I-SS, library officials tout benefits of NEST

Posted at 7:44 PM on Jan 27, 2017



Parents, teachers and students learned more about the joint Iredell County Library-Iredell Statesville Schools NEST Access Initiative at its first open house, which officially kicked off the program, on Thursday evening. NEST opened student access on Jan. 17.

The Network to Expand Student Access (NEST) gives students access to “pretty much everything,” according to Troutman Branch Manager Rebecca Lopez. Students are allowed to check out up to 10 items, including hard copy, audio, or ebooks, for an unlimited period of time without late fees or fines.

Students and teachers also have access to all of the library’s online resources to use in class, to do research papers, or for personal use. “With their MacBooks, students will have access to Overdrive, eBooks, audio books, digital magazines, essentially everything they can get when using the computers at the library.”

Teachers can use video clips available on databases as well as other materials to enhance their classroom instruction.

Student library access will automatically renew at the beginning of each school year. When the student graduates, the access will continue until the following September to allow access through the summer to help with job search or college preparation.

All students are automatically enrolled in the NEST program. Parents do have the option to complete an opt out form if they want to deny their child access to the materials. David Blattner, chief technology officer & executive director of Media and Virtual Learning, is the I-SS liaison for the program.

Lopez is excited about the universal access for all I-SS students and teachers. “Before we had to fill out a form, and the student would have to get a parent to come in with an ID to sign permission. Now every kid has library access through their school ID number, and every kid is in charge of what they use or don’t use. They aren’t dependent on someone else to get them to the library.”

Lopez said they will be able to track usage by schools and students. “We can get reports to see what percentage of students use NEST resources.”

CMS has had a similar program for a few years, with initial usage only at about 10% . “Then they got principals, media specialists, and teachers involved to push the program, and usage went up to 70% to 80%,” according to Lopez.

The program will expand to Mooresville Graded School District, charter schools, and home-schoolers over the next few years. “Eventually everyone in Iredell County under 18 will have access. It’s just a matter of configuring the system to get them all in.”


One of the databases is NC LIVE, which offers access to information for students of all ages as well as adults on careers, business, health, science, math, history, literary criticism, poetry, language learning, and genealogy. NC LIVE also provides eBooks, audiobooks, videos, magazines, newspapers, journals, language-learning tools.

Within NC LIve are Access Science, Science in Context, Oxford Reference (covering many subject areas), Proquest Central (full text scholarly articles in many areas), Films on Demand (covering most subject areas and personal interests), and SIRS Knowledge Source (a wide away of articles on countless subjects).

Students will have also have access to Universal Class, which offers over 500 online courses for lifelong learners to enhance knowledge and skills in many career or personal interest areas. Students can also get continuing-education credits to enhance their extra-curricular activities or to prepare for a career.

Atomic Training offers more than 40,000 user-friendly training videos for the newest software and electronic gadgets. Students can develop job skills and learn social media software or programs such as Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Dreamweaver, HTML5, and Excel.

Students can also get classroom support or pursue personal interests using Pronounciator (over 80 foreign languages, ESL assistance, and 256 live 30-minute classes per week taught by qualified teachers), Overdrive (read along eBooks for new and developing readers), Learning Express (basic skills in math and reading, career information, and test prep), and Signing Savvy (American Sign Language).

Genealogy resources such as Ancestry Library, Heritage Quest, Historic Photograph Collection, and newspaper and obituary archives are also available.

Zinnio provides students with unlimited access to over 100 titles, including American Girl, Cosmopolitan, Discover, ESPN, Seventeen, Smithsonian, Vanity Fair, Good Housekeeping, The New Yorker, Men’s Health, and Women’s Health.

NC Cardinal is a growing consortium of state, public, and college libraries. These libraries joined together to share books, resources and library cards. Visit http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/ld/services/nccardin... to see all member locations.

If students go to an Iredell County public library to get a permanent, personal library card, they can also access over 5 million books and materials in all 28 NC Cardinal libraries with a computer click. The material will be sent to the Iredell library branch of their choice.

When traveling, NC Cardinal users can use their Iredell County Public Library card at any of the 28 NC Cardinal libraries for no additional charge.


The next NEST Open House is Saturday, Jan. 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the main library branch in Statesville (201 Tradd St).

If you cannot attend, contact Lopez at 704-528-2682 for more information.

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