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ULC Education Tool: Local Leaders Partnering for Student Success

Today, the Urban Libraries Council launched the Student Success Accelerator – an interactive map that showcases public libraries across the United States that are pioneering a national approach that for the first time brings local elected officials, school and library executives together and their collective resources for student learning in and outside the classroom.

“Our children’s success is the future of the country. It is important to align and leverage our local resources in new ways. The Student Success Accelerator reflects an all-hands-on deck effort,” said former Mayor Karl Dean, incoming chair of the Urban Libraries Council. “When mayors, county executives, school superintendents and public library executives join forces, we can create opportunities that really benefit our kids. What can be better than children spending time in their local library, participating in fun educational programs and tutoring with access to smart, supportive library staff and resources in a safe environment.”

The Student Success Accelerator is an outcome of the Leaders Library Card Challenge, a national effort to have local leaders working together to get a library card into every student’s hand. The map identifies schools and libraries that are succeeding, and the almost six million students that now have a library card.

“A library card is an entrance key. Libraries big and small, urban and rural are places for exploring the world beyond your neighborhood, discovering new information and ideas in a safe place with caring adults,” said ULC President & CEO Susan Benton. “Schools and libraries that are partnering on library card distribution are expanding beyond this success to collaborate on things like STEM programming, curated materials to match the school curriculum and direct support of teachers in the classroom.”

The Leaders Library Card Challenge is the starting point and the catalyst for ongoing cooperation and collaboration. When local leaders work together, children benefit. ULC looks forward to leaders who have not yet begun an initiative in their jurisdiction, to get started! Support resources and the Student Success Accelerator map are available on the ULC website.

Along with the Urban Libraries Council, the Georgia Public Library Service and the Pacific Library Partnership in California are working with local leaders in their state and region to initiate the Leaders Library Card Challenge and partnerships that empower children throughout their education journey. ULC encourages more statewide and regional initiatives to pursue partnerships which help communities achieve greater educational success for the children they serve.