By Tamas Mondovics

Thanks to a partnership between Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) and the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative (HCPLC) more than 200,000 students including charter school students have the chance to tackle the 2017-2018 school year with a powerful tool in the palm of their hands.

School officials are boasting of what they appropriately named HAAL Pass (Hillsborough All Access Libraries) which they said opens a world of learning and additional resources to each student.

For high school students, these resources mean access to test-prep materials such as study guides for the SAT and ACT college entrance exams. Science students can do research with National Geographic for Kids or Science Online, and every student will be able to choose to learn a new language or get tutoring assistance by using their new, easy-to-use access. 

Through the new initiative, students enrolled in grades K-12 in the public schools system, including charter schools, don’t need to be library card holders – or even apply for a card – in order to check out books, printed materials, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks, or to use a wide variety of online resources and learning tools from the public library system. Their seven-digit student ID number is all they’ll need.

By the numbers HAAL Pass will enable every K-12 Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) student expanded public library access to more than a million books, 57,800 audiobooks, 91,360 DVDs, 50,290 newspapers and magazines, 37,500 music CDs, and nearly 288,000 eBooks.  

Excited about the new initiative HCPS Deputy Superintendent Van Ayres said the HAAL Pass means four times the number of school-age children will now have Hillsborough County library cards and expands access to quality educational resources.

“This is about just one number,” Ayres said. “The student’s ID number, or lunch number will provide access to many more educational resources in the Hillsborough County Public Library system. This is a super exciting time for us. We rely on great partners in this district, and HAAL Pass is just one example of what a great partnership we have with the public library.”

For information, visit To learn more about Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Library Media Services, go to the school district website at and type “go library” in the search box.

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