Many U.S. states are lifting some or most of their COVID-19 lockdown
restrictions, allowing folks to retain at least some semblance of pre-pandemic
life. But not everyone is ready or able to venture outside again. And for those
people, Google has a lofty solution.

Public schools in Montgomery County, Va., last week became the first in the
world to offer a library book drone delivery service. The idea?allowing kids to
access titles even when the library was closed due to novel coronavirus?came
from Kelly Passek
[] , a Blacksburg Middle School librarian and one of the original Wing drone
delivery customers.

?Access to school library resources is essential for the success of our
students,? Passek said in a statementpublished on the Wing blog
[] . ?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.?

During thelimited trial run
[], eligible Montgomery
County Public School students can request any book from a catalog of more than
150,000 titles, then have it delivered by drone to their yard?for free.

Wing Aviation, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, last year became
the first drone delivery company toreceive
[] an air carrier certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. In
October, it begantransporting FedEx and Walgreens packages
[] to consumers in Christiansburg, Va.

?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.?

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