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June 11, 2020

Wing delivers library books to students in Virginia

  • , Drone delivery
  • , United States

As the communities we serve continue to try to find ways to stay home when possible, they are also helping us find new ways to take advantage of our drone delivery service. Based on a recommendation from a local librarian, today Montgomery County (Va.) Public Schools became the first in the world to offer a library book drone delivery service.

The idea came from Kelly Passek, a Blacksburg Middle School librarian and one of Wing’s most enthusiastic customers. She loves getting fresh pastries and home essentials delivered by drone, but she wondered if this technology could also help kids checkout books — even while the library was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Access to school library resources is essential for the success of our students,” Passek said. “The MCPS-Wing partnership allows us the most unique way to continue to provide that access so that our students are able to stay engaged with independent reading and continue on their path of success even during this time of social distancing.”

The service got started today on a limited trial basis with our first deliveries, encouraging students in Christiansburg, Virginia to keep reading during this extended out-of-school time. The families of Montgomery County Public School students who live in an eligible home can request any book from the library’s catalog, which includes over 150,000 titles, and have it delivered by drone to their yard for free.

“We pride ourselves on finding innovative ways to serve our students,” MCPS superintendent Mark Miear said. “We are excited to continue our streak of innovation through this pilot program that brings library books to our students via drone delivery.”

“My mom, also an elementary school librarian, always taught me to appreciate the library and reading at a young age,” Wing’s Virginia site lead Keith Heyde said. “Our system is designed to deliver small packages directly to homes through the air. We’ve always believed that the communities we serve would tell us what they need us to put in those packages, and this is a great example of that.”