COVID-19 has upended life as we know it, but libraries have been going above and beyond to continue serving their communities during these unprecedented times.

By expanding their online resources, offering contactless pickup, and hosting socially distant programming, libraries have found safe ways to keep patrons engaged, informed, and entertained.

Here are just a few of the most innovative ways we’ve seen libraries respond to the pandemic:

Fun (and safe) outdoor programs

While COVID has prevented libraries from hosting community programs indoors, some have gotten creative to offer socially-distant outdoor activities....


Looking for great gifts for your loved ones this holiday season? Books always make for perfect presents, and librarians have expert reading recommendations for all your friends and family.

Below, you’ll find tons of links to librarian-curated book lists and awards, featuring a wide array of diverse titles for readers of all ages.

(To really spread joy this holiday season, purchase your picks from your local independent bookstore—small businesses need all the support they can get during the pandemic and beyond.)

Books for Adults


For so many students, the annual school book fair is something to look forward to all year—it’s a chance to explore all the coolest new books and pick out the very best titles to take home. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in-person book fairs are out of the question, but librarians and publishers are working together to bring the experience online.

Iowa’s Sheldon School District just wrapped up their virtual Fall Book Fair, which allowed local children to discover amazing new reads from their safety of their homes. Families had the option to shop via a traditional online store on Scholastic’s website, or to get the full book fair experience through virtual reality.

Through the latter, readers could click around a 360-degree...


If you’re hoping to expand your horizons while self-isolating at home, try learning a new language with help from your local library—you can access language learning resources and programs all for free with a library card.

Check out your library’s online catalog to see what introductory textbooks and dictionaries they have in your target language. Many libraries also have language learning materials available in ebook form, allowing you to instantly download a title of your choice from the comfort of your home.

If you prefer learning online, your library may also provide free access to software like Mango Languages, which makes studying grammar and vocabulary simple, interactive, and fun. Some programs offer apps you can download on...

American Library Association Youth Media Awards, Check out the 2020 winners!

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