Mayor Chris Beutler and Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) Superintendent Steve Joel today announced a new initiative to provide all LPS students with access to the resources of the Lincoln City Libraries (LCL), including high-speed Internet access. The ConnectED Library Challenge is a White House initiative to provide all students with access to broadband and to the best in electronic information resources.
Through ConnectED, LPS students will have an account with Lincoln City Libraries using their school identification numbers. The project will start with students in three pilot schools — McPhee and Norwood Park Elementary Schools and Lefler Middle School. The goal is to extend Connect ED accounts to all LPS students for the 2017-2018 school year. This will allow them to check out materials and to access information through the library's website, lincolnlibraries.org.
Lincoln City Libraries recently completed connections to the City's fiber network, resulting in excellent broadband access. All students, especially those without broadband access at home, can visit the eight LCL locations and use their Chromebooks to work on assignments using the library's wireless network.
"Lincoln is a city that values education, and we are proud of our excellent public libraries and public schools," Beutler said. "The ConnectED Library Challenge is another way we are working as partners to help our children become adults who are engaged in the community and who participate in our culture of innovation."
"This partnership will encourage students to be lifelong learners, increase student achievement and help us make sure our students are ready for their future after graduation," said Joel. "This collaborative project also expands our participation in Prosper Lincoln by supporting early childhood education, employment skills and innovation. This is one more way for us to support children and families in our community, making sure that every Lincolnite has the opportunity to read and learn every day."
President Obama signed the ConnectED initiative in April 2015, and Lincoln is now one of 60 cities that have adopted the ConnectED Library Challenge. "There can be no more important partnership than local elected officials joining with public school and public library leaders to ensure our nation's children have access to the universe of resources - books, technology and smart people - for a 21st century education," said Urban Libraries Council President and CEO Susan Benton.