Having a library card opens doors for students, teachers and families to learn, grow and explore. So, the Newark Public Library is teaming up with the Newark public school district for an initiative regarding library cards.

Jeffrey Trzeciak, director of the Newark Public Library, said the library this month plans to hand out free library cards to every student and educator in the state's largest school district. That means 45,000 cards will be given to 38,000 students and 7,000 educators. The free cards eliminates the hassle of filling out any paperwork. He said all they have to do is come to the library and pick up a card.

Trzeciak said he is hoping that by making the process of getting a library card as easy as possible, it will entice more students and teachers to visit their local public library. Once the library card initiative is completed, Trzeciak said phase two is to hopefully integrate a library visit component into the curriculum at the third grade level.

The other incentive to visit the Newark Public Library is that fines on overdue books have been eliminated. Trzeciak said some people may have felt discouraged in the past about coming to the library because they knew they had fines on overdue books.

"But we've eliminated that as well. So we're hoping that the combined easy-to-get library cards and the removal of fines will encourage more people to come in," said Trzeciak.

Another enticement is that Newark Public Library also checks out video-streaming through a service called Hoopla.

Trzeciak is also excited about a pilot program in which the library is providing wireless hotspots for people who do not have internet access at home. So they will be able to check out a wireless hotspot at the library, take it home and access the internet that way.

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