Kalamazoo Public Library (KPL) and Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) have long been recognized in the Kalamazoo community as champions for childhood literacy. With this legacy in mind, KPL and KPS have partnered to create OneCard, a shared card that serves as both a library card and a student ID. Also, to prevent the typical loss of skills most students experience during the summer known as “summer slide,” KPL and KPS will be offering fun programs that will keep Kalamazoo children reading all summer long!
Kalamazoo Public Library Summer Reading Challenge kicks off on June 1. Those that accept the challenge will trek “Around the World in 90 Days” by reading a suggested book from each continent. Unlike many other summer reading programs, KPL’s lasts all summer long and includes prizes for every 15, 30, 45 and 60 days of reading for kids and teens, and a 60-day prize for adults! Participants can play online or pick up a game board at any KPL location beginning June 1. Information about the Summer Reading Challenge can be found at kpl.gov/summer.
Kalamazoo Public Schools will continue its summer literacy efforts through two programs. The district will once again send books to children entering third through sixth grade to encourage summer reading. The children will receive one book every 10 days for the duration of the summer holiday. And, for the second year, KPS will open five elementary school libraries, so students can continue to visit and check out books from their schools. This year, libraries will be open at Arcadia Elementary School, Edison Environmental Science Academy, Lincoln International Studies School, Spring Valley Center for Exploration and Washington Writers' Academy. The libraries will be open two days a week.
Also during the summer, KPL and KPS will be coordinating efforts to launch a landmark program: OneCard, an innovative collaboration with one goal – a Kalamazoo Public Library card for every Kalamazoo Public Schools student.
“The goals of OneCard are simple: to create an incredibly easy process for KPS students to get a library card, visit their library, check out books and most importantly to develop a love for reading,” said Kalamazoo Public Library Director Ryan Wieber.
Beginning this fall, all KPS students, faculty and staff will automatically be enrolled in the OneCard program. OneCard provides full access to all KPL print, AV and online materials. ONeCard was created to enrich and support school instruction complementing the resources available through school libraries with access to KPL’s physical and electronic resources. OneCard also reduces potential barriers associated with registering for a library card, visiting KPL and accessing its collections.
"We have long appreciated our partnership with the Kalamazoo Public Library. We particularly appreciate this new joint initiative, which will give thousands of our children library cards that they would not otherwise have had and which will open up whole new worlds for our kids as a result," said KPS Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice.
Additional information and promotions for OneCard will be released in May.