MidPointe Library working to help students, patrons remotely

Millions of students all over the world are not only changing how they live due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they are discovering innovative ways to educate and entertain themselves.

The MidPointe Library System has materials available online to help. There are countless eResources can be accessed even when the library is closed.

“We closed as late as we could,” said Cari Hillman, community engagement director, at the MidPointe Library System. “We finally closed when we were getting the advice that it was really the best for everyone.

“But, right now, it’s our digital download time to shine and that includes a couple of different things. So, there is our eLibrary that has three different platforms, and on those, there’s eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, musical albums and movies as well. We also have all of our databases.

“When we announced we were going to close, we saw people flood in to check out as much as they could before we closed. It was very bittersweet, because, folks knew that they weren’t going to be able access us in the ways they are used to and they wanted to stock up on those books. It touched our hearts, because you realize how much people do rely on the library, and that they look to it for a lot of different reasons.

The library has over two million traditional items on its shelves, Hillman said. MidPointe’s eLibrary collection includes three different platforms - cloudLibrary, hoopla and Ohio Digital Library. MidPointe Library patrons checked out 359,904 items from the eLibrary in 2019.

“This is just another way to utilize your resource. We belong to the people, so it’s your library and we want to find any way we can to make it valuable to our patrons. We hope even now, when we are here at home, we can still be available to them,” Hillman said.

For those that may have extra time on their hands, “Creativebug” provides many crafting projects, MidPointe provides “Consumer Reports,” “Morningstar” and “Value Line” free of charge and ancestry.com is available for in-home use through the end of April, Hillman said.

“If folks want to use this time to research their family history, this is a great resource,” she said.

Typically, ancestry.com is only available for use in the library, but it’s been made available to MidPointe library cardholders at home, free of charge, through the end of April.

“MidPointe offers dozens of databases geared for multiple ages and interests,” Hillman said. “One of the great things about databases is that they provide accurate information online. So often, you will find resources that are not verified online.”

Database topics range from auto repair and homework help to reference materials, science and technology. Other popular databases include genealogy and local history to test and career preparation. The databases are organized by topic and they are also categorized, alphabetically.

For parents looking for homework help, said Hillman, “World Book Encyclopedia Online,” “Science Research Center” and “Explora” are all valuable resources.

MidPointe will host virtual storytimes on their social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Also, they will stream Facebook Live video of programming, specifically art classes, in the next few weeks.

“One of our great storytellers is doing rhymes, fingerplays, songs and reading stories online. We know our kids miss coming into the library for their storytimes,” Hillman said.

The eLibrary and databases require that patrons have a MidPointe library card. MidPointe launched a temporary eLibrary card program on Saturday, and officials expect it will be popular. Patrons can apply for MidPointe’s temporary eLibrary card online, via their social media channels or on the website.

“eResources have been very popular, which has been great. We definitely think there’s room for folks to enjoy the eCollections as well traditional materials, but now, we expect to see a big increase as folks look to this without access to traditional materials,” Hillman said.

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