Children across the state of North Carolina have reason to celebrate their reading skills, thanks to a new initiative from the state library system and OverDrive. The program, launched by N.C. Public Library Directors Association, provides nearly four thousand ebooks, audiobooks, and read-along titles for young students, with more than 300 of the titles available for simultaneous checkout.
Why is this important? The current climate of change has multiple government agencies–including the Department of Education–on the chopping block, as well as proposals that stand to tear down the funding sources for access to literacy materials. In the digital age and with the winds of change whipping at the sails of education, there’s no logical reason why children shouldn’t be able to access ebooks from anywhere.
“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, in an interview with the Carolina Coast Online. “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 is no stranger to innovation in the library space, and this initiative is just another example of the lengths the company will go to find out how readers interact with digital content. As a major digital media supplier for tens of thousands of libraries, they are already well-equipped to power this type of program. With the abundance of technology that has worked its way into schools, and with the program’s compatibility with everything from an iPhone 4 to a Chromebook, this type of literacy outreach can accomplish goals that mere print never could.