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Virtual Class Visits: Field Trips to the Library

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Virtual Class Visits: Field Trips to the Library

San José Public Library, Calif.

Education - Birth thru Teens | 2020

Innovation Summary

In March 2020, when schools and libraries physically closed, SJPL launched Virtual Class Visits! These function like reverse field trips, where librarians come to virtual classrooms to visit with teachers and students. Librarians offered themselves as partners to teachers to help students use their library cards and develop digital literacy skills.

Problem Statement

Overnight, schools were propelled into a completely different type of learning and school experience. Virtual Class Visits work with schools to:

  1. Support Student Engagement with library cards, e-resources and reading support.
  2. Provide educators and students access to library expertise and books.
  3. Share free services available via e-resources, especially those supporting academic success and family engagement.
  4. Connect with students and teachers in a pandemic approved visit!


Virtual Class Visits are simple in nature and innovative in practice. The goal is to stay connected to the school community and support them with resources and programs.

  1. Provide real-time library cards and bilingual website technical assistance.
  2. Help students locate download reader apps, e-books and e-resources, in real-time.
  3. Build on and strengthen partnerships and relationships between our agencies, teachers and librarians.
  4. Foster a love of books and reading among students.



  1. 92 virtual class visits
  2. 2,000 students reached through the program


  1. Local education agencies (school districts and charter schools)
  2. Santa Clara County Office of Education

Feedback: Below is a quote from a student.
“Thank you for taking time of your day and reading books for us. The best book was the book with no pictures. I love the book with no pictures because it made parents say silly things like I am a monkey.” — Nandini, 2nd grade