New Program Gives Duluth Public Students Free Virtual Library Card

Baihly Warfield
Updated: September 05, 2018 07:30 PM

DULUTH, Minn. - As Duluth public schools students are back in class, they will have an expanded resource database to draw from. 

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This year, the city and school district partnered on Library Port, which automatically enrolls public students with a free virtual library card. 

"It's an outstanding opportunity that we hope all of our students will be able to access," Tom Albright, who works at Lincoln Park Middle School, said. 

All 8,500 students will be able to access the Duluth Public Library system's online resources, books, games, music and more. They can check out up to five physical items at a time. 

Perhaps the best news for parents? There are no late fines. 

Mayor Emily Larson said early literacy is very important to her. 

"They need access to the information, they know how to do it online," Larson said. "And I am just thrilled that we have made this partnership possible."

The idea behind the virtual cards is to break down barriers for students who may not be able to make it to a physical library location.

"Access to library resources has always been free, but it's now integrated into your child's school environment and available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a computer or a mobile phone," Library Manager Carla Powers said. 

One of the library's five 2016-2020 strategic plan goals is school readiness and prioritizing early literacy services.

Students will have a code to use the Port, and teachers and educators will be able to help them access the resources or use them themselves. It's also available on the library's homepage

"The fact that every student will have this access for their entire educational career is so important for them to carry this forward into adulthood and develop these skills," ISD 709 Superintendent Bill Gronseth said. 

Even if students don't have a Duluth address, as long as they go to a Duluth public school, they can access the library. There are plans to expand the program to charter and private schools in Duluth soon. 

If kids already have a library card, they are free to continue using that as well. 


Baihly Warfield

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