RALEIGH — A first of its kind statewide eBook consortium specifically for children has launched in the Tar Heel State and is accessible through the Bladen County Public Library.
The North Carolina Public Library Directors Association 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 eBooks, 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. Here’s how it works:
— A collection of 3029 eBooks, 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 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 eBooks 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 third-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 N.C. General Assembly with assistance from the State Library of NC, a division of the Dept. of Natural & Cultural Resources.