SCASD librarians have high hopes for the program, anticipating many elementary teachers and students flocking to the TumbleBooks, BookFlix and TrueFlix multimedia databases for both instruction and pleasure. The State College Area High School library staff sees the program as “a huge plus” for students and expects the wider selection of “choice reading materials” supporting the English curriculum and students’ interests will increase awareness of the borrowing arrangement with Schlow.

“The beauty of this partnership is we will be closer to our mission goal of guiding students to be lifelong readers and learners,” said Mount Nittany Middle School Librarian Dotty Delafield, one of the joint committee members who created the program. “Our students will grow into savvy users of public library resources, a skill they can use all their lives.”