11 Library Hacks for Riding Out the Coronavirus

Are you or your family under self-quarantine or lockdown due to the Coronavirus? Or has your employer asked you to work from home? With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization lots of people are stuck at home waiting. So what can you do during that time once you’re tired of binge-watching shows or you’ve read all the way through your pile of books? You may not know it, but your local public library offers all sorts of online services to help get you through your extended homestay — and it is all completely free of charge. Here is a list of some of our favorites:

Working from home? Digital and online library tools can help.

If you’re like me, you typically work remotely, even when global health concerns are not a deciding factor. Alternatively, you may be currently working from home as a safety measure precaution because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

3 Ways Expecting and New Parents Can Make the Most of Their Library

The list of places you go with a newborn is short. Right now mine includes home, the pediatrician’s office, and my parents’ house. That’s it. Occasionally we’ll venture outside for a walk, but enclosed public spaces during flu season are just too risky for a little developing immune system. So even though there will surely be storytimes and play circles in our baby’s future, right now our local library doesn’t make the cut. And that’s okay. As a librarian in the habit of placing holds and browsing digital collections, I was in a pretty perfect position to make good use of library resources throughout my pregnancy and I plan to continue to do so during these first few secluded months. But I know that not everyone, especially expecting parents with so much on their plates, has the time to look into what may or may not be on offer from their library. So here are just a few ideas for getting started. All of these are cost-saving and most don’t even require you to leave your house! Tips for before the baby arrives:

Get Crafty at Your Local Library!

I’ll admit it: I’m an extremely crafty individual. If you open almost any drawer in my home, you’ll find ribbons, marbles, beads, and blocks of clay. It might be surprising, but becoming a librarian frequently allowed me to explore my love of arts, crafts, and creative projects. In fact, local libraries are crafting hotspots! No matter which materials you enjoy working with, or what creative skill you want to develop, your library can help. Find tools, techniques, and inspiration right at your local library.

The Most Important Government Agency You've Never Heard Of

It’s true, despite using considerably less than 1% of the federal budget, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) manages to fund distinctive projects and services that help communities all over the United States…and it’s on the chopping block yet again!IMLS is a tiny government agency with a huge impact and the complex mission "...to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development." Fine, but what does that look like on the ground?I'm glad you asked.

Trump Cut Funding for Libraries? So what?!

Unfortunately, that's the response we hear most often because most Americans don’t know what the Institute of Museum and Library Services does. Which makes it hard to care about when it gets cut.

Libraries, Museums, and a Diverse America

Since 1996, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has supported libraries and museums across the United States, helping these organizations transform the lives of individuals and communities through grantmaking, research, and policy development.

Weather the Storm at Your Library

When a disaster or crisis hits a community, the public library often serves as a safe haven. Libraries provide a place of comfort, direction, normalcy, and resources to help guide recovery efforts for the people they serve. Library staff frequently serve at their local Emergency Operations Centers during and after a disaster. While we always hope for the best, it’s good to know that in case of a disaster, your library is a cornerstone of recovery.

Creating at the Public Library - from Art to New Careers

Everyone knows that their public library is the go-to spot for finding books, music, movies, and other forms of entertainment. But did you know that your public library isn’t just a place to access content, but also a place offering support for you and your community to create content as well?

The IMLS: An Investment in America

As the primary source of federal funding for our nation’s libraries and museums, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) plays a vital role in promoting lifelong learning and literacy for people of all ages, providing invaluable resources to help strengthen America’s cultural institutions and increase public access to the vast wealth of information, ideas, and networks that they have to offer. With its national reach and scope and the ability to spur innovation and creativity at the state, local, and tribal levels, the IMLS is nothing less than an investment in America itself.