LONG ISLAND CITY — The city's three separate library systems plan to issue a common library card so the city's 1.1 million public school students have easier access to their collections.
The move was done in partnership with the Department of Education to keep children reading through the summer months. The cards will allow students to check out books from different library systems, so they will have an easier time finding books closer to where their parents work or where they will attend summer camp, library officials said.
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, the summer reading cards don't offer a single, integrated library account. Instead, they can be used to activate three separate accounts.
The libraries began issuing the cards to students last week. They will be valid indefinitely.
The new cards apply only to kids. It isn't clear whether similar cards will be issued for adults. As it stands, The Queens Library, The Brooklyn Public Library and New York Public Library allow interlibrary loans, but it can take up to a week to get a book from another system.
Joint cards would allow readers to check out and return books at any library branch in the entire city and browse catalogs from all the systems, library officials said.
"The partnership between the three systems on a joint Summer Reading card breathed new life into the idea of a single library card for all New York City patrons, and we are currently in the early stages of exploring that possibility," said Angela Montefinise, a spokeswoman for the New York Public Library.
“At this point, all three city library systems are on board, and we have to work out details and logistics," she added.