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Posted on: September 24, 2020

Library partners with VISD to provide e-book access to students

Young adult e-books and audiobooks are displayed on a webpage.

PHOTO #1: Young adult e-books and audiobooks are available through the Victoria Public Library’s digital content provider, OverDrive.

The Victoria Public Library is collaborating with its digital content provider, OverDrive, and the Victoria Independent School District to provide students with access to the library’s digital collection.

“We’re always interested in providing equitable access to library materials, and this partnership helps us to achieve that,” said Katie Talhelm, Victoria Public Library programming services lead. “Students will be able to access our digital materials on any device, whether it’s their own phone or computer or one provided by VISD.”

Victoria Public Library staff last year were discussing ways to expand library access for students when they learned about Sora, a program offered by OverDrive that allows libraries to partner with schools to provide access to juvenile and young adult materials. 

The Victoria Public Library reached out to VISD, and the organizations began the process of formalizing agreements with OverDrive and laying the groundwork for technical implementation of the program. The process was delayed by COVID-19, but the program is now ready to go live within the coming weeks.

Talhelm said the new program will fill a critical gap by providing library access to students who do not have library cards.

“Poverty can be a real obstacle to getting access because a student might not be able to come to the library, or their parent might not have the ID needed to sign up for a library card,” Talhelm said. “This program will provide those students with reading materials and hopefully make them lifelong readers.”  

To access the Victoria Public Library’s digital collection, go to www.victoriatx.gov/library and click on “EBooks.”

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