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 .

NC Kids Digital Library offers e-books, audiobooks, streaming videos, and Read-Alongs. This collection was designed for youth ages pre-K through 4th grade and includes picture books, youth fiction, youth non-fiction, and more. Browsing can be done by subject, format or genre, and the advanced search feature allows filtering by availability, language, date added, and much more. Titles are accessed via OverDrive. OverDrive titles can be accessed from your desktop using OverDrive Read or Listen. Mobile and tablet customers, download the OverDrive app for iOS and Android.

Getting Started

Click on the link to begin using NC Kids Digital Library. To sign in and checkout items from the NC Kids Digital Library click SIGN IN on the upper right side of the page. Select your library from the list of Libraries and enter your library card number. You can also access NC Kids Digital Library using the Libby app. Already using the Libby app to access ebooks and more from your Library? Follow these steps to find a Library and and add it to your Libby app. You can then switch back and forth between your library and NC Kids Digital Library.

Press Releases

How Does NC Kids Digital Library Work?

The NC Kids Digital Library is accessed via the network of 85 regional, county and municipal libraries that cover all 100 counties. Access is available to every student on a range of devices, including cell phones, by using a library card or student ID number.

    • Use of the NC Kids Digital Library has increased since its inception.

      • When the digital library began in 2017, there were 167,000 annual checkouts statewide.

      • In 2019, the number of annual checkouts had grown to 624,000.

      • 2020 annual usage surpassed the one million checkout mark.

      • As of December 20, 2020, the NC Kids Digital Library has circulated 1,070,373 items which is a 71.5 percent increase over 2019 usage.

    • The NC Kids Digital Library’s primary focus is on fiction content to help foster a greater love of and interest in reading. It serves as an invaluable resource to help prevent the summer reading slide and supplements the digital resources available through local schools.

    • As of January 2021, the number of titles currently in the collection is 36,991 with 91,162 copies of those titles available, including e-books, audiobooks and streaming video.

      • Materials are purchased as one copy/one user, metered by time (12 or 24 months access), by number of checkouts (after x checkouts, it must be renewed), a combination of metered time/usage whichever limit is triggered first; or with simultaneous use (every child in the state able to access the book at the same time).

      • Simultaneous use titles are best for high demand titles and classroom use and they are a more efficient use of funds.

    • Some popular nonfiction topics are included to support students’ academic needs and encourage independent learning.

      • School districts have asked for the NC Kids Digital Library to include more non-fiction.

      • In 2020, the nonfiction collection was expanded somewhat to accommodate remote learning, but only a small portion of requested non-fiction content was acquired.

The History

  • 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

    • On Thursday, July 2nd Thursday the Governor signed House Bill 1023 [] 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.