Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) has launched an array of digital services to serve library customers during the temporary closure of library branches. These services include easier access to some MCPL resources as well as virtual programming opportunities for all ages.
Individuals who do not currently have a library card can sign up online for the recently launched Digital Library Card. This gives cardholders immediate access to most online services and resources. The Digital Library Card does not expire, which is a change from MCPL’s previously existing temporary card, which was valid for 30 days. Digital Library Cards can be obtained online at https://mcpl.link/DigitalCard, and can be exchanged at any MCPL branch for a full-service library card once branches reopen.
“Our buildings are closed, but the libraries are very much open for business,” said MCPL Director Anita Vassallo. “We are still here to provide information, recreation and education to our community, and we’ve taken significant steps to increase that service in the face of this health crisis.”
In anticipation of customer demand for online resources, MCPL has also purchased additional copies of popular ebooks and e-audiobooks to shorten hold times, and launched Udemy, a video-based learning platform. MCPL has also opened access to online resources to anyone whose library card was previously blocked.
MCPL online resources also include e-magazine and e-newspapers; online courses including Lynda.com; streaming videos, music and movies; language learning such as Rosetta Stone and Mango Languages; art and crafts through Creativebug; and more than one hundred more digital resources. All of MCPL’s digital resources can be accessed at https://mcpl.link/DigitalResources.
With the temporary closure of library branches, library programming has gone virtual. Storytimes are streaming at a variety of days and times, and many adult programs have moved online as well, with a focus on workforce development. Virtual programs can be found at https://mcpl.link/VirtualPrograms. MCPL’s popular Ask-a-Librarian feature is still available to help with information requests or to assist with online resources, at https://mcpl.link/ask-a-librarian.
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