High school and middle school students use Sora for their e-library needs at VWCS. (Photo submitted)
High school and middle school students use Sora for their e-library needs at VWCS. (Photo submitted)

VAN WERT – Van Wert City Schools Library was recently awarded a $3,000 CARES Act Mini-Grant to help its student libraries prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this grant is to help libraries across the state by purchasing items and materials including, but not limited to curbside service signage, furniture to support social distancing, remote learning platforms, and storage bins for safe material handling.

Nellie Schmidt, VWCS Media Specialist, is planning to use the funds to purchase e-books and audiobooks for students in the elementary, middle, and high schools to encourage reading even when a physical book may not be available to check out.

“I’m excited to build our digital collection which will allow us to service both remote and in-person learners," said Schmidt. "Students can access these books anywhere, anytime, even in the summer.”

Accounts have been created for students through apps provided by the schools. Elementary school students use a service called MackinVIA, while high school and middle school students use Sora. Along with the ability to check out digital books from VWCS, high school and middle school accounts are directly linked to the Ohio Digital Library through the Brumback Library when using the Sora app. This allows students to access e-books and audiobooks that are filtered specifically for teens and young adults.

E-books and audiobooks are currently available for students to check out.