Expands offerings to help community weather the closure
Following Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton’s executive order closing schools until at least May 1, the Heights Libraries will also remain closed during that same time, and will remain closed as long as Dr. Acton and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recommend that the schools stay closed.
To help customers weather the shutdown of its four buildings, Heights Libraries is offering expanded online resources in addition to the digital resources it already offered on its website before the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We’re doing as much as we can to make sure our community still has access to as many of our resources as possible while also making sure our staff and customers stay safe,” says Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “While we did have to close the buildings, our staff is still working to find creative ways to reach people.”
One way is with daily storytimes for little ones, posted to the Library’s Facebook and Instagram accounts Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. Regular storytelling staff record themselves at home reading a picture book, singing songs, and sometimes doing simple activities like naming colors. The videos are available for 24 hours only to comply with publisher copyright guidelines, so parents and caregivers are encouraged to tune in.
“We really miss our storytime kids,” says Youth Services Manager Sam Lapides. “My staff are so happy to be able to do something for them.”
For adults, there will be a weekly online yoga class throughout the month of April, Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., on Facebook, provided by local company Bottom’s Up Yoga. The company reached out to Heights Libraries after the shut down and suggested a Facebook live version of their program.
Other services being offered include:
The Overdrive Instant Card: Provides instant access to eBooks, music, and online magazines with a cell phone number for people who do not have a library card, or whose cards are blocked. The option comes up automatically when customers try to check out an online item such as eBooks, audiobooks, or online magazines.
Hoopla Bonus Borrows: Through Hoopla, customers can access a limit of 10 eBooks, movies, TV shows, and music each month. The new Bonus Borrows program provides over 1,000 additional titles that do not count against the customer’s monthly limit of 10 items.
Ancestry.com: Use of this online genealogical resource is ordinarily limited to customers inside the library buildings, but the company has expanded access to homes as long as customers still access the database through the Library’s website and have a Heights Libraries card.
The Library will post new and expanded services on social media and the website, heightslibrary.org, as they become available.
“Library folks are nothing if not resourceful,” says Levin. “We’ll keep working to find ways to serve our community until this is over.”