As a librarian, I am always talking up the services that our libraries provide and that makes them community centers. Now, as their physical doors are temporarily closed, it’s time to explore their virtual resources more. Reading is a great escape and it is definitely a good time to transport ourselves out of our homes and into a different world with a good book. It’s a given that all libraries will have ebooks, audiobooks, and various other resources. Ebooks can be great when you can’t get the physical book and oh so portable! You can read an ebook on a phone, tablet, laptop, or computer. I love audiobooks for all the wonderful voices that read those books to us and entertain me while I’m cleaning, walking, etc. My 10-year-old daughter, an avid reader, especially likes audiobooks.
Every public library has a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Follow your local library – you won’t be disappointed. They make announcements about online story times, virtual concerts, author streaming live-reads, and book illustrator demos are just a few of the services provided. It is great to be able to go to a central place to find this. Rich, book-centered, and cultural activities that libraries have always promoted and provided for all ages and diverse groups of people can be found right on their social media channels.
San Antonio Public Library
Bexar County Residents: Your current San Antonio Public Library card opens the door to ebooks, eAudio, and eMagazines and streaming of STARZ. Normally, you must present your Bexar County proof of residence and picture ID at a local branch but you can get a 90-day ecard by registering online.
Access the Digital Library and you will find adult, young adult, and children’s materials. I think you will be surprised at how much can be found. There is a detailed how-to for all of their offerings. I would recommend playing with the filters so that you can find items for yourself and for your family. Romance? Graphic novels? Young adult? Children’s books? You can find these and more! Some items are downloadable and some are available through a browser. There are Spanish resources as well.
Bibliotech is an all-digital resource library for those who reside or work in Bexar County. If you don’t have a card, registration is easy. There are seven different apps that you can get or pick and choose. Lynda offers courses in business, technology and creative skills, taught by experts. Mango provides learning in over 70 languages. This can be a fun one for the kids, too. Hoopla provides ebooks, audiobooks, movies, and music. My teenager loves this app!
City Public Libraries
City libraries don’t have as many resources as those larger organizations. But don’t discount them. If you have a card already, you are good to go! There is no online registration, however. Check out your local library at Converse Public Library or Leon Public Library. Converse Public Library is even putting a box of physical books outside their doors that have been cleaned and are ready for a new home. What a great idea!
Guadalupe County Residents
Guadalupe County is served by several city libraries that each have their unique e-resources.
Schertz Public Library
If you already have a card, great! If not, register for a free digital card online that anyone who lives in Texas is eligible for. Their digital resources include newspapers, movies, e-books, and audiobooks. They offer driving test prep for those preparing for their Texas driving test. I really like the Online Book Clubs for adults and kids. I love this interactive activity.
Universal City Public Library
You must already have that golden library card to access online materials. The ebooks and audiobooks are available in the library catalog. Library Express Library provides GED, ACT, SAT, and citizenship test prep.
Seguin Public Library
All Guadalupe County residents are eligible for a library card. However, there is no online application. With a card, you can access ebooks and audiobooks at all levels for children through adults. They have some great links for FREE, no-library-card needed computer training. From Grandma to your pre-teen, there is something for everyone.
Garden Ridge Public Library
If you have that library card, the online resources include ebooks, audiobooks, and movies! They have provided public domain audiobooks and ebooks.
New Braunfels Public Library
Unfortunately, there is no online registration for a card. If you have a NBPL library card, the 50+ digital resources are plentiful. I love that they include Tumblebooks and Tumblebooks Math for the younger readers! Both of these are animated picture books that the kids will love. Tumblebooks Math even includes quizzes.
Military families can access military library resources. You should definitely check your child’s school library website for what their school provides. As a school librarian, I am providing resources and fun activities for my middle school students and ongoing updates. Don’t forget about Little Free Libraries that can be found in your neighborhoods. Go for a walk outside and find a reading treasure!
Just keep reading and enjoying the virtual resources that our wonderful libraries have provided for us. It’s a great way to have fun and enrich our families during this time!