Library and CMS join forces for student success

Children who read, succeed. In that spirit, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) have announced the launch of a new strategic initiative to get young students off to a great start to the 2014-15 school year by working together to supply pre-kindergarten through third grade students with library cards. Later in the school year, the partners will be piloting a Library “eCard” for students in grades 6-12 in the Project L.I.F.T community.

As partners in education, the Library and CMS recognize that reading is an essential skill for all students because reading is embedded in all parts of the curriculum. The more children read, the better their fluency, vocabulary and comprehension become; and regular, year-round use of the public library can help children become strong readers.

“Libraries are an indispensable asset to our students, and can serve as an extension of the classroom,” said Charlotte Mecklenburg Library CEO Lee Keesler. “Young students – the future of this wonderful community in which we live – deserve every opportunity to succeed, and to do so need access to the tools necessary to further their educations.”

It is with these student achievement goals in mind that CMS and the Library are launching two joint initiatives.

Library cards for young students

The first, which starts at the beginning of the CMS school year, is an initiative to provide library cards to the more than 51,000 pre-kindergarten through third grade students.

“When children possess their own library card, a door opens for them to become regular library users.” notes Director of Libraries David Singleton. “It is a gateway to obtaining full access to a wide range of services within the library and online.”

Studies show that third grade reading proficiency is one of the most reliable predictors of future academic and career success. By giving library cards to students in pre-K through third grade, the partners aim to positively impact early literacy and ensure students have full access to public library resources that can be used to help them achieve grade-level reading competency. Students who already have their own library card will be given a one-time-use waiver to remove any fines or fees from their library card.

A pilot Library eCard project

The second initiative, which begins later in the school year, is a limited pilot “Library eCard” program for students in grades 6-12 in the Project L.I.F.T community. This electronic library card will give students 24/7 access to all of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s electronic resources, including eBooks, eMagazines, music, and videos available from the Library’s web site

As part of the eCard pilot, Library staff plan to visit the Project Lift schools to provide tutorials on library resources for CMS staff and students. 

These two initiatives – giving library cards to young students and the pilot eCard program -- are just two of the many ways in which CMS and the Library are collaborating and combining resources to better serve students and families.

Notes Singleton, “Together we can create readers who will be prepared to succeed in school, the world, and in life.”

This partnership supports the mission of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: to create a community of readers and empower individuals with free access to information and the universe of ideas. To learn more about the partnership between the Library and CMS, visit


About Us

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is one of America’s leading urban public libraries, serving a community of more than one million citizens in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Through 20 locations, targeted outreach and online, the Library delivers exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. For more, visit




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@cmlibrary aims to help students by serving as an “extension of the classroom."
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@cmlibrary & @CharMeckSchools team up to supply library cards to 51,000+ pre-K - 3rd grade students.
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