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THE LIBRARY LOOKOUT: Libraries offer many ways to stay connected

While blended virtual and face-to-face learning in our schools this year will be a change of pace, if you’re looking for a change in space, the public library is yours for the taking.

With library locations in Albemarle, Badin, Locust, Oakboro and Norwood, if you need an

Sara Hahn

afternoon out of the house to work on homework or virtual instruction you can choose which location is most convenient. Hours of operation vary at each location, and digital resources are available around the clock, so we’re always here for you.

As the public school structure is transforming to meet the needs of our public health concerns, we are transforming along with them by working together with school media specialists who have reached out to brainstorm with us. We hope to ensure that, through collaboration, we’re able to offer our students the best literary experience available. In addition to the extra precautionary measures that we have taken to reopen, including mask-wearing, sneeze shields, social distancing computer stations and a rigorous cleaning schedule, we’re upping our digital offerings as well.

At each of our library locations, whether you visit during operating hours or not, wifi access is always available to you. While open, you can stop in to connect your personal devices, including school-issued Chromebooks, to our free public wifi and catch up on web-browsing or working, for leisure or learning, while enjoying our public seating areas and tabletop workspaces.

In the Albemarle location, our newly renovated Young Adult space is a great place for teens to plug-in to our new Tech Bar that offers essentials like power supplies and charging ports for Apple and Android devices. If you’re visiting before or after hours or being extra diligent with social distancing, our wifi connection reaches to our parking lots at all locations, so you can complete and submit that research paper or class webchat from the comfort of your vehicle.

Speaking of research papers and class assignments, reach out to us if you need a refresher on how to access our plethora of free digital resources accessible to you with your library card. These resources include access to ebooks, audiobooks and magazines through Libby and NC Digital Kids, scholarly articles and research databases through NC Live, language learning through Mango Languages and additional multimedia resources that are in the works for the coming year.

While purchasing school supplies for August, consider donating extras to local students in need. We are partnering with the United Way of Stanly County, Channel 9 School Tools, Atrium Health, and Stanly County Schools for the 2020 School Supply Drive.

To add to this charitable cause, we’ve created “School Supplies for Fines” where donated items can waive library fines and fees at $1 per item to a maximum of $10 waived. This program will run through the second week in August, so take advantage of the drop-off boxes at each location.

We’re looking forward to partnering with you to make this a great school year. So let us know how we can continue to serve you best.

Currently Reading: “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides

Picture Book Highlight: “We’re All Wonders” by R.J. Palacio

Sara Hahn is the Children and Youth Services Librarian of the Stanly County Public Library in Albemarle, North Carolina. You can reach her at shahn@stanlycountylibrary.org or the Albemarle Library, 704-986-3758.