Keeping Busy During a Pandemic: How Libraries Can Help You

Being stuck inside for so long sucks. Many states in America are still shut down. Schools might be starting back, but a lot of kids will still be stuck inside learning from home. So what is there to do to keep busy when outside is barely open? Check out your local library!

Libraries have often dealt with the stigma of being labeled “boring,” but many people are not informed about all of the interactive things that libraries can offer. They aren’t just full of books. They cater to the needs of readers and non-readers alike.

A lot of libraries are still handing out resources despite being closed to the public. Give your local library a call, or check out their website to see if they are offering contactless pickup for things such as books or crafts.

Want to check out some new books, but don’t have an updated library card? No worries. Several libraries are offering to update library card information over the phone so you can utilize their contactless pickup services. Some libraries are even offering virtual library cards for those who don’t have a library card at all (give your local branch a call or check their website to find out if they are).

Below are a few apps that you can use after getting either your new virtual library card, or your current library card information updated if it isn’t already:

  • Libby, by Overdrive: Just connect your library card and it’s like your typical library process. You can check out books or audiobooks that are available to read/listen to on your device. If the selection you want is currently unavailable, you’re placed on a hold list and notified when it’s ready for checkout. 
  • Hoopla: Only requires your library card information. Unlike Libby, which just offers books and audiobooks; Hoopla offers books, audiobooks, movies, music, television shows, and comics. 

There are tons of other fun and FREE online resources for us to utilize while we deal with being stuck inside. Also, if you or someone you know needs a little help getting adjusted to virtual learning, your library can probably help with that even if you aren’t able to pop in for a visit.

Here’s a short list of some free resources from different library systems across America, and guess what! A lot of them don’t even require a library card: 

If you need help locating more resources from libraries close to you after conducting your own research, feel free to leave a comment with your location or the name of your library below. I would be more than happy to add some resources to this list for you!

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