Library continues to offer virtual services

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 | 1:24 PM


The Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries has mandated that all libraries in the state close their physical locations indefinitely during the novel coronavirus outbreak. Despite the temporary closure of the building, the Sewickley Public Library is still virtually open to residents of the Quaker Valley.

“Even though our physical location may be closed,” says Communications Librarian, Richelle Klug, “our mission remains the same. The library continues to be a center for lifelong learning by providing free access to the educational, cultural and recreational information that our community needs right now.”

The Sewickley Public Library offers a variety of online services for library users, including: lending ebooks and audiobooks, providing virtual storytimes and programming for all ages, and offering database resources to students who are remote-learning.

“We are finding ways to adapt our traditional services to fit user’s schedules and needs,” Klug notes. The library began offering online programs last week, starting with children’s storytimes. “If patrons can’t come to us, we’ll find a way to come to them,” says Klug. The library has since added programs for teens and adults, including: gaming, cooking and discussion groups. Library staff plan to continue adding programs that users can access from home and finding new ways to connect to the community.

In addition to online programs, community members can find many resources for online learning for all ages. The library’s children’s webpage features a list of web resources for kids and families that includes library-funded databases like BookFlix, Tutor.com, and Little Pim Language Learning, as well as links to online sites that are educational and age-appropriate. Adults and teens can get full-access to the New York Times, online learning site Lynda.com, Mango Languages, Ancestry Library Edition, and many more databases.

All of these resources are free to use, but require a library card for access. Klug says that community members that do not have a library card can sign up for a new one online through the library’s website. She encourages patrons who may have forgotten their library card number to contact the library to obtain their credentials.

When considering the current situation, Klug remains positive. “We want to remind our community that your library is here for you. Although our building may be closed, library services extend beyond brick and mortar. The library is a place for the community and we will continue to adapt our services as much as we are able to meet the community’s needs.”

For those that need help accessing these online resources or have other questions, library staff members continue to provide reference services by phone, email, or online chat. Users can call the library at 412-741-6920 to talk to a librarian, email sewickley@einetwork.net with questions, or log onto the library’s website at www.sewickleylibrary.org to live-chat with a librarian. All virtual programs are listed on the event calendar on the library’s website.

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