Concerned about students being unable to access books due to stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a librarian in Virginia is delivering books to their homes using drones.
Kelly Passek, a middle school librarian, collaborated with Wing, the drone service from Google's parent company Alphabet, to deliver library books to students in Christiansburg's Montgomery County Public School district.
"I'm always trying to come up with ways to get library resources into the hands of my students and thought this would be an excellant way to do that," Passek told CNN.
"With quarantining and social distancing and our move to remote learning, it became even more important to find a way to get kids these reading materials while social distancing."
One of our Virginia customers, a school librarian, contacted us with an idea for drone delivered library books. We thought it was a great use of the technology, and today we officially launched the service with our first batch of book deliveries. Read more:https://t.co/BtqGe13kwT pic.twitter.com/ReGVrOxcBQ— Wing (@Wing) June 11, 2020
The students can request any book from the library's catalogue comprising over 1,50,000 titles and have it delivered to their yard for free by a drone. Once a student chooses a book, Passek brings the book to Wing's site, from where it directly flies the book to the students' home using a drone.
Montgomery County Public School is the first public school system in the world to offer a library book drone delivery service. Currently, the service is operational on a limited basis to encourage students to keep reading.
"We're excited for the opportunity to help Montgomery County Public Schools use drone technology to continue meeting students' needs during this extended out-of-school time," Wing spokesperson Alexa Dennett said.