Borrowing privileges at the Cal State Northridge library have been extended to advanced placement students at 17 San Fernando Valley high schools as part of a growing partnership between state universities and public high schools.
The trial program was fostered by a grant from the California State University chancellor's office to examine and define information competence standards among graduating high school seniors.
The borrowing program, which began in January, allows high school students enrolled in at least one advanced placement class to check out as many as three books at a time for a two-week period from the CSUN collection. The students present a photo identification card, supplied by CSUN, to receive the books.
"This program should go a long way in helping their education," said Ann Perkins, chair of the reference and instruction department at the university. "Unfortunately, most high school libraries really vary in the amount of resources they have. They're fighting an uphill battle and they need help."
The program is already in effect at other state universities, but the 1.1-million book CSUN library is the largest in the San Fernando Valley and conveniently located for many students.
However, because school officials are not sure just how much of a demand there will be for books, they are holding off on making it a permanent program. There are roughly 7,000 students enrolled in advanced placement classes at Valley high schools, Perkins said.
"We just want one year to see how things go," Perkins said. "Hopefully, we can handle the demand."
Perkins said the borrowing program is part of a larger move to connect universities with nearby high schools. Other programs include workshops for librarians, teachers and administrators from high schools, community colleges and the university.
"We both benefit from these kinds of things," she said.