Above, the local nonprofit, grassroots organization Mano Amiga, along with HOME Center and San Marcos Public Library staff hosted a press conference Thursday to discuss enhanced IDs. Daily Record photo by Alyssa Gonzales
Enhanced library IDs available for San Marcos residents
San Marcos residents will soon have the opportunity to obtain a new and enhanced library ID card from the San Marcos Public Library.
The local nonprofit, grassroots organization Mano Amiga, along with HOME Center and library staff, hosted a press conference Thursday to discuss the benefits.
“We [Mano Amiga] believe it will be greatly beneficial to a multitude of community members,” said Sam Benavides, Campaign Fellow with Mano Amiga.
According to Benavides, these IDs would be beneficial for individuals such as those that Mano Amiga helps release through the organization’s bail efforts. Upon their release, the library IDs would serve as a form of identification and assist in getting better jobs.
“This initiative will benefit many in our marginalized communities such as our immigrant community. It can be very difficult for our immigrant community to have access to a valid identification,” said Nataly Avendano, Immigration Coordinator with Mano Amiga.
Hannah Durrance of the HOME Center also spoke about the benefits of this newly enhanced library ID for the homeless community.
“One of the things that we really see on a regular basis is the lack of ID, a birth certificate or social security cards and so this has made it impossible for individuals to get access to resources that they need in their communities,” Durrance said. “The fact that our library is now going to be making that available is going to be life-altering for some of these individuals.”
The HOME Center hopes to work closely with the Homeless Coalition of Hays County, the City of San Marcos and the library staff to ensure that some resource programs will temporarily allow these enhanced library IDs while they work with individuals to acquire other forms of state-issued identification.
San Marcans who are 18 and older will be able to able to acquire the enhanced library ID that will include the individual’s name, picture, birth date, sex and address. The ID will therefore function as a legitimate form of state-issued identification.
“It’s a big move for us to be able to offer this to our community where many people do find it difficult to have an identification card,” San Marcos Public Library Director Diane Insley said.
Following the speakers, library staff held a live demonstration of what the application and production process looks like when making the photo card. After filling out the application form for the ID and taking a photo, the enhanced ID can be printed and presented in minutes.
“We are offering appointments because it does take a few minutes to have people fill out the forms and then provide the required materials to prove their identification,” Insley said. “We’ve tried to make the range of items as broad as possible to try to get as many people with these photo IDs as possible but still being able to confirm who they are with either their international birth certificates or other various forms of paperwork that they may have filled out for other organizations.”
The library staff aims to further assist those in need of IDs by allowing individuals to make appointments to fit their daily schedules. Appointment times vary and can be made during the evening and on weekends with each time slot equaling one person.
“We do ask people just to provide their general availability so that we can figure out a time that we can schedule somebody who knows how to use the software and create the IDs and just kind of get them in there as soon as possible,” said Samantha Gordano, Public Service Manager for the San Marcos Public Library.
Registration for appointments is currently open and can be done through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via phone call at 512-393-8200 or the San Marcos Public Library’s event page at engagedpatrons.org/Events. cfm?SiteID=9426. Spanish-speaking staff will also be available for assistance.