Kept Out of the Library, a School District Tries Summer Reading by Drone

By Marie Fazio for The New York Times

Last week, Deanna Robertson and her two sons stood on their front lawn in western Virginia scanning the sky for a drone they could hear humming from almost a mile away.

When it finally arrived, hovering above their heads, the boys rushed forward to take what it offered: a copy of “All Quiet on the Western Front,” required summer reading and possibly the first library book delivered by drone in history.

With students unable to make it to the library because of the coronavirus, the Montgomery County Public School district has partnered with Wing, the drone-delivery unit of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, to deliver books to their homes. One week into the project, there have been more than 35 successful deliveries, said Kelly Passek, a middle-school librarian and the mastermind of the project.

“I thought that this would be a great way to get our resources to our students,” Ms. Passek said. “Now that we’ve entered this time of social distancing and remote learning, it’s become even more necessary.”

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