The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) has announced that all K-12 students and teachers in Kentucky now have free access to an online portal of educational resources that can support learning and lessons at home during non-traditional instruction.
The materials are available through the Kentucky Virtual Library (KYVL), a consortium of nearly 300 institutions from across the state. Content includes academic journals, encyclopedias, magazines, e-books, research and materials for building skills and preparing for tests.
“The Council is tapping every available resource to assist students, parents and educators during this time,” CPE President Aaron Thompson said. “It’s absolutely critical that we harness the power of digital content through remote learning opportunities. I’m confident we will overcome these challenges, but it will require swift action and innovative thinking at every level.”
While most K-12 and college students were already eligible to use the virtual library, today’s move will expand access to an additional 147,000 public school students and seven public libraries in Kentucky that have not previously benefited. In addition, private schools can contact KYVL to request login information for their students without charge.
These changes will remain in effect until the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.
On the virtual library’s website, students can search for articles, research specific topics or browse well-known titles such as Scholastic GO! and Encyclopedia Britannica. Materials are available for students at all levels – from elementary grades through college and beyond, including adult learners, those entering the job market and those studying in health care.
The site also offers an online chat feature, allowing users to request help with navigating the library and finding resources.
Students, parents and educators have two options to access the Virtual Library.
- For users who have a verifiable email address from a Kentucky school, college or university, library or government agency:
Users with an email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org should visit KYVL.org to obtain a password. The homepage includes a section called “Quick Links.” In that section, users should click “Password Request.”
A prompt will appear asking for the user’s email address. Users should enter their information, click “Request Password” and wait for an automatic reply in their inbox. That reply will include a username and password if the user’s email address is verifiable.
After receiving a password, users can browse the website, select databases and materials or use the search box at the top of the homepage. When prompted, users can log in using the username and password.
- For users who do not have an eligible email address:
Contact your local public library or private school librarian for assistance in obtaining a username and password.
The expansion was prompted by a request from Shauna Burkeen, the library media specialist for Marshall County High School.
“I’ve used the virtual library in the past and was familiar with the incredible resources it provides,” Burkeen said. “Hopefully, by expanding access through the end of the academic year, more schools and teachers will learn about the system and its value to students and educators.”
CPE launched the Virtual Library in 1999 as a consortium of Kentucky libraries and institutions, including colleges and universities, public libraries, K-12 schools, hospitals, U.S. Department of Defense libraries, the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and more.