West Florida Public Libraries and the Escambia County School District are teaming up to ensure every student in Escambia County will receive a special edition library card this week.
The cards, which will be issued to all K-12 Escambia County School District students and homeschooled children registered with the district, have a limit of three books or audiobooks at a time with unlimited access to online resources like e-books and research databases.
The 41,623 student cards will not have late fees for overdue items and can be used at any West Florida Public Libraries location.
“We look forward to working with the schools more in the future to support student learning year-round,” Library Director Todd Humble said. “Every Escambia County student now has a fresh start with this new account, regardless of past mistakes. As the future leaders of Escambia County, we want you to make us proud by reading for enjoyment to explore new worlds and learn about the things you love.”
The cards will be handed out to students by their homeroom teachers.
“We greatly appreciate community support for our students such as the library card program, the summer reading contests, and ECAT’s free summer passes that make it even easier for students to get to the libraries,” Escambia County School District Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said. “One of the best ways for students to stay up to date over the summer is to read. So, we are excited to partner with our local public libraries to make it even easier for our students to develop their love for reading and to explore their world through the books and resources available to them this summer in our libraries.”
The initiative is part of the Urban Library Leaders Challenge, which was accepted by the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners, the Escambia County School District and West Florida Public Libraries.
To date, only 60 communities in the U.S. have accepted the challenge. Escambia County will follow Orange and Duval counties as the third Florida county to accept.