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E-Cards giving students a digital edge in education

From the bookshelf to the browser, over 3,000 students at Elkhart and Concord Community Schools are about to get a universe of exclusive, digital public library information, without having to step out the door.

Rolling out this week, students will be given E-Cards that provide access to all the online resources offered by the Elkhart Public Library.

From top to bottom this program is getting a warm welcome.

From the teachers who thought this program would benefit their students to public library officials who want students to know what real research is all about.

“Deconstruct the word research. Re and search. You research. If you look at a Google search and look at the first 10 results, that’s not research. That’s search,” says Lisa Guedea Carreno, Director of the Elkhart Public Library.

The new partnership formed with Elkhart and Concord Community Schools to give middle and junior high students E-Cards is a step to make sure research from 2016 students remains credible.

“What better way to educate – than to team up with other people in education,” says Carreno.

And it’s not just about convenience.

“This is a great opportunity for them to have exposure to academic databases. We do often see them searching the internet and equate that with doing research. When its definitely two different skills. When you do research go in to  academic databases that are vetted and trusted is a much better way to get information for your academic subjects,” says Tara White, Digital Resources Coordinator with Elkhart Community Schools.

Along with the ability to access e-books and magazines, students will have access to live, online tutoring with writing assistance and skill building.

Students will also have resources available to learn up to 60 foreign languages.

Each student will get an e-card with a unique bar code and pin, accessing the library digitally from anywhere  at anytime.

“They would ask the students some questions to see what grade level they are and what subject their talking about to connect them with a tutor that would best be able to help the student,” Mary Beth Schlabach with the Elkhart Public Library.

Allison McLean works with young learners every day at the public library as the Young People Services Director. 

“We want to create a positive image of the library for them so that they want to come here and be a part of the library,” says McLean.

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