Libraries offering educational resources, entertainment, programming online during coronavirus pandemic


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Libraries are finding new ways to keep people connected, informed and entertained during the coronavirus pandemic. They’re closed during the statewide shutdown, so part of that includes a shift to digital services.

You no longer have to physically go to a library to take advantage of the services it offers. Many are allowing people to register for library cards online.

Both Dauphin County’s libraries and the Fredricksen Library, which serves the West Shore, have expanded their e-book collections during the pandemic.

They also continue to offer audio books and video and music streaming.

Fredricksen has moved its business and career center to digital. It has information about current job openings and directions to get loans through the Small Business Administration.

There are also resources for seniors, like the exercise corner linked to Silver Sneakers.

In-person programs are being moved to the web.

“We have STEM activities,” said Bonnie Goble, the director at the Fredricksen Library. “We have crafts for children. They’re all gathered on the website. So, if you missed one yesterday you can go on the website, you can see what you missed and you can do it today.”

“We’re providing some children’s stories times and activities online,” said Karen Cullings, the executive director of the Dauphin County Library System. “Our staff is recording them at their homes and putting them out through social media for people to connect with, and we’re doing the same thing with the adult programming. Some of our book clubs are going digital.”

Many libraries are planning limited services for when the time comes to reopen.

“Curbside delivery for people who don’t really want to come into a public place, but want to pick something up and some quick pick up and go packs maybe for people based on their reading preferences,” said Cullings.

“The information is if you let a book cart full of materials sit for 72 hours, by that time, everything has dispersed, so we have many many book carts here, as people continue to return materials, that are basically airing out,” said Goble.

The Dauphin County Library System bought plexi glass to install at service desks to protect employees and community members.

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