Douglas County residents may be barred from visiting their local libraries during the pandemic-prompted shutdown, but that doesn't mean they can't still use the myriad online resources provided by …
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Douglas County residents may be barred from visiting their local libraries during the pandemic-prompted shutdown, but that doesn't mean they can't still use the myriad online resources provided by the library district.
The digital library system goes much further than ebooks and audiobooks. It also provides access to movies, craft guides, workout classes, magazines, music, content just for kids and language courses.
“We can't be there physically for our patrons at this time,” said Andrea Wyant, who helps run the digital library. “But we're scrambling to find ways to connect and provide digitally what we were providing before and meet that need when the need is most high.”
Those who don't have a library card can go online to dcl.org/library-basics to sign up for a card and begin using digital resources immediately using a cell phone number or address.
The online library has been changed to allow up to 12 digital checkouts per month and to reduce wait times.
“If people are going to be stuck inside, now is the time to start reading and listening,” Wyant said.
Using Overdrive, or its associated smartphone app Libby, patrons can check out a “Skip the Line” list with popular books that happen to have a copy available for instant check-out. Other lists available include staff picks and prime picks, which consist of books that once had a long hold line but have since slowed down.
There are thousands of ebooks and audiobooks available through the digital library.
Hoopla is another one of the library's vendors and it provides movies, TV shows, music and more ebooks and audiobooks without a wait.
Those with a library card also have access to Kanopy, which offers on-demand classic movies, indie films, documentaries and children's programming.
All digital library materials can be found at dcl.org/digital-media.
There is a variety of other materials available to library patrons such as body weight workout classes that can be done from home, conversational language courses, expert-taught business and software instructionals and video crafting classes, like drawing and sewing.
“I think we are all grasping to find direction and meaningful things we can do,” Wyant said. “Especially in this time of uncertainty.”
These options that lie outside of standard library offerings are available at dcl.org/library-perks.
Another section of the website is dedicated to resources for kids and teens, including educational and entertaining books, movies and TV shows.
Wyant is spending this time reading the lightest and cheesiest books she can find, she said. She's also working to make the digital library as vast and accessible as possible.
“We saw the unfortunate opportunity to really highlight these things that can make people's lives better, make them a better human,” she said, “or just be able to escape.”
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