Library cards to be provided for ICCSD students

A new literary initiative is providing free public library access to ICCSD students.


Natalie Katz

In addition to school ID's allowing students to check out books from the West High library pictured above, they will now work at the Coralville, Iowa City and North Liberty public libraries.

Natalie Katz, Print Editor-in-Chief

The keys to unlocking the knowledge of the world. The place where time and destination are what you make of it. Or, maybe just a quiet study location. Whatever a library means to you, they are truly believed to be magical places, and as of Dec. 16, that magic has been made even more accessible to ICCSD students.

Starting this week, Access to Information and Materials (AIM) cards are being distributed to elementary and junior high students throughout the district. These new ID cards allow students to have free access to the Coralville, Iowa City and North Liberty public libraries.

These library cards come in the form of a new student ID, with Halverson’s Photography printing nearly 10,000 new cards. While high school students will not be receiving them, they may contact their respective school offices to request one, though their current IDs are already facilitated with the capability to work at public libraries.

Having been in the works for over a year, the plans to launch this initiative were extensive.

“This project has been in the works since May 2018, when the children’s services librarian at the ICPL and I attended a conference about sharing resources between school and public libraries,”said Kristi Harper, library coordinator for the Iowa City Community School District. “When we returned, we worked closely with the other two public libraries to create a document called a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which was checked by the lawyers of all four entities and then approved by the School Board this past August.”

AIM cards will open a door of limitless opportunities for ICCSD students, though they don’t have all of the benefits of a traditional library card. Students can check out up to three items at a time, including books, ebooks, magazines, or other digital materials. One adaptation Harper and others working on this project sought to make was eliminating late fines and fees. Because of this effort, students will be exempt from these expenses at all three libraries when using the AIM card.

The cards will be activated just in time for students to check out materials for winter break.

“In all, it has been a cooperative effort of the best kind, and all for the benefit of ICCSD students,” Harper said.