By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands of Philadelphia school kids will begin getting city library cards, starting Wednesday.

Mayor Michael Nutter and School District Superintendent William Hite gave kindergartners at Blaine Elementary in Strawberry Mansion their very own Free Library cards. Soon, all 136,000 district students will have them.

In a district where many school libraries are closed or have no librarian, The Free Library has provided volunteers to help reopen eight public school libraries this year. Hite noted Blaine’s open library is not the rule.

“It’s very much the exception at the moment,” Hite said. “And one of the reasons this partnership is so important is because it then reopens a lot of the libraries like this one here at Blaine (Elementary).”

That’s because Blaine has no librarian on staff this year.

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