Milwaukee Public Library enters into historic partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools to give 65,000 students Digital Library Cards.

During his annual State of the City address this morning, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced that the Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) and Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) have entered into an historic partnership to provide complete, free digital access to all the library’s online resources to every student in the district.

LibraryNow, as the program is called, gives every MPS student from 1st to 12th grade access to online tutoring help, book and music downloads, magazines, games, research databases and more, simply through using their MPS student ID number. LibraryNow gives students access to the full array of online resources offered by MPL wherever they are – in school, at home, on tablets, phones, laptops or desktop computers. LibraryNow also allows students to log on and use computers at all library branch locations.

“We are focused on strengthening the connection between library resources and our city residents through a myriad of ways,” said Milwaukee Public Library Director Paula Kiely. “By expanding educational and entertainment programming, offering a Fine Forgiveness campaign, and increasing hours at a number of neighborhood branch locations, we have been able to bring more residents into the library to read, learn and connect – to each other and our resources. LibraryNow will expand learning opportunities for MPS students through help with schoolwork and skill development, ultimately providing lifelong benefits.”

Students can access LibraryNow through the MPS student portal or by visiting The program was developed by Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee Public Schools, and Mayor Tom Barrett’s office in concert with a 2016 White House initiative called “ConnectED,” which strives to bring community leaders together around a shared educational goal of improving education outcomes for children around the nation through increased use of digital resources.

Students are encouraged to visit their local neighborhood branch of Milwaukee Public Library to upgrade to a full access card which allows them to check out materials. For students who have had their previous cards blocked due to fines or fees, library staff will be available to restore access.

“Public libraries are one of our city’s greatest treasures,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “That is why we have made significant investment in our neighborhood branches. The library is a place that enhances early literacy, assists with school work, provides job training, and much more. LibraryNow brings so much of the value of our system right to students wherever they are, and will have a lasting impact on our students.”

© Photo

Lee Matz