Coronavirus Updates

Updated 4/3/20

As of Saturday March 14th, all Berks County Public Libraries are closed until further notice in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Libraries will follow the state Department of Education in its extension of closures at this time. Additionally, all programs and events scheduled for this time will be cancelled or postponed. Please continue to check back here or with your library for updates and more information.

If you have physical library materials checked out, don't worry: all loan periods and holds will be extended until Monday, May 11. Please do not return items to your library at this time. Libraries will be following the stay-at-home order issued from Governor Tom Wolf's office and will not be able to empty book drops.

While your library may not be open to in-person visits, patrons are encouraged to explore the robust digital resources available. Our digital library will remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Cardholders can access eBooks, eAudiobooks, and movies through the OverDrive or Libby apps or online. Enter your library card and pin to get started.

The Berks County Public Library System will also remain closed at this time; however system staff may still be reached via phone or email.

We have compiled a list of electronic resources being made available at this time by other organizations.

 

Educational

Ancestry.com: Library Edition
Ancestry Library Edition is a genealogy database that offers hundreds of resources on researching one’s family history, including such items as federal census records, passenger ship manifests, and other documents. During the Corona Crisis, access to this resource has been temporarily expanded to library cardholders working remotely, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner, Ancestry.

To access this resource:

  1. Log into your library account using the “My Account” link on the upper right of the library’s website.
  2. Finally, use this link to access Ancestry Library

Author Kate Messner's Page
This page posts videos of different authors reading and talking about subjects that interest them. Scroll through and find something new to learn.

Common Sense Media’s Wide Open Classroom
Curated resources sorted by grade and subject.

E-Books (EBSCO) - 5 eBook Collections Courtesy of EBSCO
Need access to more eBook options and research content to complete at-home assignments for classes? EBSCO wants to help Pennsylvania communities in this time of crisis and is making several eBook collections available for full access to all POWER Library patrons for the time being.

eBook collections available:

  • Public Library Collection
  • K-8 Collection
  • High School Collection
  • Cricket Media Collection (This collection explores a wide range of subjects to help young readers explore and expand their worlds. Students from pre-K to 8th grade can build strong literacy skills with digital access to award-winning, short-form fiction and nonfiction titles by Cricket Media.)
  • Academic Collection

Education Articles from Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media collected articles on the COVID-19 situation as well as ways to keep your children learning when they are home from school.

Educational Resources offering Free Subscriptions Due to School Closings
School is closed but kids need to keep learning. These companies are offering free subscriptions to help you keep your kids occupied and educated.

Free Ivy League Courses!
Learn something new with online courses provided free online by a variety of Universities. From coding to literature, there’s something for everyone!

Home Together Resources
PA Parent and Family Alliance has collected and categorized free resources for families staying at home.

POWER Library
Get ready to find a world of information with POWER Library's e-resources.  Access with your library card. If you do not have a library card, you can register for a POWER Library e-card good for POWER Library electronic resources.

TumbleMath: K-6 Math eBooks
A comprehensive collection of math picture books complete with animation and narration.

 

Entertainment

AudioBookCloud
An all ages audiobook library collection of streaming audiobooks.

Dav Pilkey at Home
Join the creator of Dog Man and Captain Underpants each Friday for a new video!

LeVar Burton Reads
LeVar Burton, literacy advocate, reads short stories to children, teens and adults each week live on Twitter at the following times:  

  • Mondays at 12pm – Children’s Stories
  • Wednesdays at 6pm – Teen Stories
  • Fridays at 9pm – Adult Stories

Lunch Doodles with Author Mo Willems
Let Mo Willems, author of the Pigeon series as well as Elephant and Piggie, teach you how to draw at 1pm every day!

Podcasts for Kids
Enjoy fun podcasts that are kid friendly.

Master List of Read-Alouds from Authors
Keep kids entertained with stories read by their favorite authors. Many authors will also be livestreaming other activities such as sing-alongs and drawing classes.

Metropolitan Opera to Stream FREE performances every night the week of 3/16/2020
Maybe you've always wondered what opera is or thought you could get into it if you just had the time. Now is that time.

Tumblebooks: K-6 Children's eBooks
Enjoy a selection of children's eBooks available instantly on any device through Tumblebooks.

TeenBookCloud
An online collection of ebooks, enhanced novels, graphic novels, videos and audio books, which offers students and adults of all reading levels access to an amazing range of content.

Virtual Concerts
NPR has a list of Concerts that will be streaming online to brighten your day.

Virtual Museum Visits with Google Arts and Culture
Take a trip with the whole family for nothing with virtual visits to museums throughout the world!

 

Health/COVID-19

Berks County Department of Emergency Services
For information on the emerging Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, visit the Berks County Department of Emergency Services page for updates.

Berks County COVID-19 Help Center
Receive help with questions related to COVID-19 including directive about unemployment benefits and information about getting tested. Call 610-320-6150 or email COVID@CountyofBerks.com between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Activity Book and Coloring Pages to explain COVID-19 to children from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Pennsylvania’s Website about COVID-19

NPR has Instructions for Washing Your Hands Properly.

Comic - Explains COVID-19 in ways that kids will understand.

This hand washing song from author/illustrator Lucy Knisley is a fun way to teach kids to wash their hands.

Listen to this Coronavirus PSA podcast from author Jason Reynolds.

World Health Organization Mythbusting Information
Get the facts with information from the World Health Organization.