Free library cards for Houghton students

Copper Country
Portage Lake District Library VO_1509677168726.jpg

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WJMN) — The Portage Lake District Library (PLDL) is launching a new educational initiative in partnership with Houghton-Portage Township Schools (HPTS).

The campaign, LEAP (Library Education and Access Program), aims to put a library card in the hand of every student enrolled in the school district. The LEAP pilot project kicked off in 2019, when library cards were issued to all 4th grade students.

Now, PLDL is working to ensure that all K-12 students have library cards ahead of the fall 2020 school year. A free, full access library card will be included in school materials at the start of the school year.

“This is a project a year in the making, and with the issues that face our school district due to the COVID19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever before”, said Library Director Dillon Geshel.

“Students enrolled in Houghton-Portage Township Schools will now have access to all print and digital resources at PLDL, whether they’re learning in the classroom or at home through a virtual option.”

LEAP aims to supplement the school’s own resources, as well as help bridge student achievement and success outside of school. LEAP will also ensure free library access to students who would otherwise have to pay for membership if they live outside of the PLDL district. Issuing cards to all district students will ensure teachers can comfortably assign the use of library resources without having to worry about where each student resides.

HPTS families can expect to receive their full-access library card when the school year begins on September 8. Students who are opting to enroll in the virtual option will receive their library card in the mail.

The Portage Lake District Library no longer levies overdue fines on materials returned late. However, cardholders will remain responsible for the return of items to the library.

The library will send reminders, but there will be no charges for overdue fines. Patrons will still be charged for the replacement cost of materials not returned 40 days after their due date.

For more information about LEAP and other library programs and resources, visit, or
contact library staff at and 906-482-4570.

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