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ConnectED Library Challenge

The ConnectED Library Challenge is a way for communities throughout the country to create or strengthen partnerships so that every child enrolled in school can receive a library card.  The initiative calls upon library directors to work with their mayors, school leaders, and school librarians, to provide wider access to the learning resources and books of America’s libraries.  The initiative calls upon library directors to work with their mayors, county executives, school leaders, and school librarians, to provide wider access to the learning resources and books of America’s libraries. 

In addition to partnerships that improve library card access, participating libraries will also commit to:

  • Support student learning through programming that develops language, reading, and critical thinking
  • Provide digital resources, such as eBooks and online collections of traditional media
  • Provide broadband connectivity and wireless access within library facilities

White House Convening:

Mayors, county executives, school superintendents, and library leaders from approximately 50 cities and counties met in Washington, DC, on January 19, 2016, as part of a national initiative to connect students to public library system resources. The "ConnectED Library Challenge: Answering the Call" convening was hosted by the White House, with the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It was both a strategy session and a celebration of the community leaders who accepted the President's challenge last April. The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) and American Library Association (ALA) contributed to the initiative.

January 22, 2016 White House Blog Post: 60 Communities Tackle Barriers to Learning Through the President's ConnectED Library Challenge

Communities that have already adopted the ConnectED Library Challenge.

January 19, 2016, news release: Communities across the U.S. Answer Call for a Library Card for Every Student

White House video of morning session on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOWPMnZ5cRk

Video about the Ramsey County Public Library (Minnesota) ConnectED Library Challenge Partnership: https://whitebear.wistia.com/medias/8g10dz7u7t

To learn more about the ConnectED Library Challenge and how you can get involved, send an email to LibraryChallenge@imls.gov.

Event Launch:

President Obama at the Anacostia LlibraryOn April 30 at the Anacostia Branch of the District of Columbia Public Library, President Obama announced two new efforts to strengthen student learning by improving access to digital content and to public libraries. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is supporting several library and non-profit partners to develop the Open eBooks initiative and the ConnectED Library Challenge. These efforts leverage the extensive resources of the nation’s 16,400 public libraries to help kids develop a love of reading and discovery by making e-books and library services broadly available, particularly to students from low-income families.

Learn More:

June 25, 2015 White House Fact Sheet: ConnectED: Two Years of Delivering Opportunity to K-12 Schools & Libraries

April 30, 2015 White House Fact Sheet: Spreading the Joy of Reading to More Children and Young Adults

April 30, 2015 White House Blog Post: ConnectED: Open Books and Open Doors

May 2, 2015 White House Weekly Address: Ensuring Every Child Gets a Great Education

May 1, 2015 White House Blog Post: From Sherlock Holmes to The War of the Worlds: 13 E-Books Students Can Read For Free

White House Fact Sheet: Spreading the Joy of Reading to More Children and Young Adults

Watch on White House Live: President Obama Participates in a "Virtual Field Trip" with Students Around the Country

Follow #BooksforAll on Twitter for updates.