Many people have fond memories of a parent taking them to a library to get their first library card, enabling them to check out books for the joy of reading and learning.
The Kansas City Public Library wants to make the process even easier for the 14,500 students in the Kansas City Public Schools. Those young people who are enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade this year are automatically registered with library.
Student identification numbers with the addition of a library prefix now double as library cards at the 10 branches in the Kansas City area. The library’s full menu of services is available to students, including checking out books and using online services.
Library computer are a major draw at all of the branches. Many students in Kansas City Public Schools have been issued computers to use so the WiFi service at branch libraries is attractive.
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The 10 libraries in the system are the Lucile H. Bluford Branch, 3050 Prospect Ave.; the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.; The North-East Branch, 6000 Wilson Road; the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.; the Irene H. Ruiz Branch, 2017 W. Pennway St.; the Southeast Branch, 6242 Swope Parkway; the Sugar Creek Branch, 102 South Sterling Ave., Sugar Creek; the Trails West Branch, 11401 E. 23rd St., Independence; the Waldo Branch, 201 E. 75th St.; and the Westport Branch, 118 Westport Road.
The libraries offer a variety of services to people, including enabling people to register to vote. The Bluford and North-East branches offer some postal services to people who want to buy stamps and mail letters and packages.
Libraries are a community gathering place in that regard. Having the additional services at libraries benefits people living in underserved communities.
The Ruiz Branch last Saturday began offering bilingual computer classes in a joint effort with Connecting for Good.
The library system also is working with Connecting for Good to provide mobile hot spots for some students in the Kansas City school district. About 25 students will be able to check out a wireless hot spot device and tablet for the duration of the school year.
The Central and Plaza branch libraries offer a variety of speakers and special programs that attract a diverse audience of Kansas City area residents.