Supporting Your Local Library Digitally During Covid-19

Montgomery County Public Library, Pennsylvania Libby Collection

“My library is closed! How will I get books?!”

Here in Montgomery County, PA we are on a 14-day lockdown to stem the spread of Covid-19. Governor Wolf has requested that all non-essential retail and businesses, community centers, and schools close, which includes our public libraries. As an abundance of caution, some libraries in Chester County have also closed, and the Free Library of Philadelphia closed its branches starting March 15 until March 29.

For a lot of us, this time at home means time to catch up on our to-read list! But what if you (or your kids) run out of books to read? What if you didn’t have time to stop by the library before it closed and now you’re stuck with books you already read? What if you don’t like that book you borrowed last week?

I’ve compiled a list of the digital resources from my local Montgomery County library (Royersford Free Public Library, a branch of Norristown Public Library), along with a few from Chester County and the Free Library of Philadelphia, for free access to e-book, audiobooks, and magazines! Using your library’s digital resources is a great way to support your local library during Covid-19. And best of all, these resources are there even when there’s no pandemic! All you need is your library card!

My links are for local readers, however most of these library services are nationally used. Check with your local library to see what they have available! Some libraries offer other fantastic resources I haven’t linked here.

Montgomery County Library System

Libby – For e-books and audiobooks, for all ages. You can read e-books directly in the Libby app or send them to your Kindle device! To use: Download the Libby app on your phone or tablet, and find your library using the “Add A Library” link (underneath the Libby girl icon). Extra perk: You can link more than one library! I have Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library, Chester County Library, and the Free Library of Philadelphia linked on my app.

Click HERE to browse the Libby collection for Norristown Public Library and any of its branches – including Royersford Free Public Library and Conshohocken Free Library. (You will not be able to access this Libby collection with a card number from outside Montgomery County [like Chester County], even if you linked your card to the Montgomery County Library System.)

RBDigital – For magazines, comic books, and audiobooks. To use: Download the RBDigital app on your phone or tablet. You will need to create an account and select your library. You can check out items via the website and they will appear in your app for download.

Click HERE to access the RBDigital collection for Norristown Public Library and any of its branches. (You will not be able to access the Libby collection with a card number from outside Montgomery County.)

The Philadelphia Inquirer – Read the current edition and stay up to date on the local news. You will need your library card number! (Access for patrons of Norristown Public Library and any of its branches.)

Chester County Library System

To access any of these resources, all you need is a Chester County library card number!

Libby – For e-books and audiobooks, for all ages.

Flipster – For magazines. To use: Download the Flipster app to your phone or tablet, or browse via the website. You will need your library card number.

NYTimes – Remote access to NYTimes.com. You will need your library card barcode (or username, if you created one) and your PIN. You will then need to create a NYT account – this is also free. This creates you a library pass, which is good for 72 hours. When that’s up, you simply go through the library link again and restart the process! (Note: NYT Cooking is not accessible via the library pass.)

For more eResources from Chester County Library System, click HERE. There are so many great resources!

Free Library of Philadelphia

To access any of these resources, all you need is a Free Library of Philadelphia library card. Don’t have one? If you live anywhere in PA you can apply online and get a digital card instantly!

Libby – For e-books and audiobooks, for all ages.

RBDigital – For magazines and audiobooks.

Freading – For e-books, for all ages. To use: Download the Freading app onto your phone or tablet, or you can download e-books to your computer. You will need your FLP library card number and password/PIN to download an e-book!

Hoopla – For e-books, audiobooks, music, movies, and TV shows. You are limited to three downloads per month! To use: Download the Hoopla app on your phone, tablet, or TV. You will need to create an account and link your library like in the Libby app.

*Note: Some Montgomery County libraries also offer Hoopla access if you have a library card through them! One example is Wissahickon Valley Public Library.

Kanopy – For movies. This one has indie films, foreign films, classics, and documentaries! You are limited to streaming four movies per month! To use: You will need to create a Kanopy account using your FLP library card number and password/PIN. Download the Kanopy app to your phone, tablet, or TV.

NYTimes – Remote access to NYTimes.com. Again, this is a library pass good for 72 hours.

For more great eResources from the Free Library of Philadelphia, check out the following:

Do you have any favorite digital resources to share that your library offers? Which of these do you use the most? Are there any that are new-to-you? I can’t wait to try Kanopy! Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Happy reading, listening, and watching!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.