Shelter orders in place across the country not only crippled the economy, but also froze civic infrastructure. Of course, water is still flowing from our taps, the police and fire department are still on the job, but your local library is probably not considered an essential service. But that doesn’t mean you can’t beat this scourge with a stack of good books by your side, they just might be of the digital variety.
Your first order of business should be to check in at your local library branch. Systems across the United States have begun to offer ‘second line’ – from Free 24-hour Wi-Fi and homeless services To emergency child care and food bank distributions – to help their communities through these difficult times.
Additionally, even if your local does not have any physical books to borrow, many now offer a variety of online services to increase their gated locations. A recent study by the Public Library Association found that while 98% of the 2,500 respondents in the system had to close their buildings to some extent, among them 76% continued, extended or added online renewals for books already borrowed while 74% built or extended their e-book and their streaming. media collections.
The San Francisco Public Library, for example offers an assortment online courses and workshops, e-books and e-magazines, newspapers, music streaming and virtual storytelling hours for smol. LA County closed its central branch and all 72 satellites in response to COVID-19 but also offers music, movies, books, magazines, distance learning resources and workshops via its web portal. The Chicago Public Library System has also closed its branches but offers to distribute e-books directly on your Kindle for 1 to 3 weeks. You don’t even have to worry about ‘returning’ them, they will automatically remove from the device after the borrowing window is closed. The public libraries of both Boston and new York have followed suit.
If you are a college student, be sure to check with your campus library for its collection of eBooks and access to a variety of temporarily free distance learning and teaching apps. University presses around the world, including MIT, Cambridge and Duke, offer free e-books and course materials during quarantine to their students and faculty. What if your school allows content from MUSE project, a multidisciplinary collection of e-books and online journals, you have reached the common thread. More than 80 publishers have signed up to make their content free during the outbreak.
“The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge for the global university ecosystem and its institutions. This move is our way of helping to ease the burden on students and instructors so that they can continue with their research and lessons as easily as possible, as well as honoring the work of our authors by making their research available when the need arises. world needs nuance and rigor. scholarship the most, ”said Tony Sanfilippo, Ohio State University press director, in a recent press release.
The beauty of online public libraries is, of course, that they are just as free to use as their physical counterparts. If you want to pick up a Kindle so you don’t tire your eyes with hours of screen time, Amazon offers the Basic Kindle for $ 65, the Paper blank for $ 95 and the oasis for $ 279 (all offered with the option of three free months Kindle Unlimited, although if you subscribe to Prime you already have this access). However, all you really need is a library card, a free smartphone app like Hoopla and Libby, and a compatible device.
Most library systems don’t actually manage their own digital content offerings, they are hard pressed as they are. Instead, libraries will often partner with digital streaming platforms to effectively outsource this content curation. Libby (formerly called Overdrive), for example, specializes in e-books and audiobooks, while Hoopla also includes a range of comics, music, and movies. Users can access this content either through their local library portal or directly from the streaming platforms themselves.
Local libraries may be your first option for finding free books to read during quarantine, but they’re not your only option. At the end of March, the Internet Archive launched the National Emergency Library, “a temporary collection of books that supports emergency distance education, research activities, independent scholarships and intellectual stimulation during the closure of universities, schools, training centers and libraries” , indicates the organization’s website. Reading levels vary from kindergarten and kindergarten to high school and college.
To access this content, you will need to exchange your email address for a username and password, but no library card is required. Here you will find an extensive collection of texts on a variety of subjects, from dinosaurs to writing and design, from medical texts to science fiction and fantasy novels. Be warned though, since the site’s launch writers and publishing houses have spoken out against it, arguing that the Internet Archive is engage in digital piracy during a plague.
“With average writing incomes of just $ 20,300 per year before the crisis, writers, like others, are now in even more trouble – with canceled book tours and loss of freelance work. , income supplementing jobs and conferences, ”the Authors Guild said. wrote in a March statement.
“And now they’re supposed to swallow this new pill, which robs them of their rights to present their books in digital formats like hundreds of midlist authors do when their books are out of print, and which virtually guarantees that the income from l ‘author and publisher’s revenues will decline further. “
If borrowing from the emergency library makes you uncomfortable, the Internet Archive works too the open library with an equally wide range of titles. Of course there is also Gutenberg Project, offering more than 60,000 eBooks and Kindle titles, most of which are no longer covered by US copyright law. I mean, if Shakespeare wrote King Lear during his plague, the least you can do is read it during yours. In the same way, Many books offers a mix of classic and contemporary with some 50,000 titles.
People who prefer to listen to their books rather than read them also have options. Audible from Amazon offers a variety of popular titles, including the Harry Potter series, for $ 15 / month. For those who would rather not support Jeff Bezos’ attempt to dominate the business world, Spotify has also started offering audiobooks on its streaming platform. However, they are quite well hidden, you will have to search the “Word” category to find them.
For some of us, no convenience or technology can replace the sheer joy of reading the printed word that can be touched, held and smelled. But with many bookstores closed due to quarantine, purchasing physical media can be a challenge. But it is there Library comes into play. This site acts as an intermediary between customers and their local independent bookstores. Just find the store closest to you and order. Full proceeds from each order are donated to the store and so far over $ 1.2 million has been raised through the site. Granted, you will actually have to pay for your books, but it will help ensure that your bookstore is still there once orders from the safe house increase.