Liza Morris is a community librarian at the Maple Ridge library. (Special to The News)

VIDEO: Library doors may be closed by Maple Ridge librarians still available to help

Fraser Valley Regional Library has a number of online options for those at home

By Liza Morris/Special to The News

It has been more than a month (March 16) now since Fraser Valley Regional Library closed all of our physical libraries to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We know this was a big blow to many in our community members who rely on the library for print books, DVDs, computer, and internet access, free wifi, printing services, newspapers, storytimes, study space, and sometimes just the friendly face of a library staff member to check in with every day.

Even though our 25 libraries are physically closed, we are still here and working hard to provide enhanced virtual services to community members, including our new eCard, virtual storytimes, and so much more.

The eCard was launched April 1 and is intended for residents of FVRL’s member municipalities who don’t already have an FVRL card to get instant access to all of FVRL’s digital content.

An FVRL card provides free access to eBooks, audiobooks, streaming movies and TV, magazines, eLearning, and other resources for all ages through popular eContent providers like Ebsco, OverDrive, RBdigital, Acorn TV, Kanopy, Mango Languages and Lynda.com.

Do you miss attending weekly storytimes and babytimes at your local FVRL library?

We miss you too and are happy to announce our new virtual storytimes as a way to keep connecting with the library and sharing stories, songs and rhymes from home. Check them out on the FVRL YouTube channel and the videos section of our Facebook page, all of which can be reached via our website at www.fvrl.bc.ca.

If you want to be in touch with your local library with a question about your account, get help connecting with our electronic resources or any other type of research or reference question, we are still here for you.

Select the questions? link on our home page to send an email question to your local library. We are responding to questions 9:30 a.m. to 5 pm., Mondays to Fridays – and will help you in whatever way we can.

There are so many other fun ways to connect with FVRL through our website.

Check out the Teen Imagine contest that runs until May 31 and invites teens to show us your creative writing, display your artistic skills, build a robot, write a song or loop a video. It can be anything you put your mind to!

Looking for something good to read and don’t know where to start?

FVRL has a variety of readers advisory services that will recommend titles that you can access from home while our libraries are closed.

Check out our curated reading lists and sign up for NextReads, a fantastic enewsletter that sends monthly reading recommendations to your email with titles in your favourite genres or non-fiction topics.

If you want more personalized reading recommendations delivered straight to your email inbox, connect with My Reading Advisor. It’s simple: tell us what you like to read, watch and listen to. A trained FVRL staff member will respond with some great book options chosen just for you.

And don’t get me started on our databases – there is so many amazing options to highlight.

We have downloadable ebooks and audiobooks for all ages through RBDigital and FVRL Overdrive; learning resources like Lynda.com and Mango Languages; free home access to Ancestry.com while our physical libraries are closed; RBDigitalMagazines to download complete digital editions of the magazines you love; Canadian Newsstream allows you to read current and archived news from major and rural Canadian newspapers; Consumer Reports online will help you research a major upcoming purchase.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for FVRL digital databases. Check out the digital content link on our homepage and explore our vast array of online resources to find something for every aspect of your life.

The bottom line is that Fraser Valley Regional Library is still here for you and working hard to provide the resources you need during this unprecedented time.

Keep well, stay safe and we hope to connect with you all soon.

For more information about Fraser Valley Regional Library services, check out our website at www.fvrl.bc.ca.

– Liza Morris is a community librarian at Fraser Valley Regional Library’s Maple Ridge branch

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