While cabin fever has set in for many folks who are “social distancing,” it doesn’t mean there aren’t mind-enriching activities you can do from the comfort of your home.
The Ericson Public Library’s building, 702 Greene St., is closed until further notice to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, but its staff remains busy.
“We are removing all blocks on accounts that normally would be unable to access online resources so that all patrons have access to our online resources during this time,” Library Director Jamie Williams said. “We would like to remind patrons that digital access to the library’s eBooks, downloadable audiobooks and magazines is still available at any time of day via the Libby or the Overdrive app. Bridges has over 100,000 items and it’s open 24/7.”
Digital magazines are always available and don’t count against your checkout limits.
For people who don’t have a library card, the Ericson Public Library is offering a digital kind. To apply visit www.boone.lib.ia.us then click on “Search Catalog,” then “My Account” and register. The library will review the registration information then give you the proper log in information after it has been submitted.
You can work on foreign language skills through Transparent Languages. HelpNow is a learning platform, and Gale, a compressive resource tool, offers information that is easily searchable, Williams said.
Children’s Librarian Zach Stier said he’s staying active looking for ways to engage young library patrons, remotely.
“We are posting educational resources for families to do together. The resources include, but are not limited to, virtual visits, crafts, readings from popular authors and online concerts,” Stier said. “I will begin offering virtual storytime programs soon. I am calling the program ‘Storytime with Mr. Z and Ollie.’ Ollie is my cat as I will be doing these storytimes at home.”
He said library staff is also working to implement a virtual STEM (science/technology/engineering and math) program.
“I plan to work with Jamie to add a few new educational databases, normally at a cost to libraries but because of the current situation, they are being offered for free,” he added. “These databases will be open to elementary to high school students. I anticipate these databases to be up on our website by the end of the week or the start of next week.”
Williams wants to remind library patrons that the building’s WiFi is still on. It is accessible by parking outside the library.
“We are also answering reference questions we receive online or from those that leave a voice message and helping those who need help with their devices and using eBooks,” she said. “We will help troubleshoot over the phone or via email.”
Hard copy items currently checked out from the library are due back April 30. No late fees will accrue in the meantime. Williams said that although they are not currently accepting returns, the outside book return is still an option to drop off materials.
The library is not currently providing curbside delivery.
“We are looking into the option to do this, but want to ensure that we take the correct precautions and the last thing we want to do is spread the virus,” Williams said. “Many libraries that initially started to offer the service have since stopped so we are taking the safety of our patrons, staff and community very seriously.”
For more information, the library may be contacted at 515-432-3727. Stier may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Williams at email@example.com. For updates visit the Ericson Public Library’s Facebook page.
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