[Libs-Or] children who want a library card

Marta Murvosh murvosh at yahoo.com
Sun May 14 21:52:03 PDT 2017

Since I can't speak officially for  Sno-Isle Libraries, I suggest contacting Carolyn Bly, Circulation Manager, who knows the ins and outs on the circulation side. Carolyn was part of the team that developed the one-book card, which went live several months ago. Leslie Moore, Director of Youth Services, is another good person to check in with. They can also tell you want the numbers look like and what impact they are seeing. 

SIL doesn't ask minors for ID for regular library cards. The goal of the one-book card is to lower barriers, so we wouldn't ask for documentation. Of course, the teen/child has to give us an address, phone, parent/guardian name, etc. 

Other approaches to lowering barriers to youth that you might consider are: MyLibraryNYC and Denver Public Library's relationship with other city agencies. I think Nashville Public Library has a relationship with it's schools but I can't remember the details. 

With  MyLibraryNYC, New York Public Library, Queens Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and NY Dept. of Education came together for the MyLibraryNYC card aimed at teachers and students in the public schools and students have fine forgiveness for late or lost items. See https://www.nypl.org/events/mylibrarynyc. I think MyLibraryNYC started in 2012 or 2013. 

At the YALSA symposium in November 2016,  MyLibraryNYC presented and if I'm remembering correctly, their lost items didn't rise or rose so little it wasn't significant (obviously economies of scale with those three behemoths of systems.) I have notes at work. 

Denver Public Library, Denver schools, recreation department and transit system use the student IDs as card numbers and then each public school student has a library card, a park pass and a bus pass. This program has been operating for 5-6 years. 

It might be more palatable to work directly with schools, such as getting the schools to require a library card. Or concentrating on getting children in specific grades library cards (lots of planning to get this happening.) 

There are a lot of different ways to approach the problem of finding ways to lower barriers. Speaking for myself, I think it's important to think through the underlying philosophical challenges that could be barriers, not just the logistical ones (like with the library ILS work with the school and parks database.) 

For example, why ask for documentation with a child/teen is generally unable to provide the same documentation as an adult? Even a school ID doesn't have DOBs or addresses. 

Providing documentation for an adult doesn't guarantee that a book will be returned. Yes, it gives the library a place to send the bill but not all bills are paid. 

There's always a certain amount of items lost that don't get paid for because families move of the area, books get scattered across two households because of divorce, books are returned to school instead of the library and aren't taken to the library, etc. 

It's my viewpoint, (and I'm speaking for myself) as long as a program to lower barriers to youth doesn't increase the proportion and/or number of lost items lost in a significant way, there is no need to ask a minor for documentation that they wouldn't be able to provide.  

 Marta Murvosh, MLS
librarian and freelance writer
murvosh at yahoo.comEverett, WA - Pacific Time zone
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      From: Teresa Lucas <tlucas at cclsd.org>
 To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us 
 Sent: Saturday, May 13, 2017 2:19 PM
 Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] children who want a library card
  Do you require any documentation from the child when issuing a one-book card?
Teresa Lucas

Teresa Lucas, Assistant Director of Library Services
1800 Sherman Avenue
North Bend, OR 97459
(541)756-0400 X0035
(541)756-1073 Fax


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