Downey One Card

Oscar Flores, Copy Editor

The start of the 2017-2018 school year marked the start of the Downey One Card program, an initiative in which students are granted access to the resources of the Downey City Library by  using their ID card.  The program was launched by DHS librarian Martha Ortiz and is only applicable to the students of Downey High School at this time.  


Initiation of the program stemmed from the limited funding provided to the DHS library – as described by Linda Rivas, the Children’s Librarian at the Downey City Library and associate of Mrs. Ortiz.


“Well, this was something that the school librarian, Martha, talked about because the funding for the [school] library is virtually none – given the number of students – and we wanted to make the largest amount of resources available to as many people as possible and reduce the number of barriers to getting the card,” Rivas stated.  “So that’s where we were coming from.”


The project took seven months to complete due to the extensive research necessary for it to succeed. Research ranged from a city-wide scale dealing with a written MOU (Morale of Understanding) and privacy policies between the two libraries to contact with a school in Nashville, Tennessee who had a similar program.  After that was set, it took another three months for the program to be approved by city council.


As of now, the program is in its pilot stage here at Downey High School in order to track its efficacy, as described by Mrs. Ortiz.


“I did want to do it [expand program to all schools in district] but we were scared, because it was by luck that they let me do it and I kept pitching it ‘cause it was just a small group so I wanted to start small,” Ortiz said.  “I wanted to just keep it within this small, little school so that if there is big problems, we could just take out the program or change it.”  


The Downey One Card has been successful in its goal so far, with only a few complications regarding the opt-out form interrupting its progress.


Students at Downey High are benefiting from the new initiative and the consensus of the Downey One Card is positive with Matthew Galvan, 11, who believes the program is efficient and effective.


“I think it’s great; I think it’s very great how you don’t have to have a membership with the Downey City Library,” Galvan said.  “And it’s very convenient because the school library and the Downey City Library are right across the street from each other.”


The Downey One card opens up the doors to students without pre-existing access to the Downey City Library and its available resources.  Plans to expand the benefits of the card district-wide are in motion and is believed to take approximately two years.  For more information or inquiries pertaining to the card, see Mrs. Ortiz in the library.