County libraries close

Multiple online options remain available

County libraries closeThe Kern County Library, at the direction of the Kern County Administrative Office and Kern County Department of Public Health, in an effort to address the recommendations made by Governor Gavin Newsom and the State of California for COVID-19, will be making significant changes to Library operations. For the safety of the families we serve, all Kern County Library branches will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17, through Monday, April 13. All scheduled meetings, events, programs, or gatherings are cancelled until further notice.

Yeah, we are closed BUT we have multiple online options for residents:

• Extended Due Dates — All due dates for materials currently checked out from a Kern County Library location will be extended through the closure. Materials will be due back to the Kern County Library on Friday, April 17. We encourage customers to keep materials at home instead of returning them to a book drop during the closure.

Library Holds: All holds currently ready for pickup will be available when we reopen.

• WiFi at Every Branch — Although physical library buildings will be closed, all branches will temporarily maintain WiFi Access.

• eLibrary — With our eLibrary, residents will continue to have access to our digital collection from the comfort of their home. Our digital items automatically return and do not incur late fees. Our eLibrary services can be accessed at kerncountylibrary.org/elibrary/.

Continued services include:

• OverDrive – Access eBooks & eAudiobooks. Each title can be checked out for 21 days and up to 30 titles can be checked out at a time. Titles can be requested and customers are notified of download availability once a title is returned.

• Hoopla – Access eBooks, eAudiobooks, and comic books. Stream movies, television, and music. Each title can be checked out for 21 days. For the duration of our closure, we have increased checkouts to 6 a month! All checkouts are instantaneous; there is no waitlist.

• RBDigital – Access eAudiobooks. Each title can be checked out for 21 days, and up to 10 titles can be checked out at a time. All checkouts are instantaneous; there is no waitlist.

• CloudLibrary – Access eBooks. Each title can be checked out for 14 days, and up to 3 titles can be checked out at a time. Titles can be requested and customers are notified of download availability once a title is returned.

For Customers Without a Library Card — We know that not every Kern County resident has a current Library Card. Although most services require an up-to-date card, it is still possible for customers to access eBooks and eAudiobooks through OverDrive with an Instant Digital Access Card. Download OverDrive on your phone, where you will be prompted to verify residency with your phone number.

Curated Online Activities & Resources: With school closures, we know that many families have now transitioned their learning to home. Access our website for a curated list of online resources, activities, learning modules, and much more.

“Stay At Home” Reading Challenge — Access Beanstack online or on your phone to join our latest reading challenge. Challenge yourself to spend your at-home time reading and participating in family-friendly activities.

Additional Online Resources Available 24/7: Beyond books, the Kern County Library offers a wealth of other online resources accessible with a Kern County Library card at kerncountylibrary.org/research/. Resources we recommend include:

• For Hobbyists & Crafters – Access “how-to” instructions and creative ideas to keep you busy through “Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center (EBSCO).”

• For Car Lovers – Access automotive service and repair information for thousands of domestic and imported vehicles through “Auto Repair Source.”

• For Language Learners – Access self-directed lessons, live teachers, movies, music, and more for learning over 80 languages with “Pronunciator.”

• For History Buffs – Access our historical photo collection, including the Kathleen Walker Collection, the Curtis Darling Postcard Collection, and much more.

For more information, visit kernlibrary.org.

Shared by Charissa Wagner, Ridgecrest Branch Library

Story First Published: 2020-03-20