The coronavirus pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for Americans of all walks of life. Nearly all of the nation’s libraries have had to close their doors to the public, but library staff have still been hard at work to support their communities while maintaining social distancing. From expanding existing remote services to developing innovative new programs, librarians have harnessed their creativity and expertise to help people through these difficult times.

Here are just a few of the crucial services libraries have been providing COVID-19:

Sharing free electronic resources

Libraries offer free access to eBooks, audiobooks, movies, music, newspapers, databases, and more...

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The coronavirus crisis has caused most libraries to close their doors to the public, but librarians have continued to serve their communities while maintaining social distancing. In addition to hosting virtual programs and sharing free digital resources, many libraries are offering extensive remote reference services, providing on-one-one assistance to information seekers in their areas.

People have long turned to staff at public, school, academic, and special libraries when they need answers—whether they’re trying to track down a specific book or wondering how to start researching a big question. While in-person reference desks are temporarily closed during the pandemic, libraries have expanded their virtual reference offerings, allowing...

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Libraries offer far more than just free access to books—they also host entertaining and informative programs for people of all ages. While the COVID-19 crisis has prevented libraries from hosting events in-person, they’ve transitioned to offering a diverse array of online activities for their communities to enjoy.

For those who have been missing plays and museums during the pandemics, libraries have found creative ways to offer cultural experiences online. California’s Russell Library has collaborated with local artists on “A Midsummer Night’s Stream,”...

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by Jennifer Snoek-Brown, the real librarian behind Reel Librarians

Jennifer Snoek-Brown is an academic librarian in Washington state. She wrote an undergraduate honors thesis in 2001 called “A Glimpse Through the Glasses: Portrayals of Librarians in Film” and has continued analyzing the image of librarians in movies ever since. In 2011, Jennifer launched the website and blog, Reel Librarians, for which she writes and publishes twice-monthly posts. Here, she tells I Love Libraries about her favorite (and least favorite!) librarian portrayals in media.

What are some things...

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Find you place at the library, Celebrate National Library Week April 19-25, 2020 (pictured: lighthouse and sailboat
Screenshot: Stacey Abrams video, Libraries champion access an opportunity for all.
American Library Association Youth Media Awards, Check out the 2020 winners!

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