Library proposes digital library card numbers for area students

The Great Falls Public Library board is considering a proposal to update their library card policy during their Sept. 27 meeting.

The library staff is proposing to collaborate with all the school districts and private schools in Cascade County to have each student receive a digital-only library card number.

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The library card number would provide access to all of the digital resources provided by the Great Falls Public Library.

According to library staff, they’d work with school librarians to determine the suite of electronic resources such as MontanaLibrary2Go, ACT/SAT prep, a language learning resource, World Book online, etc.

The library would direct a portion of their foundation approved projects funding to the online resources.

Students would be encouraged to have a digital-only library card through their school and to have a regular library card to access physical materials at the library, according to the staff proposal.

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Staff would keep the library cards separate so if a student doesn’t return physical items and has their privileges suspended on that card, they can still access digital resources.

“The details of assigning card numbers to each student would be coordinated with each participating school district and would need to be negotiated via an MOU. Procedures that protect student privacy and allow for unique cards to be assigned all new students and deleted cards when students leave the school district would need to be developed,” according to the library staff proposal.

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Staffs proposed procedure would include school districts providing the library with a list of students to be assigned a digital library card number.

Library staff would load them into the system and return a list to the school districts with each student’s assigned digital library card number.

At the end of the school year, or as needed, school districts would provide the library with a list of students who no longer need the digital library number and those would be deactivated, according to the staff proposal.

Options staff have also proposed, is library staff automatically increasing student grade levels to give them access to specific grade level resources, unless informed otherwise by schools.

The library would not provide information to schools about individual student use of resources but would provide district or school statistical information about the overall use of resources, according to library staff.