Just because your library is closed doesn’t mean that you can’t do awesome things. If you’re looking for activities you can do while your library is closed, here are some ideas.
This page is a living document. If you know of something else that you’d like to share here, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the Public
Online Storytimes / Author events / Literacy efforts
- For libraries interested in providing virtual storytimes, we have received the following message (not legal advice) from a copyright specialist at ALA: “Because of exigent circumstances (the closing of library etc due to the virus), your use of online technology to deliver story time is a clear fair use, meaning that it is not an infringement to conduct these public performances. Here is a good explanation of why this is true.”
- Let’s Keep Reading list of interactive read alouds.
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems (Facebook)
- Museums are offering virtual tours to individuals stuck at home, including organizations in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. So are zoos and aquariums.
- For those staff members who are continuing to work in their buildings, why not make a behind the scenes video or photo tour of the library?
Promote Digital Content
- TumbleBooks is offering free access to its databases through August.
- ProQuest is allowing Ancestry Library Edition access at home (open a ticket if you’d like to offer this to your patrons).
- “Audible just made hundreds of titles completely free to help during coronavirus crisis”
Activities for Patrons
- The Piscataway Public Library has shared Boredom Busters.
- From ALA: “April is Citizen Science Month, an annual event to celebrate and promote all things citizen science: amazing discoveries, incredible volunteers, hardworking practitioners and inspiring projects. … [i]n the attached flyer, you will see several examples of STEAM activities that patrons can do at home and others, such as GLOBE Trees, that participants can do individually, outdoors, at a safe distance from others.”
- The Facebook group Stuck Inside has lots of suggestions for free online learning and entertainment resources.
- Ready to stay creative from the couch? Here is your guide to enjoying art at home!
Get Creative with Social Media
- Canva has created free templates with information from the World Health Organization that can be shared to help #stopthespread.
- The Kenilworth Public Library is getting creative on Facebook with a round-robin.
Webinars, Podcasts, etc.
- LMxAC will begin offering bite-sized, 30 minute weekly tech webinars, helping you discover new ways of serving patrons when the library is closed by using Facebook Live to connect with patrons, hosting online book clubs, and more.
- We will also host regular Q&A sessions. Submit whatever questions you have and we’ll do our best to answer them! Join us and discuss what’s going on in your library in a supportive, conversational environment.
- SirsiDynix is hosting a webinar entitled How to Prepare Your Library for the Unexpected.
- The Depth and Light podcast is starting a series of interviews with educators on Teaching During COVID-19.
- Librarian Jessamyn West is interviewed on how we are continuing to work digitally even as our libraries close.
- WebJunction webinars.
- Contextual Converstations: Representation and Digital Practice (Digital Commonwealth conference, April 7, 2020)
- Customer Service AMA (Ask Me Anything)
- Just One Thing: Training Staff for Community Engagement
- Another varied list of library webinars
- Even more webinars!
- Additional webinars hosted by SirsiDynix, on topics relating to providing library programs that guide and support mental and physical well-being
Library Work Behind the Scenes
- Want to learn more about BLUEcloud Analytics? We are now scheduling one-on-one Analytics training sessions. Open a ticket to get started.
- Looking for reports? Open a ticket if you’d like to request:
- a list of addresses report: invalid emails, phone numbers, and notify_via that can help you clean up your patron records.
- dusty book lists or inventory reports
- count report of item type/home location/item category to identify mismatches. (We’ll help you batch edit these records to fix errors without going into the library.)
- another report not listed here
- We have created instructions on using the current Online User Registration Form to issue new library cards while libraries are closed.
- We strongly recommend taking this opportunity to make sure your library computers are up-to-date with upgrades and patches, for both staff and public workstations. If you have any questions, open a ticket and we can provide recommendations.
- Check out LMxAC’s YouTube channel for videos on local attractions as well as how to use the catalog and digital content. Video suggestions welcome!
- Macmillan is dropping their embargo, at least temporarily.
- Penguin Random House is offering discounts on ebook and audiobook titles. These prices will be available through mid-June 2020.
Find Online Community & Support
- Want a good laugh? If you’re on Facebook, try Librarian Memes.
- The r/Librarians subreddit has a thread on activities you can do from home.
- Musicians are streaming concerts online. Another article with additional artists.
- Use Your Time in Isolation to Learn Everything You’ve Always Wanted To: Free Online Courses, Audio Books, eBooks, Movies, Coloring Books & More
- Princeton’s COVID-19 website (a community collaboration between Princeton Public Library, the Municipality of Princeton and Princeton Public Schools)
- The New York Times posted an article with 10 Ways to Ease Your Coronavirus Anxiety.
- A coronavirus drive-thru testing center is coming to PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel and Bergen County Community College in Paramus.
Reopening Plans and Guidance for Libraries
- New Mexico
- NJLA/NJLTA Webinars: Library Boards and Employment Law, Library Boards and Open Meetings Act
- Curbside Service and Reopening Plans for Michigan Libraries, Michigan Library Association
- Pandemic Reopening Plan (PDF), Beaufort County Library (SC)
- Planning for Library Reopenings Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic (LibraryLinkNJ virtual keynote; May 15, 2020)
- Safe Reopening Resources (Protect Library Workers)
- COVID-19 Pandemic Resources and Plans for Library Reopening (NJ State Library)