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.
By Stephen McClain, Reference Department
Whether you are a student of any grade level, preparing for the ACT, SAT, GRE or GED, an undergraduate or graduate scholar, looking for a new career or are interested in researching your heritage, the Tennessee Electronic Library has something for you.
The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) is an online library that provides everyone in the state with access to a vast selection of resources. These resources are available free of charge at any time, all you need is Internet access. Whether you are at home, in a computer lab or on your smart phone, a wealth of information is available to help with any of your research and data needs.
TEL shortcuts will take you directly to resources for Homework, Research, Test Prep, Career Tools and Genealogy.
If you have a school paper or project due, the Student Resources in Context will help provide primary source materials for many subjects. Within this area, there is a brand new “Research in Context” button that is designed specifically for middle school students. This link is an invaluable, easy to navigate tool for many projects with topics ranging from Cultures, Government, Science and History.
There is an extensive alphabetical database with information on most any topic. Including…
Biography — Learn about the lives of Bill Gates, Duke Ellington, Edgar Allan Poe, LeBron James and Walt Whitman, just to name a few.
Business and Economics — Here you will find a broad scope of information on everything from advertising and fashion to what made Facebook a global phenomenon.
Geography — We live in an age of globalization where it is increasingly important that we know what is going on in the world. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, learn about current events and issues that are facing each country and how it can affect you. There are many links to NPR podcasts, videos and academic journals. Each link also provides maps and statistical data for each country, which includes individual states of the U.S.
Social Issues — This section provides links to diverse and important topics and current world events. There are many articles, audio recordings and interactive maps relating to an extensive list of social issues.
Research and Test Prep
The Tennessee Electronic Library also provides users with access to popular magazines, videos, ebooks, scholarly articles, newspapers, podcasts and much more through their Gale Power Search.
TEL can also help with test preparation, starting at Grade 4 through college. Resources include information on ACT, SAT and Graduate School Entrance exams. Clicking on “ACT, SAT” will take you to the College Preparation Center where you will find practice tests, tutorials and other resources for college admissions. The “Graduate School Entrance Exams” link takes you to the College Center, where you can prepare for graduate school admission exams by reviewing math, reading, writing and science skills. There are also video tutorials on how to download and use an ebook, how to take a test, as well as resources in Spanish.
Make the most of your experience and knowledge when looking for a new career by clicking on the Career Tools tab. Here, you will find powerful tools to organize job searches and match your expertise with new career opportunities. You will also find help to build your resume and write a cover letter.
Find information on your heritage and family history through digitized census records starting in 1790. There is also a special link to Tennessee State Library and Archives, which is partnered with Ancestry.com. Here you will find free historic Tennessee information on births, deaths and tax records.
These are just a few of the ways that the Tennessee Electronic Library can help you with many of your research and data needs. Visit TEL and explore!