June 18, 2020 6:40:14 pm
Kelly Passek, a librarian in Virginia, was concerned about students being unable to access books due to stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of Covid-19. So she figured a way of getting the books to them, without human contact. Passek 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.
“As a school librarian, it is extremely important to me to have connections with my students,” Passek said in a video about her idea. “So that I can make sure that they have got access to the resources that they need and the resources that will allow them to be successful — not just academically, but also in life,” she said.
The families of Montgomery County Public School students can request any book from the library’s catalog, which includes over 150,000 titles, and have it delivered by drone to their yard for free.
Passek said she asked the school superintendent, Mark Miear, who was “immediately on board.”
Talking to CBS News, Passek said that her school will be the first public school system in the world to use Wing to deliver library books for their students. “We are thrilled for this opportunity to have a really unique way to deliver resources to our students and do it practically on demand,” she told the news outlet.
“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,” the tech company’s spokesperson Alexa Dennett told CNN.
As of now the service is operational on a limited basis to encourage students to keep reading even while they’re at home.
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