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Austin Public Library, AISD discuss virtual student cards

Thursday, June 29, 2017 by Lisa Dreher

The Austin Independent School District and the Austin Public Library are currently contemplating virtual library cards for students so they may access materials without dealing with fines. Dave Inabnitt, Austin Public Library branch services division manager, said students cannot use the libraries if they have fines, and so having a virtual card would allow them to check out virtual materials like eBooks to use until their checkout time has expired instead of having to return physical books and getting fined if they do not. Inabnitt said lower-income families will benefit from the virtual cards since it is harder for them to pay off those fines, and this way their children can still use some materials instead of being barred from them for not returning a book and paying the fine. The cards may be part of this coming school year’s recurring partnership between Austin Public Library and AISD. “The idea of a partnership between the two (is) so that more students will have more access to Austin Public Library resources,” said Toni Lambert, interim director of Libraries. The Library Commission added the initiative to its goals and objectives to tackle when the new school year begins.

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