Public Libraries Across the U.S. Extend Services Online and Offer Community Outreach
While many public libraries nationwide have closed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, they continue to serve their communities virtually 24/7 with library staff doing what is necessary to support the informational, educational, and recreational needs and interests of their public.
Here are some highlights of public libraries extending their service, stewardship, and community outreach:
- Ensuring free access to their library’s digital resources, Chicago Public Library (IL) and Loudoun County Public Library (VA) are issuing eCards to individuals without library cards.
- While their buildings are closed, Mashpee Public Library(MA) and Richmond Free Library (VT) are leaving their WiFi networks to promote digital access and inclusion.
- Recognized as trusted sources of information, Queens Library(NY), Copper Queen Library (AZ), Seattle Public Library (WA), and San Francisco Public Library (CA) are helping their patrons obtain up-to-date authoritative information about the coronavirus from local, state, and federal agencies.
- Miami-Dade Public Library(FL), Kansas City Public Library (MO), and Lexington Public Library (KY) are inviting community members to browse their virtual collections and borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks via their websites and mobile apps.
- Newark Public Library(NJ) and Cuyahoga County Public Library (OH) are directing children, teens, parents, and caregivers to learning resources that can be accessed remotely anytime and anywhere.
- Camden County Library (NJ), New York Public Library (NY), and Los Angeles Public Library (CA) are offering free online tutoring and homework help for in English and Spanish.
- For adults eager to build skills and learn something new at home, Hennepin County Library(MN) is promoting their business and employment resources, while Brownsville Public Library (TX) is highlighting online courses and skill-sharing sites to its community’s English- and Spanish-speaking public.
- Atlanta-Fulton Public Library(GA), Athens-Clarke County Library (GA), and DC Public Library (DC) are connecting with their young readers through streamed storytimes on Facebook.
- Brooklyn Public Library(NY) is hosting a variety of online programs including New Parents support group meetings, teen writing workshops, music jams, and Dungeons and Dragons gaming sessions.
- Greene County Public Libraries(OH) and Lapeer District Libraries (MI) are connecting with readers through virtual book clubs.
- Finally, libraries and librarians across the nation continue to share reading recommendations through staff picks, booklists, and podcasts.
VP of Library Marketing Jennifer Childs says, “Our team deeply appreciates the collective work that libraries are putting towards serving and staying connected with their communities during these unprecedented times,” adding, “We are fully committed to supporting our library colleagues as they continue to provide fundamentally core and essential library services—from online collections and readers’ advisory and reference services to programming—to their public. They are truly an inspiration for us all.”