May 21, 2022

Missouri: New Initiative Insures Library Access – No Card Needed – for All KC Public School Students

From the Kansas City (MO) Public Library:

Kansas City’s 15,000 public school students now have perhaps the easiest, most unfettered access to their local library in the country.

If they’re enrolled, they’re in. Kindergarteners through high schoolers are automatically registered with the Kansas City Public Library as part of a new initiative launched in conjunction with Kansas City Public Schools at the start of the school year. Student identification numbers – with a simple Library prefix – double as Library account numbers. No separate Library card is needed.

Students get easy access to the Library’s full menu of materials and services, from books and other items in its physical collection to online databases and other e-content.

“It has removed a barrier, I think,” says Crystal Faris, the Library’s director of youth and family engagement. “Students can tap into our resources from home or their classrooms. Teachers and school librarians also have access. It’s a more seamless process.

“I don’t know of anything like it anywhere else in the country.”

The Kansas City Public Library has worked the past three years to issue cards to every student. The new initiative ensures registration, and Faris says the card-less feature and adoption of student ID numbers should simplify access. “I don’t think I’ve met a student older than first grade who didn’t know his or her student identification number,” she says.

A student can use his or her student ID number at any of the Library’s 10 locations, typing it into a self-checkout machine or giving it to a Library staff member to take out or place holds on books and other materials. Or to access Library computers. Even more convenient is the ability to access databases, download materials, and order items while at school.

Items placed on hold from schools are delivered by the Library to those schools.

See Also: All Lawrence Township, Indiana Public School Students Receive Indianapolis Public Library Cards

See Also: Philadelphia: City Schools and Free Library Merge Databases and Give Nearly 100,00 Students Library Cards (April 15, 2014)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.