StudentAccess launching to help Polk County Schools students use Polk County Public Libraries more

COLUMBUS, N.C. – Starting in October, students enrolled at Polk County Schools can become instant members of Polk County Public Libraries through a new program called StudentAccess which should help eliminate barriers to library access while improving literacy and student achievement.

As part of a partnership between the public libraries and the school system, students will be given an electronic library account using their student ID number. This account gives students the ability to check out up to 10 items at a time without the need for a library card.

To participate, students simply need a signed permission form. Permission forms go home with students this week and must be returned to their school no later than Sept. 11.

Participating students will be able to use their student ID numbers to check out up to 10 books and audiobooks from the Columbus and Saluda Libraries. A special perk of StudentAccess accounts is that no overdue fines will be charged, although if an item is lost or damaged, students will be responsible for those fees. Students also will have access to online library resources such as eBooks through the NC Kids Digital Library, Mango Languages, and the Testing and Education Reference Center.

This partnership between the schools and the public libraries is based on the shared belief that a love of books and learning is a strong foundation for student success. The purpose of the StudentAccess program is to eliminate barriers to library access while improving literacy and student achievement.

“We’re delighted for this opportunity to work with our schools to make library access easier for students,” Library Director Rishara Finsel said. “Students who use public libraries do better in schools and that is something we all want.”

Polk County Public Libraries has two libraries – the Columbus Library and the Saluda Library – as well as outreach services. PCPL offers books, movies, music, audiobooks and downloadable eBooks and audiobooks, as well as public computers and wireless Internet access. PCPL offers regularly scheduled programs for people of all ages. To learn more, visit