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Schools partner with local Library to provide Digital Access Cards

County and city schools have teamed up with the Carter County/Elizabethton Public Library to bring digital books to students. 
Since Oct. 28, these efforts have allowed 145 students to sign up for Digital Access Cards.
“These Digital Access Cards give students access to the library’s digital collections, through READS and through the Tennessee Electronic Library,” explained Bernadette Weese, director of the library. “Students who already have library cards are able to sign up for digital access cards, since these cards do not give students the ability to check out physical items.”
According to Weese, it all began earlier this year. Several local teachers and school librarians reached out to see if the library could help get library cards into the hands of their students. The idea being they were limited, with COVID, in how students could use the school library, especially as schools might need to be virtual for part of the semester.
Each librarian received a link to a digital application (a google form asking for students’ name, birthdate, school, grade, and teacher) to distribute how they thought would work best for their school.
“I believe some librarians have distributed it directly to their students, and some have given the information to the teachers to distribute,” said Weese.
On the importance of this digital access, Weese explained that this gives students the opportunity to have further educational, and even life-long, learning. 
Weese went on to describe that the United Way was able to donate $1,000 from their literacy fund for the purchase of more eBooks and eAudiobooks earlier this year as well, and the impact it has had.
“The library owns a limited number of rights to digital content, even though the State of Tennessee provides access to over 200,000 items, so the $1,000 is going to purchase more content specifically for Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library cardholders,” she said.
The partnership between the library and city and county schools will continue at least through the COVID-19 pandemic, and will likely continue past that to ensure students continue to have access to the library.
“I think books are so important because they show us a whole new world,” said Weese. “You can be, and experience, so many things by reading.”