It’s unclear when public libraries will open their branch doors again, but their digital doors are always open. For all the determined bookworms, have no fear: Online resources are available for people to finish that one series, fall asleep to an audiobook, finally find out if the book is better than the movie and more. In the interest of public health and safety, libraries across Boise have temporarily changed their approaches.
“Moving forward, we are continuing to focus on essential services and critical community needs. As those needs change, we will work to find alternate delivery modes for library services,” said Boise Public Library Library Services Senior Manager Sarah Kelley-Chase.
The libraries offer more than physical books. Online, they maintain a trove of digital content for patrons to access from home. Audiobooks, eBooks, magazines, movies, music, tutorial videos, databases, career help, homework help and language-learning are all accessible online through library websites.
For younger library patrons, the Day By Day Idaho website offers a free selection of song lyrics, videos, challenges, online books and craft ideas posted daily. Day By Day Idaho is also available in Spanish. The website itself has several months' worth of educational materials. Tumble Book Library, an online collection of animated picture books, quizzes, educational games and more for school kids, grades K-6, is a free online resource available to keep readers engaged.
The Libby app allows Boise Public Library members to download books and audiobooks directly to their smartphones.
On Ada Community Library’s Facebook page, staff will answer questions, post videos and share links. Staff will be available to answer phone calls Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., to troubleshoot and answer questions.
Wi-Fi at Ada Community branches will be available everyday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Staff asks that patrons remain in their cars or maintain a physical space of at least 6 feet away from the library entrance and other people.
All checked out materials from Ada Community Libraries and Boise Public Libraries have an extended due date until June 1, 2020.
Despite branches closing and plenty of content online, there’s nothing quite like holding a physical book.
The Boise Public Library has suspended its curbside pick-up in an effort to maintain physical distancing and allow staff to work remotely. Librarians are available to answer questions via the Ask a Librarian form online and by phone, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Friday, March 20, Ada Community Libraries began implementing a curbside pickup and return system. Patrons can call to place holds for books over the phone or online. Normally, requested items can be transferred between branches to optimize options and availability. For the time being, interlibrary loan services have been suspended.
Patrons are asked to hold onto books for the remainder of their checkout time, however, as items are returned they will be quarantined for 3 days before they are available to the public again. The curbside program will be active indefinitely. Books will be available for pickup and return Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“There’s a lot that we can offer during this time. We’re all very much looking forward to reopening our doors,” said Associate Director and Lake Hazel Branch Manager Alex Hartman.