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Harvard Public Library offers online services during lockdown

Like many other businesses and services, the Harvard Public Library has had to close due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, patrons, both new and veteran, can still access a variety of its services remotely.

The eLibrary contains over 300,000 titles, including traditional books, audiobooks, magazines, foreign language courses, and videos. These materials are spread across several different online platforms, including Lynda, Mango, RB Digital, Overdrive, Hoopla, and Freeding. The webpage https://www.harvardpubliclibrary.org/resources-research/elibrary lists the types of media each one specializes in, and provides a brief user guide for each.

The library also allows users to remotely access dozens of research resources and databases. Their content ranges from general information (Britannica Library) to popular publications (The Boston Globe), to helpful tutorials (Driving-Tests.org). These can be found at www.harvardpubliclibrary.org/resources-research/research-resources.

While these resources are free, they generally require the user to create an account (using a Harvard Public Library card) and download an app. This process takes just a few minutes. Users can access these platforms via most computing devices with internet connectivity, including computers, mobile phones, and reading devices (such as the Amazon Kindle).

For those who do not currently have a library card, these resources are still accessible. The Overdrive app allows users to create a temporary library card using a mobile phone number. The Overdrive program houses the online collection of the C/W MARS library consortium, a group of more than 100 Massachusetts libraries of which the Harvard Public Library is a member.

The library children’s room has also remained active on social media. Its YouTube channel averages over one new video per day, and features videos of read-alouds and crafts. The YouTube channel is found at this web address: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC99VCwViHIGByOyQRuAi9Lw/videos. The children’s room also has regularly updated Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. In addition, it presents real-time readings over Zoom on Mondays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. To sign up for these, send an email to childrensroom@harvardpubliclibrary.org.

To contact a librarian about these services, call 978-456-4114 between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email reference@harvardpubliclibrary.org.

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