Baldwin Public Library offers cards to all locally enrolled students

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published March 24, 2021

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BIRMINGHAM — At a time when media like books, movies and the internet are more important than ever, the Baldwin Public Library has taken steps to make sure local students have access to all of the media they need.

Last week, the library announced it will offer a library card to any student attending schools in Birmingham, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms or Bloomfield Hills. Students living in other municipalities enrolled in schools in participating communities are eligible.

“I’m very excited that all students can now access all of our print and digital resources.

“(Birmingham Public Schools) students will also be able to place holds on items for district (reading) programs, which is wonderful,” Stephanie Klimmek, the head of youth services at the library, said in an email.

Until now, cards were only available to families living in the library’s service area. Students attending Birmingham Public Schools but living in a different community had limited access to the library’s offerings and had to seek some things, like electronic resources, at their home community library.

Baldwin Public Library staff members currently work closely with Birmingham Public Schools to provide support, materials and programming for students. With the new student cards, Library Director Rebekah Craft said, the hope is that students will be able to access library resources individually as needed — and not just during regular school hours.

“A top priority of the library is ensuring that everyone in our service area has access to our materials, including all students who attend Birmingham schools. We (also) want to help equip BPS teachers with the many library resources we have available to students,” Craft said in a prepared statement.

Among the digital resources available to users at the Baldwin Public Library are research databases, newspapers, Mango Language learning, BrainFuse Tutoring, Tumblebooks and Scholastic Teachables, among others.

But Klimmek said some of the most important benefits that come with the cards are the ones that can’t be quantified.

“Libraries are invaluable tools for students of all ages, as print and digital literacy helps students academically, emotionally and socially. There are many resources available from the library, but nothing compares to the joy that children, teens and adults get when they find a story that speaks to them,” said Klimmek. “Librarians are lucky because we get to form special connections with people through stories, and we love reaching out to all people, but youth librarians have a special place in their hearts for serving children and teens, and now we get to serve them in an even greater capacity.”

To acquire a Baldwin Public Library card, students will need to apply with their parent or guardian at baldwinlib.org/get-library-card/ and then collect a card from the library.

The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill St. in downtown Birmingham.

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