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A screenshot of the Clever landing page that SMCISD students will use to access free materials.

Public library partners with SMCISD for digital cards

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The San Marcos Public Library has partnered with San Marcos Consolidated ISD to offer all SMCISD students digital library cards.

Library cards have always been free for SMCISD students and teachers, but the partnership between the school district and library has cleared the hurtle of actually having to go through the process of obtaining a physical card, according to Children’s Librarian Ashley Schimelman.

“We approached the school district to start this partnership because we had a goal to get more library cards and library books into the hands of school kids in our area,” Schimelman said. “In order to do that, we worked with Mr. James Nevarez and his staff to load all of the student ID numbers as library card numbers, so all current SMCISD students can now access our electronic collections with their school ID number, which they already know.”

Schimelman said, students often don't know they have free cards available to them or they encounter physical impediments to using the services at the library. But with the new partnership between the school district and library, students can now use their SMCISD student ID number to access thousands of free materials including e-books, audiobooks, magazine and newspaper subscriptions as well as research databases and language learning software.

The library has offered e-books and audiobooks for years through OverDrive Media and the Central Texas Digital Consortium. According to Schimelman, many of the library’s patrons love it for the convenience and selection.

“We have a great electronic book collection and if you are someone who uses that electronic book collection, then you know all the advantages, and it has huge advantages to help us overcome a lot of physical barriers,” Schimelman said. “You don't have to physically come to the library, it’s impossible to get late fees, you don't have to remember to bring the books back because the books magically return themselves. You don't have to keep track of the books and take care of them, because the books can't be lost, they can't be damaged. So some of the impediments and possible stressors that are associated with traditional library cards, and particularly some of those impediments for big families and busy families, those are just wiped away.”

To access all San Marcos Public Library ebooks, audiobooks, subscriptions and language instruction materials, SMCISD students can follow these steps:

Sign In From Computer or Chromebook:

  • Go to Clever App's website
  • Students will login with their school badge or by typing in their username and password
  • Click on the "Sora by Overdrive" app
  • Choose San Marcos Consolidated
  • Add a public library by clicking on the three lines at the top right and click on "add a public library”
  • Type in San Marcos Public Library
  • Choose "Central Texas Digital Consortium"
  • Browse the digital library. Once you are ready to borrow a book, click the book image and click Borrow.  Students will enter their student id (lunch number)

Sign In From phone (iPhone or Android), iPad or tablet:

  • Download the Clever app and the Sora app
  • Launch the Clever app
  • Students will login with their school ID or by typing in their username and password
  • Click on the "Sora by Overdrive" app
  • Choose San Marcos Consolidated
  • Add a public library by clicking on the three lines at the top right and click on "add a public library”
  • Type in San Marcos Public Library
  • Choose "Central Texas Digital Consortium"
  • Browse the digital library. Once you are ready to borrow a book, click the book image and click Borrow. Students will enter their student id (lunch number)

The library has access to a huge collection of books oriented towards children, juveniles and young adults and they are always adding more. Schimelman said it’s that variety of reading materials that she hopes will help make SMCISD students grow as readers.

“So much research, supports children having choice and and how that makes them better readers. Because you're going to want to read stuff you choose, things you're interested in,” Schimelman said. “Interest and motivation are what make strong readers. You can't build strong readers, just by assignment. You can only build it by engaging their interests and giving them the ability to choose what they're going to read. And with this, they have the ability to access a sort of unlimited pool of books and have variety and abundance in their reading materials. That's how we build creativity. That’s how we build critical thinking and build problem solving.”

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666