School Ready Delaware Families

Before last May, Delaware's public and school library catalogs were not connected. But that is starting to change for the better.

Connecting the catalogs and collections across public and school libraries can significantly impact expanding access to books and ebooks for students and their families. It provides an opportunity to bridge the gap between learning at school and continuing education at home. By connecting the two catalogs, students can access a wider variety of books, including resources that may not be available in their school library. This integration can also benefit families who may not be able to afford books, giving them the opportunity to borrow them from the library and support their children's education at home.

With the launch of a pilot program in May 2022, Delaware Libraries began to address learning and access shortfalls connecting several schools with the main Delaware Library Catalog. WHYY featured a great story about the first integrations between the public library and school library catalogs last fall. As House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst said at the time, "This is a no-brainer to me. We need to encourage children to read, and we need to help our teachers. We need to help students take responsibility for their research and let them learn and give them those tools so that today we will be expanding it." It's been so successful and so impactful that we are asking the legislature to help us scale it up - and quickly. 

Read about the pilot program on WHYY: "School libraries link up with Delaware Library Catalog to provide broader access to books"

Now, the Delaware Libraries community is asking the state legislature for a $1 million state investment to accelerate the integration of school libraries across the Delaware Library Catalog. Students can access a broader range of books and electronic in a shared catalog. With this new funding, families can borrow books to support their children's learning at home. This kind of close collaboration will result in better wrap-around literacy and learning services over the summer and during out-of-school times.

You can help support this important new funding by sending a message to your state Senator and Representative. The Delaware Libraries' "One Ask" focuses on shared catalogs because integrating public library catalogs with school library catalogs can help promote a love of reading and lifelong learning. By providing students and their families with access to a wider range of books, they can discover new topics and interests and continue to explore them beyond the classroom.


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