Library Go: Onboarding Guide

Ready to use. Impossible to lose. Saint Paul Public Library's virtual card for students.

New onboarding requests are not currently being taken. Please check back later.

Onboarding information is still presented to here to help potential Library Go schools learn about the onboarding process.

Onboarding Guide for Public and Private Schools

Launched in early 2017 for all 40,000+ Saint Paul Public School students, Library Go is Saint Paul Public Library’s virtual library card program for students and educators. We are excited to expand the program to charter and private schools.

Learn more about how your school can join Library Go with this onboarding guide.

Program Benefits

Free resources to help students succeed.

With Library Go, students can access one-on-one homework help, dozens of research databases, e-books, electronic magazines, music, and more tools they can use independently and that can be integrated by teachers into the curriculum.

So easy, it’s practically magic.

Students are assigned virtual library cards based on their six-digit student IDs. In the case of the public schools, SPPS shares data with the library on a nightly basis, automating the process and saving staff time. The system is also easy to use for students who have their ID numbers down pat.

Fine free.

The library is now fine free! With Library Go, students can only check out five physical materials at a time. If they have reached the max, they must return items in order to check out more. If materials are lost, students can “read them down.”

Welcome from the Director

Dear Education Partners,

Thank you for your interest in Library Go, Saint Paul Public Library’s (SPPL) virtual library card program for local students.

Since launching Library Go with Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) in 2017, our librarians have reported remarkable stories of students who have benefited from library resources. By simply relaying their student ID numbers to librarians, students can access thousands of books, magazines, music downloads, academic enrichment programs, homework help, and more. As one librarian said, “I feel like a magician—the kids are so amazed every time it works.”

These library resources not only help students achieve, but they also convey that youth are supported by their community. This is critical for all students, which is why I am pleased that SPPL is now in a position to extend Library Go to Saint Paul private and charter schools.

We learned some valuable lessons through our work with SPPS. This brochure provides an overview of the onboarding process. We also have resources available online, and, of course, SPPL staff members are available for guidance.

Thank you for all you do for Saint Paul students. Your work is critical to local families and to the future health and vitality of our city. We look forward to working with you on Library Go.

Steps for Library Go Onboarding

1 - Review Library Go onboarding information, the Federal and State Laws Governing Access to Student Records Data Brief, and Frequently Asked Questions and communicate to key stakeholders at your school.

2 - Submit a Request using the Library Go Onboarding Request Form. (Onboarding Requests are not currently being taken.)

3 - SPPL staff will review the form submission and connect with you.

4 - Review and work with your legal representation to formalize and sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

5 - Create an opt-out process, opens a new window for families (an initial opt-out and adding an ongoing opt-out option to registration documents, similar to a media release)

6 - SPPL will set internal processes and communicate with your school’s data/technology lead to identify:

    • Barcode prefix
    • Children’s specialist/nearest library
    • Person(s) with access to the Sharepoint site
    • Data upload dates (set by SPPL) during the last weeks of: August, October, and January

7 - Format student data as shown in this example, opens a new window.

8 - Available to your school once onboarded:

    • Business-card sized promotion/information for students and parents
    • Poster for classrooms / school library
    • Aggregate user statistics
    • Ongoing Library Go promotions, such as videos, impact reports, and more.

9 - Begin an ongoing relationship with your local Children’s Specialist:

    • Provide professional development opportunities for school staff, specially tailored to your needs
    • Make library cards for school staff
    • Promote Library Go at PTO, school events, and staff meetings, etc.


Today one of our quasi-regular teens (one of the only ones who really checks out books) brought a friend with her to Riverview who had never been before. She was browsing the teen section, and asked how she could get a library card, and I explained the normal process, and could tell she was disappointed. Then I asked what school she went to, and she said Humboldt. So I said, if you know your lunch number you can check something out today. She was pleasantly surprised and pretty excited. I told her a little about Library Go, and she checked out "She Wore Red Trainers" because it wasn't a fantasy book (her friend's preferred mode of reading) and the main character (Amirah) had the same name as her sister.

- Joey, Riverview Library

Library Go is so great! It's like being a magician! Kids ask, 'but where's the real card?' But then I walk them to the computer and they say, 'It worked!' They didn't believe it would.  And then they run and tell all their friends.

Savitri, Dayton's Bluff Library

My favorite moment [of History Day Hullabaloo] was a "Library Go" story. A middle school student had 4 or 5 books at the self checkout. I happened to be down in the Welcome Center and heard him tell a friend he couldn't check out the books because he had too many fines on his record. I asked him if he had a Library Go card and he said yes. I sent him to Rakeem who promptly checked out his books.

Deb, George Latimer Central Library

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