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New law requires city to give students library card applications

Paper-and-ink books may be disappearing from school and public libraries around the country, but City Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to make sure that city students can still check them out.

A bill the mayor signed today requires the city to distribute applications to the New York, Brooklyn and Queens public libraries to all kindergartners, sixth-graders and high school freshmen. The city already gives students information about how to obtain the cards, but the bill goes one step further by requiring schools to put applications in students’ hands.

Bloomberg’s full remarks about the bill are after the jump:

MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION REQUIRING THE DISTRIBUTION OF LIBRARY CARD APPLICATIONS TO PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws The first of three bills before me today is Introductory Number 59-A, sponsored by Council Members Van Bramer, Brewer, Chin, Dickens, Ferreras, Fidler, Gennaro, Gentile, James, Koppell, Koslowitz, Lander, Reyna, Rodriguez, Sanders, Williams, Nelson, Lappin, Jackson, Recchia, Cabrera, Rivera, Foster, Crowley, Vann, Ulrich, Halloran, Ignizio, Barron, Vacca, and White. Introductory Number 59-A requires the Department of Education to distribute to every Kindergartner, sixth grader, and high school freshman an application for a library card, as well as information about the City’s public library systems. Simply put, library cards are passports to the world, providing opportunities for people of all ages to explore the limits of their own imagination. Ensuring that every student has access to our public libraries is a crucial first step in developing a New Yorker’s lifelong connection with some of our City’s greatest resources. The Department of Education already provides some information about the New York, Brooklyn, and Queens public libraries in their Family Guide, which is distributed annually to each of the DOE’s more than 1.1 million students, and the Department plans to expand the current page in the guide to include the application itself. Department of Education staff also may distribute this information electronically. I would like to thank Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and his staff and my office of City Legislative Affairs for their work on this bill. I would also like to thank the City Council for approving this legislation.