Library’s Scholar Card amps up access for over 55,000 students

For Immediate Release:
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295; Katherine.Jardine@sfpl.org

Image of students

Library’s Scholar Card amps up access for over 55,000 students

Unique partnership between SFPL and SFUSD promotes academic success

San Francisco, CA, April 13, 2017– Beginning today, and coinciding with National Library Week, signing up for a public library card is much simpler for students in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). As part of the ConnectED Library Challenge, developed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and initiated by the Obama administration, SFPL and SFUSD have partnered to provide all SFUSD students with an exclusive youth library card: the Scholar Card.

The first group of students to activate their cards was Ms. Park’s 3rd grade class, of the Tenderloin Community Elementary School. On Thursday morning, in the school’s brightly lit library, 18 students listened with full attention as SFPL Children’s Librarian Jim Jeske read aloud from Leo, A Ghost Story, a book illustrated by local artist and Scholar Card illustrator Christian Robinson. “Now are you ready to receive your very own special Scholar Library Card?” Jim asked the class, to full applause and awe. Christian Robinson handed out Scholar Cards to each student as City Librarian Luis Herrera encouraged the class to visit their neighborhood branch libraries to take advantage of the new world they now have access to.

Included in attendance to celebrate the launch of the new library card was SFUSD Superintendent Myong Leigh, the Mayor’s Senior Adviser on Education & Family Services Hydra Mendoza-McDonell and Library Commission President Dr. Mary Wardell Ghirarduzzi.

“I know, as President Obama knew, that libraries transform lives,” said Library Commission President Wardell Ghirarduzzi. “They are spaces of equity and inclusion, especially for our most marginalized in society. Today we provide a basic human right of access to knowledge through the district wide-unveiling of Scholar Cards. I’m so proud to be part of this transformation for the youngest residents of San Francisco.”

Over 55,000 students in 130 schools now have access to Scholar Cards and can begin checking out books, use online tools and access millions of free resources at all Library locations and via sfpl.org.

“The Library is a sanctuary for students and supports the values of equity, inclusion and community,” said City Librarian Herrera. “We look forward to providing students with free access to limitless learning resources.”

SFUSD students can easily activate their library account in any library location and select a special commemorative library card designed by award-winning local artist Christian Robinson, courtesy of Chronicle Books.

The Scholar Card aims to eliminate barriers to access by providing students with a clean slate; all pre-existing fees for previously lost items are forgiven upon activation.  There are no overdue fines for youth cards.

With Scholar Cards, for free, students can:

  •        Access Library research databases
  •        Access language learning tools
  •        Receive online homework help
  •        Borrow digital materials such as e-books, e-audiobooks and magazines
  •        Stream video and music
  •        Borrow up to 50 print, audio books, DVDs or CDs

For educators, the Library offers a free Teacher Library Card, allowing San Francisco teachers to borrow library materials for longer, to request more reserves, and to request multiple copies of the same items.  This effort is part of an ongoing commitment by the San Francisco Public Library to support academic success.

Images of Scholar Cards

Scholar Card Radio PSA
:30 seconds

Because library cards are the best school supply: language learning tools, online homework help, bundles of books and streaming media – these are just a few of the millions of FREE resources that all SFUSD students now have instant access to, thanks to a unique partnership between San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Unified School District. Introducing the Scholar Card: the key to academic success! Easy, streamlined application process with all pre-existing fees waived. Beginning April 13, visit any library location to select a commemorative new Scholar Card design. More information at sfpl.org/scholarcard.

Scholar Card partners