The Seaford District Library announced a partnership with the Seaford School District for all enrolled K-12 students to receive virtual library cards.
The partnership is only the third of its kind statewide, and it is aimed at encouraging and increasing literacy on the western side of Sussex County.
“This is a huge step in the right direction,” said Kim Marquis, literacy coach at Seaford Middle School. “During the pandemic, we have been trying to think creatively and our local library is the perfect solution. Our libraries at the school level have not been available due to safety measures with COVID, so being able to access books and resources online is a great answer for our students.”
The prevalence of online learning and COVID-19 have highlighted certain literacy needs within the Seaford community, but the benefits of such a program will reach beyond the parameters of the pandemic. A program that grants students default access to the virtual suite of services provided by the Seaford District Library will ensure that, as far as access is concerned, the community is taking advantage of an important socioeconomic equalizer — access to the public library system.
Rachel Wackett, deputy executive director for the Seaford District Library, said she is excited for kids to be able to access the multitude of services that can potentially be game-changers.
“We have programs like BrainFuse, which offers live tutoring sessions, eBooks, audiobooks, and even movies,” says Wackett. “We want our community to have access to these items as a standard.”
From the logistical end, this helps take the responsibility off parents to come into the library to sign their children up for cards, which has classically been a barrier to services. Going forward, gaining access to the library virtually for all students helps take the burden off parents, while leveling the playing field for students who need access to literacy materials for required reading at school, continued learning, study help, and other services that range from essential to just for fun.
For the school district and the library, partnering to bring better services to students is a foundational concept rooted in civic responsibility and aimed toward making the community as friendly for learning as it can be.
More information will be released in the coming weeks.