North Carolina launches new e-book sharing service specifically for children

New library consortium enables sharing of children’s e-books, audiobooks and video across the state

A first of its kind statewide e-book consortium specifically for children has launched in the Tar Heel State. The North Carolina Public Library Directors Association (NCPLDA) together with OverDrive and the state of North Carolina has created a new digital resource sharing service for kids’ pre-K through 4th grade,  NC Kids Digital Library . Over 3,700 e-books, audiobooks, videos and Read-Alongs are now available to younger readers via 85 regional, county and municipal libraries in North Carolina through OverDrive’s digital reading platform. These materials are instantly available for every child, at home and everywhere.

The NC Kids Digital Library was launched in January, 2017. Here’s how it works:

  • A collection of 3029 e-books, 689 audiobooks and 37 streaming videos on a custom website,  https://nckids.overdrive.com/  or through the  OverDrive app
  • 300 titles are available with simultaneous access, available anytime with no wait lists
  • All titles can be accessed via the app on all major computers and devices, including iOS®, Android™, Chromebook™ and Kindle® (U.S. only).
  • Easy, secure access. All that’s needed to get started is a library card

“Reading fiction increases empathy, improves social behavior and interactions, increases awareness of how others think and see the world, improves overall mental ability, and enhances the ability to handle complex situations," said Jennifer Sackett, Vice-President of NCPLDA and Library Director of Lincoln County Library. "Having these resources available through the public libraries which are open year-round and hours schools aren’t open mean we’re available to assist students when schools are not open.”

OverDrive’s collection development team chooses the books for the kid’s collection and are reviewed and approved by a committee appointed by the NCPLDA Executive Board. Many e-books list the ATOS level and text difficulty to help parents find the right book for their child’s reading level.

“This content will align with summer reading camps across the state as well as the state’s 3rd grade reading initiative, and will provide a significant boost to the many library-school partnerships already in existence," said Ruth Ann Copley, Director of Libraries at Davidson County Public Library System.

NC Kids Digital Library is sponsored by NCPLDA and the NC General Assembly with assistance from the State Library of NC, a division of the Dept. of Natural & Cultural Resources. Copley together with Sackett worked with Representative Pat McElraft to secure funding for this project. In July of last year, the 2016 Appropriations Act was signed into law for fiscal year 2016-2017 that included a funding provision for $200,000 for the State Library to work with NCPLDA to create a statewide consortium for all public library cardholders.

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Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is one of America’s leading urban public libraries, serving a community of over one million residents in Mecklenburg County, NC. Accessible and welcoming to all, the Library celebrates the joy of reading, fosters learning and growth, connects people to each other and the world, and inspires individuals with what they can achieve.

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