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As an educator in the City of St. Louis, I know that you are always on the lookout for new educational resources to help you help your students. The Library is a great place to find some of those resources.

I urge you to get a personal library card (available to anyone who lives or works in the city). I also urge you to take full advantage of the many services provided to teachers by the St. Louis Public Library. Please read accompanying information for details concerning these services. We share your goal of helping every student learn.

Have a good year,

Patricia Carleton,
Acting Director of Youth Services, Youth Services & Family Literacy



Borrowing Privileges For Teachers Student Library Cards
Parent/Teacher Programs Visiting The Library
Visits By Youth Services Staff Library Storytellers Visit Day Care Centers
Deposit Collections Computer Access
Book Boxes Toy Collections



BULLETBorrowing Privileges For Teachers

Borrowing privileges are available to anyone who teaches in a school or licensed day care center within the city of St. Louis. School principals and day care directors are sent applications for teacher cards in August. If you have not received an application, please contact your neighborhood branch of the St. Louis Public Library or call the Customer Service Department at 314-539-0342. The teacher card application must be signed by your principal or director as well as by each teacher who wishes to be eligible for this service.

These privileges allow you to check out materials from the Library for use in the classroom. Simply present identification when you wish to check out materials.

Advantages to checking out material as a teacher:

  • You may check out up to 50 items at a time.
  • Materials are checked out for 30 days and may be renewed by phone for 30 additional days.
  • No fines are assessed on teacher accounts.
  • You may select materials yourself, or you may ask Library staff to assemble a collection to be picked up later.



Teachers and/or schools and day care centers are responsible for lost or damaged items. When a staff member leaves a school or day care center, the principal or director must notify the Library so that teacher checkout privileges for that staff member can be discontinued.

In addition to books, all St. Louis Public Library locations have:

  • Parent/Teacher Collections (including some curriculum planning materials.)
  • Music cassettes and CDs.
  • Books-on-tape with accompanying books.
  • Magazines for children, parents, and teachers.

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BULLET Student Library Cards

Every student attending school in the City of St. Louis is eligible for a St. Louis Public Library card. Parental permission is needed to get a library card as well as to use some computers. Applications are available at any City Library location. It is not usually possible to issue cards the same day as a school visit. It is best, therefore, if library cards are obtained before the field trip day. Encourage students who have cards to bring their cards with them on a library field trip so they can check out materials that day.

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BULLET Parent/Teacher Programs

Library staff can provide workshops on topics such as choosing excellent books, the importance of family reading, or science activities. To arrange a program for your parent/teacher group, contact your neighborhood branch or call Central Youth Services at 314-539-0380.

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BULLETVisiting the Library

We encourage all teachers to bring their classes to a branch of the St. Louis Public Library for a visit. Groups with appointments and scheduled programs have priority. Visits can include:

  • A tour of the location and its resources.
  • Book programs and storytelling.
  • Library skills instruction and research assistance.



When you set up a visit, discuss with the library staff the purpose of your visit and appropriate activities. Please schedule your visit as far in advance as possible to avoid conflicts with other programs. We may not be able to accommodate unscheduled visits.

Where to Visit
Branch Libraries

Each branch of the St. Louis Public Library is different. Some have more computers than others. Some have limited meeting room space. The kinds of information found at each location varies. A visit to your neighborhood branch will introduce your students to services and staff who can help them after school. This encourages independent library use.

Neighborhood branches have a general collection of juvenile and adult books, books on tape, music CD's and cassettes, videos, periodicals, and InfoPlace. The Julia Davis Branch houses our largest collection of materials by and about African-American. The Carpenter and Carondelet Branches have materials in world languages. Several branches offer state-of-the-art computer labs. To schedule a visit to your neighborhood library, call the particular branch.

Teacher Responsibilities

Teacher participation is an integral part a Library field trip. Library staff appreciate teacher input while working with the students. Staff will help students find the resources they need, but should not be expected to discipline students. Teachers are responsible for supervision.

