Students, Winters soon to gain digital literacy access at library

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FILE: Photo by Rosemary Hemenway

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The Winters Joint Unified School District and Yolo County Library have formed a digital duo to bolster student literacy and reading opportunities. As technological advancements continue to shift the educational landscape, this partnership is proof both parties are keeping up with the times.

This collaboration newly includes OverDrive — which is a middle-man company that works on getting licenses from publishers to sell to school and public libraries.

Essentially, all students need to do to benefit from this partnership is log onto the OverDrive app, Sora, enter their student ID number and then they will be granted convenient, digital access to the library’s 5,722 ebooks and audiobooks. However, it’s not just WHS students benefiting from this, but all the students who are part of Winters JUSD — within their specific age-appropriate and grade level restrictions.

“I started working with the Winters JUSD in the spring of 2021. Olivia Rodriguez and Raena Lavelle connected me with different people and we had a phone conversation with OverDrive and their folks making sure the students’ privacy and everything was taken care of,” saidd Yolo County Library Central Services Manager Elizabeth Gray. “It’s a big thing with schools assuring them students’ privacy will be safe and we did that with the help of OverDrive and we officially launched this on April 27.”

With the digitization of the library’s resources, it creates a modern learning experience for current students who’re already accustomed to looking at screens for long periods of time. The goal it to see them now opt to read and listen to books rather than mindlessly scroll through social media feeds.

“Students will benefit because even as they’ve gotten used to doing school online, they don’t always have access to the library. With the Sora app, the library is open all the time and accessible to everyone,” said Gray. “I think the future is in these collaborations between libraries and schools and using this technology to provide the resources kids need.”

A key feature of the Winters Community Library is that it doubles as the WHS library. This means the students benefit from all the Yolo County Library initiatives that come through the pipeline.

“I’m very excited. The WHS and Winters Community Library have been a joint-use facility for 11 years. So, it’s been nice because we have so many resources for students from the Yolo County Library with this dual purpose, and now they’re able to provide more free books,” said WHS Librarian Olivia Rodriguez. “It’ll give them more access to high-interest resources, and if they can’t come to the library or if they’re out of town, they’ll still be able to do some reading. And it’s completely free.”

True to a dual-purpose library, the community members can also benefit from this collaboration themselves. All one needs to do — if one already has a library card — is download the OverDrive app called ‘Libby,’ enter the library card number and enjoy the plethora of digital resources the library has to offer.

If one opts for a ‘good-old-fashioned’ library experience, the Winters Community Library is located at 708 Railroad Ave. The current public hours are available under the “Winters” location at yolocountylibrary.org.

A listing of all events and services available to community members through the Winters Community Library is also available on the Yolo County Library website or inside the Winters library lobby at the front desk.

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