To extend our reach and eliminate any barriers to service, we have partnered with our county school system to provide student accounts. Students can use their school account number as a library card, granting them access to print and online library materials.
After a year and a half of virtual school, students are back to in-person learning. Do they have all the materials they need to succeed?
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The digital library is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Students can download or stream resources using a computer, tablet, or smart phone. In our digital library, students can access eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and newspapers, as well as movies, music, and graphic novels for their free time.
We also offer homework help through various online databases, one of which has a live chat feature with expert tutors and a writing lab that provides feedback to students.
The online databases can also help with research and assignments with access to journals, current and historical newspapers, and encyclopedias. A select few of the databases are specifically geared towards school-age children and are categorized for elementary, middle, and high school students, making the resources accessible by age-appropriate information. Prior to the library reopening, the library implemented services to help all our customers succeed in school, working from home, or accessing online resources. Last summer, we boosted WIFI to the parking lots at many of our branches. Before the pandemic, we circulated both Chromebooks and hotspots, and during the pandemic we significantly increased the number of circulating Chromebooks and hotspots.
Even though the library has opened back up to the public, we are still offering virtual programming which consists of STEM and STREAM demonstrations and a variety of different virtual clubs such as chess, nature, writers’, anime, and manga. We have something for everyone.
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In addition to these academic and entertainment resources, the library provides the most important part of anyone’s day—food. While the schools provide free breakfast and lunch, the library provides dinner and a snack available for pickup at 10 of our 19 locations. This ensures the children are provided with dinner and snacks for six days.
In these uncertain times, remember that we are all in this together and trying our best to help our students succeed in every way possible!
Angelique Kopa is a member of the ALSC Children and Technology committee, and she works for a public library in Maryland in Collection Development.
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