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Drones at the Library!

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Drones at the Library!

Virginia Beach Public Library

Digital Equity and Citizenship | 2021

Innovation Summary

Drone technology is increasingly entering our daily lives. VBPL developed a drone programming kit and corresponding programs to provide customers with engaging learning experiences surrounding the safe operation of this new technology. Training provided staff opportunities to learn about and gain confidence in offering drone programs.

Problem Statement

The public is increasingly seeing drones in the news and in their community. However, having several restricted flight zones in VBPL's service area poses challenges when considering offering drone programs. There is also a wide variety of drones available to consumers, making the selection of an appropriate model for use in programs more complicated. Providing drone programs is an opportunity to both promote responsible and safe behaviors and share useful resources for further information.


VBPL is the first public library in Virginia to offer customers hands-on experiences with drones. Project elements include:

  • Provide residents with access to new technologies to explore and consider possible impacts on their lives
  • Increase staff confidence with drones and spark creative program development
  • Evaluate, select and create a drone programming kit
  • Develop informative and engaging indoor drone programs that can easily be replicated at VBPL branches and shared with other library systems


  • A drone programming kit was created with seven Tello EDU drones, iPads, replacement parts and accessories to support fun and challenging activities.
  • All staff who completed the training survey agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more competent in their skills, knowledge and abilities to operate and explain drone technology.
  • Five programs are scheduled between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021.
  • We anticipate at least 80% of participants will agree or strongly agree that they learned something helpful during the program.