Library Equity Plan creates new opportunities

The Library Equity Access Plan, also known as LEAP, is a program which allows students to check out materials with only their name. A physical library card is no longer needed for FCPS students to check out. FCPL’s digital resources such as ebooks and other materials are now available to all students with a LEAP account.

With this program students may now check out up to three items at a time for six weeks each. Under no circumstances will this program charge students late fees or any type of fines ever, which can be very helpful for high school students depending on their average workload and time management skills.

However, this is not only limited to students in high school. LEAP is accessible to all FCPS students in all grades from PreK-12. LEAP began in a single school pyramid last year. The initiative was to help students who can’t gain access to library materials whether it may be because of fines/fees or just not being able to get a library card.

For in person inquiries, LEAP is available at any Fairfax County Public Library branch. Students and parents may show up and give their name to participate, a virtual account already exists so identification is not necessary. LEAP can be accessed here at Annandale as well as other libraries such as George Mason, Burke Centre Library, and Thomas Jefferson Library.

It’s encouraged to sign up for a library card in order to get full access to all materials, due to only being able to check three materials at a time with LEAP.

“A few years ago, Ms.Scharankov and I developed a relationship with the George Mason Branch of the Fairfax County Public Library. Together our collaborative goal was to provide every AHS student with a full-service public library card to support their academic and personal information needs,” AHS head librarian Patricia Brown said.

Brown and Jane Scharankov would like to stress the importance of having a full service public library card available to all students. They strongly believe having both the LEAP pass and a full-service library card offers students the most benefit.

“Everyone should have a public library card. It not only offers access to free resources and programs but also access to the community,” Brown said.

Having a public library card can help students in many ways. A library can be an educational support center for students of all ages and grades.

“It gives the user access to all the digital resources the public library offers, which is many. Those digital resources offer access to tools and information that FCPS does not offer. There are no fees attached to using digital resources including eBooks and audiobooks. The full-service card also allows the user to check-out up to 50 print items from the library, however, fines can be associated with these,” Brown said.

This program will help many students within FCPS with their education. It’s important to give students access to things like this for a variety of reasons. The main one being that when students are given more resources their windows for success widens dramatically.

This program will help give the students who were not able to gain access to many resources in the past an easier path to gaining knowledge.

“I think that this new library equity access program will be a great addition to Annandale and will help many students by giving them easier access to school related resources,” junior Iman Hamdela said.

We hope students at Annandale take advantage of this new program to the fullest.

“I especially think it’s important how there won’t be any late fees or charges because I know that’s something most low income students tend to stress about,” junior Tsion Abate said.