Whatcom County Library System has a new partnership with the Ferndale School District, Lummi Nation School , Lynden School District, Meridian School District, and the Mount Baker School District known as ConnectED, which gives K – 12 students access to great educational resources and learning materials in our libraries and on the Internet.
Through the partnership, student ID numbers are used as WCLS accounts, allowing students to:
- Borrow 2 physical items at a time, such as books, CDs or DVDs, from any public library location
- Borrow 5 digital eBooks or eAudiobooks at a time
- Stream or download digital music and borrow digital magazines
- Incur no overdue fines for items classified for children and teens
- Use computers with filtered internet access at any public library location
- Access other educational resources, such as online encyclopedias, using the Internet from school or home
This is in addition to, and separate from, a library card that a student may already have.
ConnectED Frequently Asked Questions
How will this help my student with school?
Digital content at WCLS helps with reports and projects, including:
- Britannica Online: an online encyclopedia with three versions for kids, teens, and adults, including images, audio, and video.
- Culturegrams: a geography resource to help students learn about different countries, states, and provinces.
- History Study Center: a collection of historical documents and maps for researching a variety of time periods.
- SIRS Discoverer: resources for understanding the pros & cons of issues, current events, and more. Also includes a Science Fair Explorer.
Encourage reading with:
- eBooks: thousands of titles for every reading level with a wide range of topics and genres
- eAudiobooks: popular on long bus rides!
- digital magazines: over 150 titles from American Girl to Yoga
Help prepare for standardized tests and career exams, including:
- AP tests
- PSAT & SAT
- Career exams such as Cosmetology, Real Estate and Law Enforcement
- Scholarship searches and financial planning tools
I received an opt-out form related to ConnectED. What does it mean?
If you would like your child to access public library resources using his/her school ID, you do not need to do anything. Your child will automatically be enrolled. To opt your student out of public library access using his or her school ID, fill out the opt-out form you received from the school and turn it in to your school’s administrative assistant.
Note: many schools now consider a public library card an essential “school supply” and some teachers may be asking students to use the ConnectED resources for assignments. If you are considering whether to opt your student out, please contact your school librarian or WCLS with your concerns. We welcome your feedback!
What if my student already has a WCLS library card?
We’re glad you and your family are involved with the Whatcom County Library System! Your student can have both a regular library account and a student account. Both will enable access to e-books and digital resources like Britannica Online or Culturegrams. The ConnectED student account does limit students to checking out only two physical items at a time (books, CDs or DVDs), so students may wish to use a standard account if they want to check out more than that.
Will my student’s ID number work as a library account in the summer when school is out?
Yes! Student IDs will work as library accounts throughout the summer and we encourage students to visit WCLS locations to sign up for Summer Reading, and check out DVDs, video games, graphic novels, music, and, of course, books. We also offer many programs and events for kids and teens during the summer, as well as throughout the school year.
How can my student check out more than two items at a time?
It’s easy to sign up for a standard library account and your student can have both a student account and a standard account. The standard account permits up to 150 check-outs at a time! Come in to any location or sign up online to get one.
What if a student no longer attends a ConnectED school?
If you have moved and your student is attending another school district, his or her student ID will no longer work as a library account. If you still live in Whatcom County, you are welcome to sign up for a standard library account, which will give students the same access to digital services and will let them check out up to 150 physical items. To get a standard account, come in to any location or sign up online.
Will a student ID work as a library account after a student graduates?
The student ID will continue to work through the summer after graduation, but will be deleted from the WCLS system shortly before the next school year. We encourage graduating seniors to get a standard library account, which will enable the same access to digital services and will allow up to 150 checkouts at once. To get a standard account, come in to any location or sign up online.
What if a student tries to sign in to library services and the ID doesn’t work?
If a student is having trouble signing in using a student ID as a library account, just call any WCLS location to ask a library staff member to investigate or fill out a Contact Us form to send an email. A staff member will contact you to troubleshoot the account and get it working.
My student is under 13. Will he or she have access to the teen or adult features of the catalog?
Borrowers can search for any book in the online catalog, but some features are limited based on the patron’s age, in compliance with COPPA (the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). According to Bibliocommons, the WCLS catalog vendor, patrons under 13 can:
- Add titles to their For Later, In Progress and Completed shelves
- Create lists, selecting from a menu of pre-defined list names
- See reviews and recommendations from others
- Ignore recommendations and comments from others
- Rate titles
- Suggest similar titles
- Suggest age suitability for titles
Patrons under 13 cannot:
- Enter free text, and therefore can’t add comments, summaries, list annotations, or tags
- Add URLs to lists
- Add videos
- Send messages to other users
- Receive messages from other users
What if my student was opted out and would like to opt in?
If your student was mistakenly opted-out of the ConnectED partnership and you would like to enable his or her student ID number as a WCLS library account, please contact your school librarian or send the request using the WCLS Contact Us form.
Who can I contact if I have further questions?
You can chat with your school librarian or use the WCLS online Contact Us form to send an email with your questions or feedback. We are happy to hear from you!