Gretna Elementary School Principal Andrew Rinaldi hands a folder of forms to Gretna Public Library Children’s Librarian Jennifer Lockwood. The forms allow teachers to sign up for Gretna Public Library cards through a special faculty card program.

Though not all Gretna Public Schools teachers are residents of the community, all are encouraged to access community resources through the Gretna Public Library’s In-School Faculty Card program.

“During the month of September, we typically reach out to each of the principals in the school district to make sure teaching faculty is aware that they can get a special teacher card to use at the library to help supplement their curriculum,” said Krissy Reed, Gretna Public Library Director. “This has been a special form of outreach that we have done for several years now and it has been really well received.”

The outreach fits perfectly in September, as teachers settle in to another school year and libraries worldwide recognize National Library Card Sign Up Month.

Assistant Library Director Rebecca McCorkindale and Children’s Librarian Jennifer Lockwood work together on the program, distributing a document to buildings through Gretna Public Schools, asking faculty if they’d like to sign up or renew a Gretna Public Library card.

“We set aside some funds to help them in any way we can in terms of library resources,” McCorkindale said. “We’re mainly looking for ways to kind of make it easier, both for us and educators.”

Teachers use the resource in various ways. Those commuting to Gretna for work might listen to audiobooks while others might pick up books related to lesson plans or events that they want to focus on. Librarians can help teachers find books for the classroom on various topics and online language, test preparation and database resources also prove useful.

“It really is about us thanking teachers,” McCorkindale said. “We’re both in a nonprofit type of field. For us to help out, in the long run helps us, so that they realize we’re a great resource for them to use in person and online.”

The faculty card has been offered for five years. In 2017, the faculty program saw 25 new accounts and 70 renewals. In 2018, participation totals were up to 121.

“I’ve just been really proud to have created this and if the librarians here didn’t assist me on this program, I don’t know that we could make it happen,” McCorkindale said.

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