Community

Libraries remain physically closed, but services expanding online

Santa Clara County Library District branches, including the main and Woodland branches in Los Altos, will remain closed through the end of May under the county’s updated shelter-in-place order.

During the closure, library staff is working to expand online services and provide additional online programs.

The main page of the library district’s new website (sccld.org) has been redesigned to focus on online resources, virtual programs and available services. A Storytime Online page highlights offerings dedicated to children, including Family Storytimes (Mondays through Saturdays), Bilingual Storytimes in Spanish and Mandarin, and School Age Storytimes on Tuesdays, all of which are streamed on Facebook Live (@SCCLD).

Job help

For those in need of employment help and resources, the library district’s JobNow (sccld.org/resource/ brainfuse-jobnow) offers free online live one-on-one assistance for resume and cover letter review and skill matching to help identify career options based on skill set.

The district is also set to host a series of virtual events with SCORE, “Simple Steps for Starting Your Own Business.” Sessions are scheduled 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday and May 27. Online registration is required (sccl.bibliocommons.com/events, search by date). Sessions are free and open to all.

Distance learning

The library district offers free resources for students engaged in distance learning from home. Brainfuse HelpNow (sccl.bibliocommons.com/events, search “HelpNow”) provides homework and writing assistance and live tutoring in a wide variety of subjects. The district has study resources for students of all ages, including adult learners.

Also available are Virtual Film Clubs for adults, Virtual Book Clubs for all ages, Online ESL Conversation Clubs and more. As part of Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, the library district has scheduled several programs, including a presentation on Chinese migrant laborers who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad.

“Our patrons miss coming to the library and we miss being able to serve them in person,” acting county librarian Jennifer Weeks said. “With the safety of our staff and patrons as our No. 1 priority, the library can most successfully provide services and programs online from our website, social media, Zoom, text and chat, as well as by phone. We continue to deliver important services and resources to our communities, now virtually.”

To ensure access to its free resources, the library district is offering temporary eCard registration to all Santa Clara County residents. Offerings include eBooks, audiobooks, eMagazines and digital newspapers, streaming movies and music, and dozens of online resources for students, job seekers and patrons of all ages. Video tutorials can help users navigate the resources.

Help available

Staff is available 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily to answer questions via email, text and phone. Live support is available to help patrons with research, collection-related inquiries and account questions. For account questions, call (408) 540-3945. To speak with a librarian, call (408) 540-3947.

“It’s evident by all of the new resources, programs and virtual services offered, the Santa Clara County Library District is dedicated to providing patrons and residents with access to valuable content and services,” said Mike Wasserman, county supervisor and Library Joint Powers Authority Board chairman. “During this unprecedented time, the library continues to provide entire communities with much needed free entertainment, education and assistance.”

Library district representatives request that patrons keep their physical materials until the libraries reopen. They will not be charged a late fee on items returned.

For more information, visit sccld.org.

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