It has been four months since I’ve been able to visit my local library. This feels like something close to an eternity. I have a huge pile of finished books stacked next to my reading chair…
Even though many libraries aren’t physically open right, there are still plenty of ways to access your library online. All of these do require a library card for access (except for the Harry Potter themed escape room!). Many libraries are allowing patrons to get a temporary elibrary card in order to use their digital services if you don’t already have a card. You can check your local library’s website, or email/call to see what services you can access remotely.
Not all libraries may have access to all of these resources, so be sure to check with your individual library to see what they offer.
Libby from Overdrive
If listening to an audiobook with headphones on so you don’t have to hear your noisy upstairs neighbor play his guitar poorly sounds heavenly…. you should definitely access Libby. Libby is the user friendly app from Overdrive, which if you tried to use before this app might have been the cause of much pain and confusion. This app however is easy to use, and lets you check out audiobooks and ebooks from the comfort of your home. Plus there are no fees because at the end of the rental period the books are returned automatically. You can also use Libby to read on your Kindle, if that’s more your thing. Need help with Libby? Check out this tutorial:
If you’re interested in checking out music, ebooks, audiobooks, and movies, as well as magazines, you should try Hoopla. Different formats have different loan periods (at my library it’s 3 days for movies and 21 days for books), but there’s a lot available to look at and try out. Before I had subscribed to Spotify, Hoopla was my go to for music–like playing the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat.
If you need a dose of culture in your life, you’ll be interested in Kanopy which has a decent selection of Criterion selection films (important classics), independent films, documentaries, and international cinema. It also has a selection of the Great Courses, which are lectures given by university faculty on subjects ranging from history to science, from cooking to art. I’m currently watching one on the history of King Arthur.
Check with your local library to see what else they may be offering! Some libraries are hosting Zoom hangouts for various teen clubs and other activities, others are offering curbside pickup. Find out what you can still do with your library card. No matter which library you call your own, you can access this Harry Potter themed escape room, developed by librarian Sydney Krawiec at Peters Township Public Library.
Have you been using your library’s digital resources while the library is closed? Has your library opened up again? Let me know in the comments!