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Libraries offer way to stay busy at home

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, most of us are staying inside to keep ourselves and others healthy. As the kids get bored and your list of things to do dwindles, it might be tempting to visit the library to check out some books or movies, or attend a program or storytime. However, to abide by the CDC’s reco mmendations and to ensure the safety of our patrons and staff, most of the public libraries in Waukesha and Jefferson counties have closed until further notice.

But don’t worry — your library is also online! You can keep learning, keep reading, and keep the boredom at bay with free digital library resources. All you need is a library card. (And if you don’t have one yet, you can even sign up for a library card online too at www.GetYourLibraryCard. org.) Here are some things you can do to stay busy right from home.

Check out books: Wisconsin’s Digital Library gives you access to thousands of library ebooks and digital audiobooks. Get started by visiting wplc.overdrive.com or find the free Libby app in the app store. The digital library never closes!

Flip through magazines: Flipster is an online collection of digital magazines, which you can read on your computer or on your mobile device with the free Flipster app. There are over 90 magazine titles to choose from, including People magazine, Parents magazine, Ranger Rick Jr., Better Homes and Gardens, and more. You can see new and past issues. Visit www. bridgeslibrarysystem.org/ magazines to start reading.

Keep learning: We offer access to Gale Courses, an online learning platform with over 360 instructor-led classes for adults and students in everything from ACT Test Prep to Spanish to Photoshop. All classes are free and available with your library card. Sign up for a class here: www.bridgeslibrarysystem. org/classes.

Besides these, we collected a huge list of online activities, resources and tools on our website. We will even be adding virtual storytimes from our libraries so your kids can still get that fun library experience. Take a look at www.bridgeslibrarysystem. org/stuck-athome- resources.

As Ron Weasley says in the Harry Potter books, “When in doubt, go to the library.”

Your library might be closed, but library staffs are still available at most libraries if you need to call with a question on using any of these resources. And if you already have library materials checked out at home, don’t worry about returning them.

Due dates have been extended to May 1 and fines won’t accrue until then. Finally, make sure to follow your public library on Facebook or check their website for further details as the month progresses.

Stay healthy and we hope to see you back at the library very soon!

(Jill Fuller is the coordinator of marketing and communications for the Bridges Library System.)

Fuller

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