Studies have shown that the benefits of using a library include better success in school and an increased likelihood of continued use of the library into adulthood. However, not all children are given the opportunity to use the library due to various barriers. The Allegheny County Library Association is proud to announce that two school districts in Allegheny County are now providing barrier-free access to the public library for ALL students in the district.
For the past year, a dedicated team of individuals from the following libraries, as well as eiNetwork and the Allegheny County Library Association, have worked to make this happen:
- C.C. Mellor Memorial Library
- Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
- Cooper-Siegel Community Library
- Dormont Public Library
- Monroeville Public Library
- Northland Public Library
- Plum Borough Community Library
The taskforce developed three tiers of access depending on the needs of the different libraries and school districts, as well as established ways to ensure privacy with a large data share and review multiple records for duplicates.
The West Allegheny School District (Western Allegheny Community Library) and Woodland Hills School District (Braddock Carnegie Library, C.C. Mellor Memorial Library, and the Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale) both successfully provided the opportunity to all students in both districts a full access library card in October. Here is an article detailing the Library Cards for All Program at Woodland Hills School District.
Another pilot of libraries has already started collaboration with their school districts to provide students with cards starting in February. Those school districts include:
- Carlynton School District
- Fox Chapel School District
- Gateway School District
- Keystone Oaks School District
- Northgate School District
- Pine Richland School District
- Steel Valley School District
- West Jefferson Hills School District
Stay tuned for more updates as Allegheny County libraries continue to remove barriers and grant all children access to the opportunities present at the public library.