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Tennessee Public Libraries Continue to Serve Despite Building Closures

Social COVID-19 TN LIBRARIES RESPONDING_P4-02 (003)NASHVILLE, Tenn.– Despite restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many public libraries continue to serve their communities and in partnership with the Tennessee State Library and Archives, are offering several online resources for learning at home, research and entertainment.

“Local libraries provide vital services to their communities,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Thanks to the Tennessee State Library and Archives expansive online resources and the spark of imagination, librarians across the state have found innovative ways to still serve their communities.”

Through curbside pickup services, some libraries are still loaning out books and materials after sanitizing them following CDC guidelines and letting them sit at least 24 hours before lending them again.

In Maryville, children can attend story time with songs and a simple craft project via Facebook Live. The library in White Pine has a cart outside with free puzzles, paperback books and some cleaning supplies available to community members.

While in Pigeon Forge, people who need to file for unemployment can visit the library, don a mask, and enter the library a few at a time to use the computers. Librarians, also wearing a mask and gloves, assist if needed.

Many libraries are still offering free wi-fi. Patrons can access the internet on their smartphone, laptop, or tablet from the safety of their car in the library parking lot. Libraries are also waiving overdue fines for anyone unable to return books and materials.

“Libraries are anchor institutions. In times like these, when the seas of life are rough, we need our anchors,” said State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill. “Librarians are talented public servants who use their skills to meet community needs. It’s amazing to see their dedication and creativity during this public health crisis.”

Libraries across the state continue to provide online resources around the clock as well. The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) gives Tennessee residents access to over 400,000 magazines, journals, newspapers, essays, e-books, podcasts, videos, homework help and more. Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. offers more than 100,000 digital e-books, audiobooks, and videos to patrons of regional libraries for free. The TumbleBook Library provides a collection of animated talking picture books, read-along books, e-books, quizzes, puzzles, lesson plans, and educational games for children.

For more information on the resources provided by the Tennessee State Library and Archives visit http://www.sos.tn.gov/tsla. To find out what services the Williamson County Public Library System is currently offering call, visit our Williamson County Public Library System Website or Facebook page.

Williamson County and Local Municipalities launch Crisis Text Helpline

Crisis Text Line 741-741 During this time of quarantine, if you are feeling anxious, stressed, depre

It’s okay to reach out for help when you need it. Through the partnership of our municipalities and partners ,we wanted to provide residents with a resource to receive virtual mental health assistance. Simply text “Williamson” to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor.

Stuck at Home? Here’s Free Online Media to Binge from the Library

By Amy Shropshire

 

While the Williamson County Public Library is currently closed to the public, fighting off the spread of COVID-19, several changes have been made to the existing library policy.

  • We are no longer circulating physical materials. Patrons will no longer be able to place or pick up holds. Holds that have already been placed will be held for when we re-open and not expire.
  • No late fees will be assessed for materials currently checked out. Materials are still currently returnable through the book drop, but keeping them will not incur any fees until after we re-open to the public.
  • Patrons with recently expired cards, or cards expiring soon, have all been renewed until June 2020.
  • Fines will no longer be an impediment to accessing online resources. All patrons with an active and renewed library card should be able to access online materials such as Tennessee READS and Hoopla.
  • At present, staff will return calls and emails for patrons having technical difficulty accessing online resources and/or help answer queries.

So many people at home will need resources for both education and entertainment value, and we can still provide these resources through online media.

Here are some important things to remember when creating an account through our online resources.

  • We are part of Buffalo River Regional Library, so that will be the name you search for when creating an account.
  • The default PIN number is the last 4 digits of the library card number.
  • All library card numbers must be entered with no spaces to access online resources.

For example, Tennessee READS is a great online resource that offers over 100,000 e-books and audiobooks available to our patrons. You can download e-books and audiobooks to a computer, mobile device, and/or tablet. You can access Tennessee READS by downloading the apps, Overdrive and Libby, or you can access it through the library website.

 

 

Hoopla is another great resource if you are looking for more audio-visual media such as music, movies, and television shows. Not to mention Hoopla also has a comic book selection as well. Just remember to select carefully, because Hoopla is limited to 3 checkouts per month.

Another perk about Overdrive, Libby, and Hoopla are the accessibility features, which include:

  • dyslexic font
  • adjustable font size
  • adjustable audio speed
  • Hoopla has closed captioning

RBDigital also carries a variety of popular e-books and audiobooks if you can’t find something in Tennessee READS or if you run out of checkouts.

If you are looking for magazines, try Flipster! Flipster is an easy-to-use digital magazine newsstand that has new and back issues. Flipster is accessible via a web browser or the Flipster app which is made specifically for Apple devices, Android devices, and the Kindle Fire tablet. You can also download magazines to read offline, anytime, anywhere.

For something new and different, try the curated lists of the Indie Author Project. Published by Library Journal, the India Author Project pulls together lists by genre of the most talked about independently published work that often escapes notice. You might find your new favorite author there.

Whether you’re keeping up with your educational goals of if you’re wanting to learn something new, EBSCOhost is the online resource for you. EBSCOhost provides a plethora of materials from classics to educational nonfiction. Try our collection of EBSCOhost e-books and audiobooks available for checkout.

Speaking of educational resources, we have computer practice resources and databases full of new learning opportunities you can spend your time on. For example, GCFLearnFree has plenty of tutorials including basic money management, resume writing, computer skills, and technology help to name a few. GCFLearnFree also provides courses on communication skills and the sharing economy too. Feel free to browse their collection of tutorials as well as our other computer training options.

Staying at home is also a great time to finally publish that book you’ve always wanted to write, and we have the resources for that! Create your own independently published book through Pressbooks, and submit your work to the Indie Author Project, both of which make your work shareable.

While some of us may be stuck at home for public safety, this is the perfect opportunity to do the things you’ve never had time to do before. So stay home and read, learn, and create!

 

Additional Links:

Overdrive app for Android devices

Overdrive app for Apple devices

Libby app for Android devices

Libby app for Apple devices

 

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