Providence Cristo Rey High School made a successful application to join the Indianapolis Public Library’s shared system of school libraries in July of 2013. The Shared System extends the capacity of Providence Cristo Rey’s collection far beyond the school walls. Students at member schools have access to 7,000 books owned by the schools, as well as 2.1 million books available through the Indianapolis Public Library.
“Being part of the Shared System of the IMCPL has already transformed student access to library print and non-print materials,” Carol Divine, a veteran educator and librarian for Providence Cristo Rey, said in a press release.
Students are able to check out materials from the public library’s vast collection and use its extensive research databases —a vailable once they receive an IndyPL library card.
“Such collaboration scores a homerun for all of our faculty and students as we confront the challenges our technological world presents,” Divine said.
Currently, 11 high schools in Indianapolis are members of the Shared System, as are the Eiteljorg Museum and Indianapolis Museum of Art. Students and staff can request public library materials and have them delivered to the high school, satisfying a demand for current, high quality fiction and informational texts that would be too expensive for a smaller school like Providence Cristo Rey to acquire on its own.
“Access to the Shared System has been an important initiative for our school, and we are grateful for the $5,000 gift from private donors and $25,000 grant from The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Family Foundation which funded our membership fee and will allow us to begin building our inventory of books,” Joseph P. Heidt, president of Providence Cristo Rey, said. “Research shows that when students have ready access to books, they spend more time reading, which leads to improved vocabularies, increased knowledge about science, literature, and social studies, and greater inquisitiveness and problem solving. All of these skills are necessary for success in high school, college, and career,” he continued.