While libraries still rely heavily on the printed word, the trend toward electronic resources is also a priority. At the Ephrata Public Library, we try to find a good balance. We are always looking for feedback from the public on how we can better serve our “virtual” patrons. For those of you night owls looking for something to do at 4 a.m., or for those of you who have run out of time in your day for a library visit, here are some things you can do with your library card without leaving your home!
1. Read a magazine. The library subscribes to a service called Zinio that allows you to download magazines for free through the library’s website.
2. Take a class. Universal Class, an online service provided by the library, offers over 550 classes in a variety of topics. Patrons can take the classes at their own speed in a virtual classroom. Homework assignments, exams and one-on-one communication with professors make this a great option for lifelong learning. Many of the classes offer continuing education credits.
3. Get help with homework. Tutor.com offers qualified, screened tutors to work with students from kindergarten all the way through higher education. These tutors are available to help online seven days a week.
4. Learn a new language. Mango Languages offers extensive language courses in over 35 languages. If you don’t want to learn a new language, maybe you should instead learn Pirate, a course offered on Mango!
5. Join the Chapter-A-Day Book Club. Sign up for a club, organized by genre and receive a chapter of a new book each day. This is a great way to preview books and find new authors that are emerging into genres.
6. Fix your car. That’s right…I said you can fix your car. Or, you can at least learn how to do it. Using our online Auto Repair Reference Center, get instructions and view videos of standard car repairs, by year and model.
7. Trace your roots. If you’re interested in your family tree, HeritageQuest Online can help. The service combines searchable images of U.S. federal genealogical census records with digitized books containing family and local histories.
8. Read the paper. Newspaper Source Plus offers extensive cover-to-cover text for papers such as USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post. You can also find transcripts from hundreds of television and radio shows.
9. Download an eBook or eAudiobook. Patrons can download a variety of eBooks and eAudiobook through the online service, OverDrive. These books are compatible with most devices!
10. Make plans. The library has an extensive list of programs – from computer classes to cooking classes. You’d be amazed at what you can find on our online events calendar. And now’s the perfect time! Sign-ups for programs begin Aug. 1. These programs fill us quickly, so check it out this week.
This list is by no means inclusive. As we add new services, we put out the word. Meanwhile, put some time aside this coming week and have some online fun “at” the library!
About Penny Talbert
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