During its temporary closure, County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries has seen a significant spike in the use of online resources such as eBooks and audiobooks. To meet the needs of adults and families who are staying close to home, the library has expanded its free online and digital services.
“One of the Library’s key roles is to support a culture of learning and reading in the County of San Luis Obispo outside of the classroom, offering homework help, internet access, and materials access to thousands of students each day after school,” said Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer, youth services coordinator for the County of San Luis Obispo Public Library. “The need for this help hasn’t gone away with remote learning, and so we are pleased to be able to offer Brainfuse and many other tools and tips to support families ‘after school,’ even when school is in their living room. With this service, we are essentially offering every student the opportunity to have a private tutor, and every parent the support that they need right now.”
Here are a few of the new services patrons can access through slolibrary.org:
• Hundreds of new eBook and audiobook titles have been added to digital platform, CloudLibrary. This is in addition to the thousands of eBooks, movies, and audiobooks that library users already access from home using the digital apps Libby, CloudLibrary, Kanopy, and Hoopla.
• Bonus Borrows: Patrons now have access to over 1,100 new bonus items on the Hoopla app, in addition to their regular 5 items per month.
• Temporary unlimited access to Kanopy Kids which offers educational streaming video for kids though the Kanopy app or the Kanopy channel on Roku or Apple TV.
• ZipBooks, a service that allows patrons to request a book or audiobook online and have it delivered to their home, free of charge.
• Expanded E-Resources: The Library has worked with vendors to expand access to digital research databases to allow for at-home access. These resources, in addition to community information, health resources, educational content, and even online storytimes can be accessed through the library’s COVID-19 Trusted Resources page at: https://my.nicheacademy.com/slolibrary/course/12593
County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries will continue to offer existing digital services for families and individuals that include:
• Brainfuse free online tutoring. Brainfuse provides access to free online homework help including virtual 1-on-1 tutoring in a wide range of subjects for K-12 students, in addition to a bank of videos, activities, writing labs, and other enrichment activities 24/7. Tutoring is offered via chat from 1 PM to 10 PM, seven days a week, in both English and Spanish. The writing lab module helps students edit their papers. The service is free and easy to set up an account online via the Library’s website at slolibrary.org.
• OverDrive and CloudLibrary Read-Alongs, which offer digital narrated books for children.
• Book Recommendations: Recommendations for books through the Novelist and BookBrowse services.
• Ask a Librarian: Use the online form to submit questions and receive an answer from a real County of San Luis Obispo County librarian.
“Remote learning requires a different set of skills for teachers, students and their caregivers,” said Coordinating Librarian for Adult Service Sharon Coronado. “Librarians have curated the e-resources we thought would be most helpful, not only to support student learning in digital school, but to support teachers in integrating quality, engaging materials into their online teaching, and provide families with fun activities to learn and play together during an otherwise stressful time. We are hoping this becomes a trusted, favorite one-stop resource to meet family and educator needs.”
No library card, no problem? Just sign up for a digital library card through https://slolibrary.org/index.php/about/library-card to create an e-Card number that will give you access to all of the online content mentioned above.
For up-to-date information about library resources, patrons can sign up at slolibrary.org to receive the County of San Luis Obispo Public Library’s newsletter or follow the library on social media. A landing page for the library’s digital resources and community information can be found at https://my.nicheacademy.com/slolibrary/course/12593. Tutorials to use these resources is accessible at slolibrary.org – just click on the blue tab at the right of the screen.