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Go Ask Mom

NC kids have access to free books through new digital library

Posted February 7, 2017 8:55 p.m. EST
Updated February 8, 2017 8:21 a.m. EST

The new library gives kids across North Carolina free access to digital books.

Kids in North Carolina now have access to free books - the digital variety - through the new NC Kids Digital Library.

More than 3,700 eBooks, audiobooks, videos and read-alongs are now available to readers - from preschoolers to fourth graders - through 85 regional, county and municipal libraries across the state, according to a press release.

The resource comes together thanks to efforts from the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association, the OverDrive app and the state of North Carolina. It is supported with funding from the state's 2016 Appropriations Act, which included $200,000 for the State Library to work with the library directors association to build a statewide consortium for public library cardholders.

The digital library for kids launched in January. Here's how it works, according to that press release:

  • The 3,029 eBooks, 689 audiobooks and 37 streaming videos are available on a custom website or through the OverDrive app.
  • 300 titles are available with simultaneous access and 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 you need to get started is a library card.
  • OverDrive's team suggests books for the kids collection. Those suggestions are approved by a committee appointed by the library director association's executive board. Many of the eBooks list the book level and text difficulty so parents can find the right book for their kids.

“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 the library directors association and director of Lincoln County Library, in the press release. “Having these resources available through the public libraries, which are open year-round and hours schools aren’t open, means we’re available to assist students when schools are not open."