• KCS E-Book System
    Another Option For Readers

    Posted by Josh Flory on 12/21/2018
    A shelf of books is pictured at the library of South Knoxville Elementary School.

    Whether you’re traveling to Grandma’s house, in line at the mall or just looking for a new way to read your favorite author, Knox County Schools has a tool that could help.

    The district’s e-library provides access to more than 4,500 free books, which can be read on a variety of digital devices.

    The MackinVIA system allows users to log in with their school ID and access books online. The service is also available as an app, which allows users to download books and read them even when they’re not connected to the internet.

    Sarah Searles, a library/media services specialist with KCS, said the goal is to create new options and reading patterns for students and families. “We would never want to pull anybody’s attention away from those great experiences that they have with print books, but we open up some new types of experiences by having the additional format,” she said.

    The MackinVIA platform works as a circulating collection, in which users have access to individual books for a specified length of time. If a certain title is already checked out, users can put their name on a waiting list, and look at a preview in the meantime.

    Searles said the circulating collection gives KCS access to popular titles such as the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series and the Harry Potter series. The district has a collection of titles, while students also have access to separate collections maintained by their individual school.

    While much of the collection is aimed at reading for fun, the MackinVIA platform allows users to take notes or highlight material from the books they’re reading. When they return the book, the notes and highlighted material will still be available on the platform, along with a full citation that can be used in research papers.

    The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and many titles are available as audiobooks.

    Searles said that for some families, it’s relatively easy to make a trip to the bookstore or the public library whenever they need a new book, but that’s not the case for everyone.

    And in other cases, opportunities to read may show up unexpectedly. “Maybe we’re going to a restaurant and I could carry five different books in my diaper bag -- or I can have a whole library worth of books on my phone,” Searles said. “So that when I get to that place where we suddenly have an opportunity to read we didn’t even know was going to be there, we have that option right at our fingertips.”

    To begin using the e-library, visit https://knoxschools.mackinvia.com.