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News / Life / Clark County Life

Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries’ valuable resources available at home

Gateway can make hunkering down feel less isolating

By Erin Middlewood, Columbian Managing Editor for Content
Published: March 27, 2020, 6:05am
4 Photos
Patrons of Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries can access the Libby app to check out e-books.
Patrons of Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries can access the Libby app to check out e-books. Photo Gallery

With libraries closed, information hounds who otherwise prefer to peruse shelves of bound sheaves of paper must instead look to the digital realm. Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries‘ website has plenty to offer. So much, in fact, that it can be overwhelming.

We enlisted Janet Alder, marketing and promotions coordinator for the library system, to highlight a few of the many online resources at fvrl.org.

If you just want to read books, you can download the Libby app from the library’s website (https://www.fvrl.org/resources/ebooks) onto your phone, tablet or even your laptop or desktop computer. Libby enables you to check out e-books via OverDrive. It works just like with physical books: There are only so many copies available, and you get them for 21 days. Usually, you can access seven at a time, but during the library closure, you can get as many as 10, Alder said.

TeenBookCloud includes graphic novels. You can download the app, or follow the link to the website.

Looking for ways to keep kids busy? Creativebug (creativebug.com/lib/fvrl) has thousands of videos to walk you through arts and craft projects.

Just want to chill out and watch videos? You can do that, too (https://www.fvrl.org/resources/video). Kanopy has independent films, documentaries and The Great Courses, and it is offering unlimited access to its children’s programming during the COVID-19 outbreak, Alder said. Hoopla has lots of TV shows, plus e-comics.

If you find yourself with time alone and want to learn a language (https://www.fvrl.org/resources/language-learning), you can choose from 70 on Mango Languages. Little Pim, a language app for children, is also available.

On a more serious note, if you lost a job to the COVID-19 economic crash, you can turn to the employment and careers section (https://www.fvrl.org/resources/employment-careers) for job search tools, as well as a career exploration database. Perhaps the most valuable is Lynda.com, a vast trove of instructional videos for all kinds of workplace skills, including project management, video editing and computer coding. Your library card gets you free access to what would otherwise cost you $25 a month.

Using these resources does take a touch of technical know-how. If you get stuck, look for the green “ask a librarian” button to submit your questions and staff will get back to you, Alder said.

If you don’t have a library card, you can get an electronic one online that unlocks these digital resources.

Then, when the library reopens, you can go to your local brick-and-mortar branch and get a physical card for those sheaves of paper you’ve been missing.