QUINCY -- The Quincy Public Library wants to put its digital resources at the fingertips of students in Quincy Public Schools.
New electronic access cards, or eCards, will allow students without a library card to access resources "they need to be successful in their classes," said Ruth Cuthbertson, marketing and events librarian.
The program will roll out with students at Quincy High School, with homeroom teachers distributing the cards. Plans call for extending the program to Quincy Junior High School and Quincy's elementary schools -- and to parochial and private schools in Quincy.
"Anyone with a library card, their service will not change because they already had access to these databases and resources," said Bobbi Mock, the library's manager of collections and delivery services, but the program "stands to benefit a great deal of students who did not currently have a library card."
The eCards will look exactly like regular library cards but be restricted to digital materials. With the number on the card, students can enjoy free music, books, magazines and movies, along with research and study aids.
"Another thing students can do with eCards is use the public access computers here at the library if they don't have a computer at home," Cuthbertson said.
Digital resources already available to any library cardholder include World Book Encyclopedia, Something About the Author for help with book reports or literature studies, and Learning Express to build basic skills at all ages.
The resources "make it easy for students to do research and review for classes," Cuthbertson said. "One of the benefits of library resources is these are verified resources. You can go to Google and put a question in, but you don't know what kind of authoritative answer you're getting back. With these resources, you know they're valid and know they will work for school assignments."
Digital materials are automatically returned when the loan period expires, so students don't have to worry about fines on library materials.
"Parents have the option of coming in and converting that to a premium card if they want their child to be able to check out books and physical materials like movies and music we have at the library at no charge," Cuthbertson said.
For more information about the eCards program, call the library at 217-223-1309.