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Duval County Students Get Virtual Library Cards

Lindsey Kilbride

The Jacksonville Public Library and Duval County Public Schools are partnering to ensure students have access to libraries.

Sixty thousand Duval elementary school students will get an electronic library card, and many will go on field trips to libraries.


At the main library downtown, Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti unveiled his new READ poster, Thursday. He’s pictured on the poster holding one of his favorite books, "Strega Nona."

Vitti says libraries changed things for him, and he hopes the same happens for the kids in his district.

“I lit up intellectually,” Vitti said. “Honestly, even today when I walk into this room I get goose bumps when I see all these books. Why? Because it’s about access and it’s about leveling the playing field.”

He says the virtual library card program eliminates barriers. Parents don’t need to fill out paperwork for cards. No physical card is needed to check out materials at any library branch.

Credit Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News
Barbara Gubbin, Director of Jacksonville Public Library, uncovers Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti's "READ" poster.

Barbara Gubbin is the library’s director.

“Students who haven’t mastered reading by third grade will find it even harder to handle increasing complex lessons, and their future success in life is seriously diminished,” Gubbin said.

She says kindergarten through second-grade students are also guaranteed a field trip to the library. Library staff will visit classrooms in third grade and higher and talk about the new cards.