Students are subject to the same Library use rules as any other patrons. Students unwilling to abide Library rules will be asked to leave.

If a meeting room is scheduled, it must be supervised by an adult accompanying the group. The Library is not responsible for lost or damaged personal belongings.

Central Library

For times when students need more extensive or specialized information, a visit to Central Library may be useful. Central is divided into subject departments. Depending on your students' interests, visiting a specific department may be more valuable than a general tour.

Some of the specialized resources are listed below. It is also possible to arrange presentations by subject specialists, either at Central Library or at your school.

Adult Education - Central Library

  • Jobs & Careers
  • College & scholarships



Business, Science & Technology - Central Library

  • Inventions, patents, trademarks
  • Science Fair



Central Youth Services - Central Library

  • Parent/Teacher materials
  • Homework help



Fine Arts - Central Library

  • Music - books, CDs, cassettes
  • Artists & art including architecture & performing arts



Government Information - Central Library

  • Federal, Missouri, and St. Louis legislation & documents
  • Maps
  • Population and other statistics



History & Genealogy - Central Library

  • Family History
  • Civil War, World Wars, Persian Gulf War, etc.
  • Country information
  • St. Louis History



Humanities & Social Sciences - Central Library

  • Poetry
  • Social issues



Microforms - Central Library

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines



Rare Books & Special Collections - Central Library

  • St. Louis authors
  • History of printing



To ensure a successful visit:

  • Call in advance to schedule an appointment.
  • Bring at least 1 adult for every 15 students.
  • Schedule a meeting room if necessary (useful for study space, group conversations, and to stash belongings).
  • Bring your St. Louis Public Library card (both teacher and students).
  • Have your students bring completed "Internet User Agreement and Parent Permission" forms if using the Internet.
  • Enjoy using the St. Louis Public Library.

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BULLET Visits By Youth Services Staff To The Schools

Youth Services staff are available to make classroom visits. You may arrange for a one-time visit or a series of visits over the course of several months. Staff can tell stories, give book talks, or discuss the Library. Library staff may also be available to speak to your parent/teacher organization. Please contact the Library branch nearest your school to arrange a visit.

Because of the number of schools and day care centers we serve, teachers are asked to schedule either a visit to the Library once a month or a visiting Library storyteller, not both.

In addition to these services, we hope you will allow us to come to your school for two extra visits. In the fall, a Youth Services staff member will contact the schools to arrange a time to talk with teachers about support services the Library can offer. In the spring, a Youth Services staff member will call again to set up a time to talk with students about the Library's Summer Reading Club.

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BULLET Library Storytellers Visit Day Care Centers

Since transportation is often difficult for preschool groups, Library staff can visit your day care center for storytelling. Call your neighborhood branch to arrange a time. If your branch cannot accommodate you, call Central Youth Services at 314-539-0380.

Our storytellers present a half-hour program using puppets, flannelboards and more. Special programs can be scheduled, or a monthly visit may be arranged for groups of at least 15 children.

Because of the number of day care centers requesting storytelling, centers are asked to visit a library once a month or arrange for a visiting Library storyteller, not both.

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BULLET Deposit Collections

Deposit collections are groups of books selected by Library staff. You might ask for books that would be enjoyable for your class based on age (i.e., 30 books for 7th graders), as support materials for your lesson plans (i.e., books on the Civil War for 9th graders), or you can request specific authors and titles. You can also ask for several topics.

One week's notice is recommended so that Library staff have enough time to gather the deposit collection. Keep in mind that there may be high demand for particular subjects, or the Library may own only a few titles on a topic at the appropriate age level. The Library may not be able to supply all title requested. Substitutions will be made if possible.

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BULLETComputer Access

The St. Louis Public Library has a variety of computer resources, including Internet access, magazine indexes (InfoPlace), and word processing. The number and type of terminals available varies at each location. A library card is needed to use some computers. Students need written parental permission to use Internet in the Library. Ask about using the computers when you schedule your visit.

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