The coronavirus pandemic may have closed classrooms and libraries, but a school librarian is doing something unique to make sure her students have plenty of books. The Washington Post is reporting that the Montgomery County public school district in Virginia is sending kids books for the summer via drones.
A librarian at the Blacksburg Middle School, Kelly Passek, was ahead of the curve when she was asking for drone deliveries prior to the pandemic. Google’s drone company, Wing, has FAA permission in that area to make commercial deliveries. Those drones weigh 10 pounds each and packages can be handled that weigh up to 3 pounds. They travel at up to 70 miles per hour.
Passek got started with Wing in the fall of 2019 for personal deliveries. It wasn’t long before she saw the possibilities for the same service to be used for the school. After March, when many schools closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus, they needed to think about how to safely deliver the resources the students needed.
Montgomery County school buses have been busy the past few months delivering books and meals to students who are learning at home. The classes are over for the year and public libraries are now closed. That is why they are now using drones to deliver books. If you happen to live in Wing’s Christiansburg delivery zone, you can request books for your children via a Google doc. Passek will look up the books in the school library and if it is available, it will be boxed up and brought to the delivery facility.
The deliveries by drone don’t require any contact and they are extremely fast. Interestingly, there aren’t any strict due dates associated with these books as well. Students will be able to keep them for the summer and return them in the fall.
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