Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) and Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) are teaming up to make learning resources more accessible to students across the county.

On Nov. 13, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, BCPL Director Paula Miller and Interim BCPS Superintendent Verletta White were joined by students to announce a new initiative called “Student Accounts.”

Under the new program, all 112,000 students in Baltimore County Public Schools will have accounts with BCPL.

Individuals with student accounts will have borrowing privileges, but without the barrier of late or extended-use fees. (Borrowing may be blocked due to unreturned items, but no fees will be accessed).

Students will be able borrow up to five items (print, audio or ebooks or audio-ebooks) at one time and be able to access BCPL’s online resources.

In addition to on-site media in the branches, BCPL offers a variety of online sources, including databases, academic journals, streaming video, homework help, tutoring and more.

According to Miller, the program aims to level the playing-field, making resources accessible to all residents across the county.

“Libraries should always serve as equalizers in opportunities for knowledge and success,” she said, “So making our libraries as accessible as possible for people of all ages is a high priority.”

Interim Superintendent White echoed this sentiment, noting that increased access to reading materials increases literacy skills in students.

“We want students reading and writing every day,” White said.

She added, “Thanks to this excellent partnership with Baltimore County Public Library, students have access to even more reading materials to complement the resources available at our nationally-recognized school libraries.”

The Student Accounts program is the latest step in BCPL and BCPS’s ongoing partnership, known as SAIL (Students Achieve in Libraries).

Since SAIL began in 2013, BCPL and BCPS have partnered up to promote the library’s annual Summer Reading Club, offer BCPS wireless access from BCPL branches and more.

The announcement of the latest SAIL initiative came at the start of American Education Week, which runs this year from Nov. 13 through 17.

An initiative of the National Education Association, the week celebrates the vital role of public schools nationwide.

Schools across the area will be celebrating the week with parent visits, special projects and more.

Students eager to visit their library and take advantage of their new access can use their BCPS One card or student identification number to check out materials or access BCPL resources online.

For more information on BCPL resources, policies and procedures, visit bcpl.net.

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