NC Kids Digital Library is sponsored by NCPLDA: NC Public Library Directors Association, NCGA: NC General Assembly, with assistance from the State Library of North Carolina and supported by an IMLS federal LSTA grant. NC Kids Digital is powered by OverDrive.
A first of its kind statewide eBook consortium specifically for children has launched in the Tar Heel State. The North Carolina Public Library Directors Association (NCPLDA) together with OverDrive and the state of North Carolina has created a new digital resource sharing service for kids’ pre K through 4th grade, NC Kids Digital Library .
How Does NC Kids Digital Library Work?
In March 2016, it was proposed at a NCPLDA meeting to ask legislature for a children’s e book consortium. Library lobbyist were consulted and recommended asking for non-recurring funds of $200,000 - $250,000.
NCPLDA also committed to providing $8,000 to fund the platform fee from which the digital content would be purchased.
In May 2016, the State House and Senate began negotiations and it was signed into budget on 07/15/2016 by the Governor.
In September 2016, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the NC State Library and NCPLDA.
In October 2016, a partnership with NC Live to assist with library card authentication and a contract with digital content provider OverDrive were signed.
In November 2016, content ordering began which consisted of picture books, beginning readers and simultaneous use materials geared towards Pre-K - 4th graders
In December 2016, NC Kids Digital sites was unveiled to all North Carolina public library card holders. There were 1,430 titles in the roll-out.
In December 2016, an LSTA grant was written to purchase another $100,000 in non metered permanently owned content for NC Kids Digital Library.
It was successful and awarded in February 2017 to be spent by June 2017.
A soft launch began in January 2017 at the American Library Association Winter Meeting
The official launch occurred February 1, 2017: Launch Press Release
Some of the over 50 posts, articles and news stories:
In 2017, the State House and Senate approved another $200,000 non-recurring funds for the Statewide Children's Digital Library and the State Library added an additional $100,000 in LSTA funding.
In 2019, the State House and Senate proposed another $200,000 non-recurring funds for the Statewide Children's Digital Library, but the budget was not passed before the session closed. The State Library added an additional $100,000 in LSTA funding in September 2019.
How COVID Impacted NC Kids Digital
In an unprecedented time, COVID caused public library closures state-wide. Digital services thrived and curbside or drive-up materials pick-up became the norm. This caused libraries across the state to reallocate their print materials budgets into digital content, particularly NC Kids Digital, when schools closed.
Many things became possible because of COVID as well:
Learner Books, the first official simultaneous use publishing partner with NC Kids Digital Library when it launched in 2017, agreed to extend the usage for the existing Learner simultaneous use items belonging to that were in the collection through June 30th.
In April 2020, we asked the House Committee for the COVID-10 Response and the House Senate for $400,000 in emergency funding for NC Kids Digital funding.
On Friday, April 24th Governor Cooper released a recommended budget plan to invest $1.4 billion in emergency funds to help North Carolina respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for this proposal would come predominantly from the state’s share of the federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) and would be appropriated by the North Carolina General Assembly in its upcoming session. Included in this request is $80 million for “State Government Operations” – and support for the NC Kids Digital Library is included in the description of these funds (no specific amount noted). The budget also includes $300 million in assistance for local governments. The budget plan is available at https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/Governor-COVID-19-Budget-Package-4-23-20-Final.pdf.
On Thursday, July 2nd Thursday the Governor signed House Bill 1023 [ncleg.gov] into law which includes funding for NCKids Digital Library.
$400,000 to the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources for the State Library's NC Kids Digital Library for enhancement of digital offerings to students lacking physical access to local libraries due to the COVID-19 emergency.
Lerner Books agreed to renew our three year simultaneous use contract which not only gives us three years of unlimited access to 775 titles but includes a permanent one-user copy for our collection.