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Duval Schools, Jacksonville Public Library Putting Library Cards In Students' Hands

Jacksonville Public Library

Duval County Public Schools and the Jacksonville Public Library are working together to ensure every kindergarten through fifth grade student receives a library card.

The partnership will allow children to check out books just for being a student in the county’s school system.

There are about 38,000 children who attend elementary school across Jacksonville. Director of the Jacksonville Public Library Barbara Gubbin said this is a period where learning to read is important for a child’s success.

“Children with library cards that come into libraries and use them have higher reading scores,” says Gubbin, “and are overall more successful in school than children who don’t.”

Gubbin says the card is not an ordinary library card; it will only allow students to check out a limited amount of books at a time, but they won’t be at risk of running up huge late fees.

“We would not charge fines [to the students] because parents would not have approved the school card,” says Gubbin.

Gubbin said she spoke with School Board Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti last month to discuss the partnership. She said they are trying to issue these cards for the 2015-16 school year.

Erica Protsman is a student at the University of North Florida. In December of 2015, Erica will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Communication, with a focus in Multimedia Journalism and a minor in Spanish. She is the Vice President of ESPN3 at the University of North Florida, where she coordinates team meetings and events for students in the club. Erica currently is an intern here at WJCT and plans to be a news reporter upon graduation.