Connecting Every Child to Knowledge and Information
We are incredibly proud of the Eugene Public Library and the City of Eugene for meeting the challenge that our community faces by making digital library cards available to all living in the Eugene area, even those outside City limits, throughout the duration of the Eugene Public Library’s closure.
This will mean increased access for children living outside of incorporated Eugene. With the ongoing closure of all schools throughout our community, we believe library access is even more vital. Digital access for these children and youth during the Eugene Public Library’s closure will provide them with supplemental learning and resources as they navigate this uncertain time. At a time when it feels as though normal life has halted, we must remember the active imaginations and curiosity of our children haven’t stopped, and never should.
However, in the fall as children return to schools and face an even more dramatic summer learning gap, the ability for children living outside of incorporated Eugene to keep up with their peers is at stake. For many of our young community members, the cost of obtaining a non-resident library card is prohibitive to their families. This often means that they do not have a library card, but their peers, friends, and next-door neighbors do.
As a result, students living in unincorporated Eugene do not have the same access to literacy development that is fundamental for their success in school and beyond. It is a well known benchmark that reading at or above grade level by 3rd grade is a key indicator in future academic and professional success. With approximately 50% of third grade readers in Eugene reading below grade level, this makes this issue critical for our community as a whole. We believe providing access to all public school students will move the needle on reading levels and overall academic success.
This is why our commitment to our Public School Access initiative will open the opportunity for all students at 4J and Bethel schools to obtain library cards through a 3-year pilot partnership between the Foundation, the Eugene Public Library, and the 4J and Bethel School districts.
Right now, our aim to connect every public school child to knowledge and information is even more critical. With your support, we can turn this idea into a reality and turn your library into an educational and community hub for everyone. By donating to this program now, you can help ensure that when students return to school, they will have access to the full resources our library offers. Please join us in opening the doors and the opportunities for all.