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Drone Delivery of Free Choice Reading During the Pandemic: with Kelly Passek

Updated: Sep 24, 2021

The Librarian Influencer of the Week is SLJ Mover and Shaker, Kelly Passek! Kelly is a librarian at Blacksburg Middle School in Blacksburg VA and Secondary Lead Librarian for Montgomery County Public Schools in Southwest Virginia. She has a varied library background and loves her time as a school librarian. Click here to listen now!

Here are some librarian influencer tips Kelly shared:

  • Teach in obvious spots--show off what you’re teaching especially if it’s a collaboration and there are other teachers who teach the same subject.

  • Remember, we are here to serve our students. Librarianship is a public service field.

  • Let your teachers help. Let them check out books while you’re teaching, laugh when they apologize yet again for getting the check out system wrong and let it go. Let your students reshelve the books--make the library a community space!

  • Look to the nontraditional collaborations and blend what you love with what you teach. Don’t be afraid to share what you love with your colleagues (work-life balance, but we need those human connections).

  • Kelly offers some fun advice on collaborating with others that includes baking and Spanish!

  • Work on your elevator speech. Here is Dr. Laura's post: Time to Update Your Elevator Speech

  • Kelly challenges you to consider a mentor who is newer to the profession or who is accomplishing great things at your school.

Here is some of Kelly’s advice post pandemic.

  • Work on outreach to teachers to reestablish your collaborations.

  • Work hard to bring students back into the physical library this year.

  • Learn what your students need: What library service would benefit them the most? Find what makes your community unique and use that to reach your students:

  • Lead with kindness. People are worried, stressed, and tired. We are still dealing with something novel and traumatic. Recognize that.

  • Work together.

Kelly was named a 2021 Mover & Shaker by Library Journal in their Innovators category.

  • Kelly was the first in the world to start delivering books to students using drones during Covid. She needed to get books into the hands of her students. Circulation was decreasing. Public libraries were closed. People weren’t going to stores. How could we get that free choice reading into our students’ hands? She saw a unique opportunity with drone delivery!

  • She partnered with Wing, a company owned by Google parent Alphabet.

  • NBC News story: (start at 4:32)

You can connect with Kelly Passek at:

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