March 13th, 2020 was notable for two reasons. One, it was Friday the 13th, but hardly anyone at the Seattle Public Library noticed for the second reason: it was the last day we were open before closing our doors for a month because of COVID-19. It was a frantic and stressful day full of uncertainty for everyone, with an outstanding outcome: on a typical Friday, SPL checks out 13,000 physical items, but on March 13th we checked out 104,000 books, DVDs and CDs!
While patrons are unable to borrow any physical items until at least April 13, SPL has a rich and robust collection of digital resources that can be accessed anytime. Patrons new to digital resources will find lots to choose from, and experienced patrons will find new items to discover.
OverDrive has a large collection of popular eBooks and eAudiobooks, many with holds queues. Avoid the wait with our Always Available Audiobook collection, dream of a world beyond your home with 75 Lonely Planet Travel guides, dig into that classic you’ve been meaning to read with the Duke Classics series, or check out the Big Library Read, Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic by Michael McCreary.
hoopla has four collections: Movies, including a much-needed collection of Feel Good Flicks; Music, including classics like ABBA Gold (if you need a pick me up) and the latest from The Weeknd; Television, from highbrow (Masterpiece: Wolf Hall) to lowbrow (Rick & Morty); and Comics, for kids (Big Nate)and teens/adults (Locke & Key) or get started with some Essential Graphic Novels from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Alison Bechdel and Stan Lee.
Kanopy contains classic and critically acclaimed contemporary films. Last year’s beautiful and bizarre Midsommar will fill you with dread, in the best possible way, while the delightful documentary Bill Cunningham: New York transports you to the Big Apple with the intrepid fashion photographer. While patrons are limited to five checkouts per month, Kanopy has generously added dozens of credit-free films and made Kanopy Kids unlimited viewing until April 15!
Access Video is another streaming service with an emphasis on education and informational content. Did you miss Ken Burns’ epic documentary Country Music? Now’s your chance to immerse yourself in sixteen hours of great music that also serves as a history of the United States. Get to know Trevor Noah, Roxane Gay, Eddie Huang and others better with PBS’s Breaking Big series. Or enjoy an opera or classical music performance.
Can’t concentrate on a book? The digital newsstand Flipster is here for you for a quick diversion. Explore current events with the latest issue of The New Yorker or go Zen with the newest edition of Yoga Journal. Dozens of titles are available, with current and back issues to peruse.
Finally, having so much time on our hands is a great opportunity to dig into our past. Ancestry Library has billions of records so you can start searching your family history. Normally available only in our buildings, they have generously expanded access to this resource so it can be used anywhere with an internet connection until April 30!
Over the next few weeks you’ll be seeing more posts that take a deeper dive into our digital collection. We’re committed to providing patrons with opportunities for enrichment during this uncertain time.
~posted by Frank B.