Library Lines: Make use of digital resources during countywide closure
All Contra Costa County Library locations are closed until further notice due to the county health officer’s order to shelter in place.
Library administrative offices are also closed, which means there is no one to answer chat messages or phone calls until further notice. The library system is currently unable to respond to emails, phone calls or other communications regarding services. Patrons can still use the system’s 800 number, 800-984-4636, to renew items or check their account status. Library staff are working remotely on removing barriers to providing online services and thinking of new ways to serve the public during the closure. Here are some important things to know:
Do not worry about due dates for library materials. Patron accounts may reflect as overdue, but no overdue fines or other penalties will apply during the closure, and staff are working to get due dates extended. The library system eliminated overdue fines in 2019. Please keep all library materials until the libraries reopen. Expiration dates for any patrons with cards that have expired or that are scheduled to expire this year have been extended to allow access to all available digital resources.
There is some good news to report too. Many of the digital resources available online have been restored. Access to resources like the New York Times, Rosetta Stone and East Bay Times are up and running again. See the full list at the library system’s website, ccclib.org. If you do not have a library card, you can sign up for an eCard anytime and get access to many of the same resources. Visit ccclib.org/get-a-library-card to sign up now. With many adults staying home and kids out of school, access to resources that educate and pass the time are essential. Some of the FREE resources available with a Contra Costa County Library card are listed below.
- OverDrive/Libby — Choose from thousands of eBooks and eAudiobooks. For those who don’t have library cards, an Instant Digital Card will you give you access to OverDrive for a year. Simply click on the OverDrive link on the digital resources page at ccclib.org.
- Enki — Thousands more eBooks, open to everyone, are available without even a library card to access the Enki library.
- Flipster — Dozens of magazines, including The New Yorker, People, Consumer Reports and many more are available.
- Kanopy — Stream thousands of movies for free at this site.
- Kanopy Kids — Stream free movies and shows for kids.
- Brainfuse — Connect to free online tutors. Trained tutors are available for academic assistance every day for kids and adults. Spanish-speaking tutors are also available.
- Explora — Find age-appropriate articles and facts with easy-to-browse categories organized by popular topics, full-text magazines and topic overviews. Explora is available for elementary, middle school and high school students.
- LearningExpress Library — This includes online tutorials, practice tests and eBooks to help students of all ages.
- TumbleBook Library — This resource features interactive, animated stories, puzzles and games. There are stories by well-known authors, original stories, classic fairy tales, puzzles and games in English, Spanish, French and a mobile version.
- Video Storytime — Enjoy songs, rhymes and fun with your favorite librarians.
For more information on all Contra Costa County Library resources, visit the library website above or follow us on Facebook at @ccclib and Twitter @contracostalib. For the latest information on COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place order, visit cchealth.org.
Census 2020: The U.S. Census comes around once every 10 years and is a count of everyone living in the country. Responses will determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding each year is spent on critical services, including education, health care, senior centers and public transportation. Responding is important for you, your family and your community. Nine questions have 10 years of impact. Visit cococensus.org for information and a link to the census.
Brooke Converse is the Contra Costa County Library system’s public information officer and can be reached at [email protected].