The end of August is usually a culmination of pool parties, beach days, vacations, and all types of carefree fun. However, the end of August during the COVID pandemic is not a high point of excitement. Instead, for millions of people it marks the beginning of a new stage of pandemic life, as teachers and students prepare to go back to school, an institution that will look remarkably different from any other version it has ever been before. A new type of anxiety has emerged for everyone involved. Questions surrounding the safety of students and teachers, concerns about the quality and logistics of learning, and stresses over childcare all weigh on the minds of parents, caregivers, teachers, and administrators.
We share those concerns. At the Levittown Public Library, we are standing by to assist parents, students, and teachers as best and as safely as possible. While we cannot predict how COVID will continue to impact our services, we are determined to provide support and resources through virtual means, and if possible, in person. These include live and recorded virtual programs, databases, technology assistance, resource lists, and of course a large variety of physical and digital books and periodicals. For those interested, here’s a brief summary of these resources:
In my opinion, databases are the hidden gems of the public library. As much as I enjoy a good Wikipedia rabbit hole, there’s no getting around the fact that Wikipedia is not considered a reputable source by most teachers and professors. Databases are portals to peer-reviewed, well-organized, factual information. Our databases can be used to research reports, provide one-on-one tutoring, connect readers to primary sources, and assist with college admissions. A full list of our databases, arranged alphabetically and by subject, can be found on our homepage under “Research & History,” and databases well-suited for children and teens can be found under their department headings on the main banner of our website. A few of my favorites that are great for students include:
Biography in Context
Over 1 million historical and current biographies.
Online tools for test preparation.
Learning Express Library
Includes over 800 tutorials, practice exams, and e-books. Subjects include computer skills, job search and workplace skills, U.S. citizenship, and school work.
NoveList Plus and NoveList Plus K-8
Reader’s advisory service with reviews and read alike lists.
Work with a live tutor for professional development, training, career help, homework help, and peer coaching.
World Book Kids/World Book Online/World Book Student/World Book Timelines
Online encyclopedia with age appropriate language, photographs, and images.
All of our programs will remain virtual for the time being. Though we can’t meet face-to-face, the Young Adult and Children’s Departments have regular programs geared to parenting and education. Discussion-based programs led by parenting coaches and other experts are common fixtures on our calendar. A safe (virtual) space is created for caregivers to unwind, commiserate, and learn various strategies and tips for navigating the peaks and valleys of parenting.
Upcoming parenting programs include:
Ask the Experts: An Open Discussion for Parents & Caregivers (8/26, Children’s)
Parenting Circle (9/23, 10/21, Children’s)
In addition to helping parents, our Young Adult Department organizes regular programs geared to test preparation and higher education, including college readiness. It has become especially helpful to have knowledgeable insiders who can explain the fluctuating nature of college admissions, entrance exams, and campus life during the time of COVID.
Upcoming education/college readiness programs include:
Writing the College Essay (8/28)
SAT Study Group (8/29, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24)* (currently at full registration with a waiting list available)
Nassau Community College & Adelphi Admissions Panel (9/17)
SUNY Admissions 1010 (9/21)
ACT Crash Course (10/6)
SAT Crash Course (10/26)
Above, you’ll notice that I’ve included a link to our list of upcoming programs. To reach that page without the direct link, follow these simple steps: On our homepage, you will notice a section on the right of your screen with the heading “Upcoming Events.” Below that, you can click “All Events,” and this will open EventKeeper, our registration and calendar system. From there, you have options to limit your event search by age group, month, or type of event. (A helpful tip: if you know the title of the program, or even part of the title, hitting the “Ctrl” and “F” keys at the same time will open a search box, allowing you to type in the key word(s) to bring you straight to the event).
In addition, don’t forget that we still have our other enrichment programs, albeit via virtual platforms, including: arts and crafts, STEAM, storytimes, educational lectures, and more. All programs require online pre-registration.
Under the heading “Adults” is the subheading “On Line Government Resources.” From there, you can find COVID-19 Resources, Employment Assistance, Help for Homeowners, and Helpful Resources, which includes links to the FDA, the EPA, product recalls, and more.
Book an appointment with our Reference librarians and learn how to download ebooks, audiobooks, and watch streaming videos with your library card. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to learn about our other digital resources.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure to download the Libby and Hoopla apps to your device for access to a whole library of digital books, e-books, and (in the case of Hoopla), music and videos. What I’ve listed is just a small slice of all the resources we have available. Please spend some time navigating our website or call the department of your choice for more information about what they can offer. Don’t forget that we are now open regular hours for Browse & Go and LPL To Go is still available for contactless pick up. If you have a reference question, librarians are available to answer your questions by email or chat Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For email, you can reach us at email@example.com. To chat with a librarian, visit our homepage and click “Chat with us” on the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
Good luck to everyone heading back to the classroom–whether that means a room in a school or your kitchen table with a laptop. No matter what school looks like this year, we’re thinking of you.