"at your library" in the north island eagle: columns published since re-opening, parts 2 and 3

Ancestry Library: Your Library Can Help You Discover Your Roots

As the lockdown began, I posted some "At Your Library" columns that were suddenly irrelevant, among them a column about Ancestry Library, then only available from a library branch -- and the branches were all closed.

Shortly after that, Ancestry was made available from all computers -- but the newspaper wasn't publishing. 

As it turns out, that column didn't run before the lockdown. I submitted with some changes in July, and I was able to announce that this e-resource is now available from any computer. So I'll check that off my list.

*  *  *  *

The next column feels sadly ironic. As more library services move online, we can reach more people. But the "digital divide" grows wider, and we fail our most vulnerable customers. Libraries everywhere are working on ways to address this, but it's another sad ripple effect of the pandemic.

Your Library Online: fun and safe ways to enjoy your library this summer (plus increased Takeout hours in Port Hardy and Port McNeill)

This is a tough summer for libraries. We miss our branches being a hub of activity, and having people of all ages and interests flock to our doors. Whether it’s beach reading, Summer Reading Club, or a series on audiobook, libraries have always helped make summer entertaining (and dare I say, educational). This summer – like everyone else – we are discovering new ways to connect.

The good news is that the library is still here! When you need something new to read or watch, you can use our Takeout service. Soon deliveries will resume and you’ll be able to order materials from any VIRL location. That should make many customers happy!

Although our library programs have moved online, they are still the programs you know and love – but in a different format. 

Kids up to 12 years old can “Explore Our Universe” with the 2020 Summer Reading Club. You can register your children by visiting https://bcsrc.ca/. There are lots of virtual events to explore. The easiest way to find out more is through the “Virtual SRC 2020 Explore Our Universe!” Facebook group. Families without internet at home can call 1-877-415-VIRL to register.

Readers age 12-18 can join the Teen Summer Challenge, completing tasks to win prizes. You can see the complete task list and instructions at https://virl.bc.ca/teen-summer-challenge/.

We’re now offering three virtual book clubs. All the titles for the clubs are available as eBooks with no waiting and no holds, throughout the month of July. 

     The Shared Shelf is a book club for the whole family. The focus will be on children’s chapter books, to read and talk about together. The July title is Kenneth Oppel’s Silverwing.

     The Take A Break book club reads lighter fiction and informative, enjoyable nonfiction. The July book “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson is a crowd favourite.

     Books & Beyond focuses on taking action. After each title, members will have an opportunity to try a local challenge or a task to help them better understand or address topics covered in the book. The July title is “I’m Not Dying With You Tonight,” by Kim Jones and Gilly Segal.

There are also online storytimes. Check out the Storytime Corner Facebook Group at 10:30 a.m. every Monday and Friday, and Babytimes every Tuesday. Children of all ages can enjoy storytimes.

Questions? Feedback? Ideas for virtual programs? Call us at 1-877-415-VIRL (8475). 

[Sidebar with branch open hours.]


Amy said...

We were holding our German conversation group at the local library. We had to stop in March when it closed. We tried doing it through Zoom, but only three people participated, and it was not the same. Virtual things are fine for some activities, not as effective for others. But for now, it's what we've got so it's great that your library can make these offerings available.

laura k said...

It's great for those who can access it. When you work at a library, you understand just how many people can't.

I can see how a language conversation circle would be very difficult by Zoom!

Amy said...

As with so many services these days---those without good internet and good hardware are going to suffer---whether it's education, medicine, libraries, voting, and so on. The gap between the haves and the have nots just keeps growing---with more and more people on the have not side of that divide.

laura k said...

Yes, exactly.