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Valhalla BOCES Sends Libraries Into Digital Age

VALHALLA, N.Y. – The days of a child forgetting to check out a book in the school’s library are slowly dwindling away as the Southern Westchester BOCES and many county schools are now incorporating e-book libraries for their students.

“It’s essentially as if the student walked in to the library and checked out three books,” said Evelyn McCormack, a spokesperson with BOCES. “Except they’re doing it from home.”

The service is being utilized by 14 middle school and high schools in the county, including those in the Mount Vernon, Byram Hills and Mamaroneck school districts among others, through BOCES.  Librarians at the schools worked collaboratively with BOCES and the e-book service provider, Overdrive, to determine which books they needed to offer their students. Students are then given a user name and password where they can then log in from any computer, smart phone or tablet to check out a book.

McCormack said that the service is strikingly similar to the traditional library methods.

“A student logs in to check out a book and it appears almost instantly on their device,” McCormack said. “And then after two weeks or however long it is that the library allows them to take a book out, it disappears from the device.”

McCormack added that the e-book service is especially effective with students who have special needs as it allows them to easily interact and take notes throughout their reading while staying engaged in the reading.

Later this week the Digital Bookmobile from Overdrive, a 74-foot, 18-wheel tractor trailer, will visit the BOCES campus in Valhalla to give librarians, teachers, and students participating in the e-book library program the opportunity to learn more about the system.  The bookmobile will arrive on Sept. 20.

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