Hello readers! I’ve titled this post “Dispatches from Home” because that is where I am and where I hope each of you is: home. What a strange and surreal time this is for all of us. We are each trying our best to navigate this world as best we can and this is just a hurdle to get over. The good news is that we are in this together, even if we’re at least six feet apart!
For many of you, the Library is a refuge. It’s the same for me. It’s the same for many of my colleagues. If you’re reading this, I’m sure you know by now that the Levittown Public Library will be closed until March 30, 2020. It’s a bummer, to say the least, because we work so hard to be a place for people to congregate with ease. Unfortunately, that is truly the worst thing we can do at this time and it would be irresponsible to encourage that right now. We’re making decisions based on CDC recommendations and County mandated school closures, always with the safety of our community and staff at the forefront. With that being said, the Library could be closed for a longer period of time. Don’t worry about late fees; we’re waiving them during this time. If you need to get out of the house but don’t want to socialize (smart choice!), you can leave any items you’re finished with in our outside book drop.
So, what are we going to do with all this free time? Even though our building is closed, we have a treasure trove of digital resources right at your fingertips. Dust off your library card and settle in. Here are my top picks:
Kanopy is a free movie streaming platform. You add your library card number, create a user account, and you are good to go! To be honest, when we first added Kanopy to our offerings, I was a little pessimistic. I assumed there wouldn’t be much on there. You guys, I could not have been more wrong! There’s a huge variety of titles on here; contemporary hits (Midsommer, Lady Bird, Florence Foster Jenkins, Eighth Grade), documentaries (Faces, Places; The Mask You Live in; Miss Representation), and an entirely separate section devoted to children’s content, Kanopy Kids. Kanopy Kids includes some Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street, The Berenstain Bears, and tons of educational content. There is also a big variety of picture book adaptations! My personal favorites include Creepy Carrots and anything related to Mo Willems’ Pigeon stories.
I recommend the following movies (for adults), which I consider hidden gems and are a bit under the radar. All are available on Kanopy: Wonder Boys, Eighth Grade, Donnie Darko, Young Adult.
These are a few movies I haven’t seen but have added to my watch list, also via Kanopy: The Miseducation of Cameron Post, The Mask You Live in, On Chesil Beach, Leave No Trace
Nassau Digital Doorway is your gateway to e-books and e-audiobooks. Libby is an app you can download to your device in order to access them; you can search for Libby on your device’s mobile store. Instructions for downloading books are provided through our website. It’s similar to Kanopy in that you create a free account, sync your Levittown Public Library card, and start browsing and borrowing. The great thing about electronic books and audiobooks is that you will never accrue late fees; materials are automatically returned on your due date! The system works similarly to our physical library collection; there are a limited number of copies for titles, which means that you may have to go on a waiting list, just like you would for in-demand books at the Library. Personally, I love the Libby app. I use it exclusively for audiobooks and it is a life saver! We’re all going to be out in nature a little more than usual over the next few weeks. Let an audiobook be your companion! Need recommendations on what to read next? Head over to NoveList, another stellar database we provide. This one will give you read-alikes and allow you to browse by genre and other appeal factors.
With nearly three dozen genres, RBDigital is a great resource to save you money and provide some distraction and mental nourishment. Our instructions for how to use the database are clear and user-friendly. With everything going on, I know that we don’t all have the focus to dive into a 300-page book. In that case, reading a magazine might be just the right fit for our overstimulated minds.
Tutor.com has always been a valuable database for our community. Though, I imagine its value has now gone up exponentially as parents and caregivers are settling into a homeschool lifestyle. With this database, students can receive live help and one-on-one assistance from virtual tutors. Hop on when you and your child need homework help!
These are two databases ideal for families with young children. TumbleBooks is a collection of over 1,000 animated, talking books. Sesame Street includes our favorite characters, like Big Bird and Elmo, as they introduce children to quality books, including some that are interactive and animated. Basic concepts like numbers and the alphabet are front and center. These can supplement the work you’re already doing at home as a family!
You can continue to reach out to us with your reference questions via email at email@example.com. We’ll be monitoring that account from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Here’s what I’m planning to do to get through these next few weeks:
- Go outside as much as possible. Run, walk, stroll. I have found great comfort these last few days in feeling the ground beneath my feet and the sunshine on my face. I think you would feel the same.
- Monitor your social media and news consumption. Stay informed as much as is healthy for you.
- Set a schedule and try to stick to it. Include activities that are productive, like exercise and cleaning, with the fun stuff (binge-watching, board games, reading).
- Sprinkle in the type of entertainment that comforts you. For me, that’s John Mulaney specials on Netflix, The Great British Bake Off, Podcasts (Armchair Expert is at the top of the list), and beloved sitcoms (The Office, Frasier, Friends).
Stay well, stay safe, and be kind to one another. We’ll see you soon!