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Mesa wants to get more library cards to students

A pilot project approved by the Mesa City Council will make it easier for the city’s youngest students to get a library card.

Rather than require parents and guardians to show up in person to get a public library card for kindergarteners, they’ll be able to check a box to opt-in during school enrollment. Mesa Public Library will then mail cards to the student’s address. 

Research shows children who read proficiently by the end of third grade are more likely to graduate and have higher lifetime earnings. Mesa is starting with kindergarteners and plans to evaluate the process before expanding to all grades. 

In a press release, library director Polly Bonnett said, “The main goal of the project is to create an approach for library card registration that will reach more students and expand their access to resources and opportunity.”

The city also launched an online electronic card optionfor anyone. A library e-card allows people to check out e-books, audio books and online classes, but not physical items — those require a full access card.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.