MCPS students first in world to receive library books via drone

Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 10:12 PM EDT
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Students at Montgomery County Public Schools were the first in the world to have library books fly to their doorsteps Thursday.

Blacksburg Middle School Librarian Kelly Passek was the mastermind behind it all.

“I’m always looking for ways to increase my students’ access to resources,” Passek said.

Passek has been a Wing drone delivery customer since October 2019 when the service was launched. The need became even more prevalent in the middle of a pandemic.

“We are trying to find as many ways as possible to stay connected to [the students],” she said.

Passek took her idea to Superintendent Dr. Mark Miear, who was immediately on board and directed her to work directly with Wing to make it a reality.

“My mom’s a librarian, so reading has been very important for me personally,” said Virginia Head of Operations Keith Heyde. “If we can provide a little bit of extra access during the summer and challenges during COVID-19, that’s a win.”

After a few months of coordination, Thursday, 18 library books successfully flew to the homes of Passek’s students.

“Drone delivery is allowing us a way to keep contact with our students and to keep providing them with access to our library resources, which are so necessary for them,” she said.

That's helping her to stay in contact with her students, even if it’s not in person right now.

“I am thrilled that so many students have taken advantage already and really hope that they can continue on all summer long requesting books by drone,” Passek said.

Library book deliveries are only available to people in the current service area in Christiansburg. To sign up for deliveries,

, and the service will send you a form to request books.

The district has waived return policies for books during the summer, so students can return them to the library at the beginning of the school year.

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