This post will be a little different, and more locally-focused than usual. In honor of National Library Week (which was 4/19-4/25), I want to highlight 5 cool things you can get at the public library while you’re stuck at home. First, if you live in Maryland and you don’t have a library card, FCPL is offering temporary library cards that last til June 1 and can get you access to most of their digital resources, which I’ll be highlighting here. Also, all of these things are free for u, my friends!
I don’t work for FCPL but I am a big nerd for libraries, and I know their resources don’t get used as much as they could be, so if you have any questions about using any of this stuff, or you want a book recommendation or somethin’, reach out! I like to librarian for friends.
- E-books and e-audiobooks. Do you like listening to your own audiobook a month from Audible? You can get even more books, both in audio format or as an e-book you can swipe through on your lil phone or tablet through the library. Here’s the ones I like from FCPL:
- An app called Hoopla where you can check out 30 books and audiobooks, as well as some TV shows and movies (I haven’t done much of that but they’re out there!). The number of things you can check out might vary depending on your library system, but check it out!
- The other big book/audiobook app is called Libby (by Overdrive), and I like that one too, even though you sometimes have to be put on a waitlist to get super in-demand books.
- Virtual storytimes! FCPL does these live on their Facebook at 10am every day, and you can also browse their archive on Youtube. These are designed for kids 0-5.
- Lynda is a portal where you can find high quality videos to learn “business and career skills, software and IT, job search tools, web design, social media and publishing tools, and photography.” I used Lynda to learn how to use Photoshop, and there’s some good Microsoft tutorials in there too.
- Kanopy is another really popular library resource. It’s a place to find streaming videos (like Netflix), and it has its own Roku channel and smartphone app. There’s a lot of educational stuff on there, but also movies from the Criterion collection, indie films, and lots of documentaries.
- A couple homeschool/educational resources:
- Kids InfoBits is a really cute tool for elementary-to-middle schoolers (and me, when I want simple, comforting facts about farm animals).
- Gale Virtual Reference Library — I can personally vouch for this database, I use it all the time with students at work! Very readable and user-friendly, like a scholarly version of Wikipedia. I’d say it’s a high school to college-level resource, but I am also very bad at estimating reading level by age.
- LearningExpress Library has test prep and practice tests for SAT, ACT, AP, GED, GRE, and citizenship exams, plus I think some occupational exams like the NCLEX for nursing. Back in the day, I used their GRE practice tests, because those books are expensive!
So there ya go. Hope you can find something fun to read or watch for the weekend. You know what they say on Arthur, having fun’s not hard…