While the Long Beach Public Library (LBPL) doors remain closed to the public due to the pandemic, officials have been at work with the goal of making library resources available online.

From the summer reading program, to free online workshops and the soon available contact-less library pick-up, there's plenty of new ways to access library content.

Virtual Programming

This is the first week of free virtual programming for the Long Beach Public Library's Summer Reading virtual program.

Called "Dig Deeper: Read, Investigate, Discover," children, teenagers, adults and Spanish-speakers have the option read books, join virtual book reviews and win prizes for participating through July 25.

"Library staff are making use of every tool available to them to offer services to our residents during this time," Glenda Williams, Director of Library Services, said. "Our new online platform for the summer reading program is free, easy to use and allows families to read and learn together."

Programming differs depending on the age group. Children and youngsters, for example, are asked to read (or to be read to) five days per week. A list of recommended reading is available online, along with a calendar of virtual events that includes instructions for at-home crafts and science experiments. 

This week, adults can learn how to make craft mocktails to entertain guests, teens can learn how to make healthy and delicious popsicles at home and young children can learn how to make sun catchers. New content is uploaded every week on the LBPL Youtube channel, youtube.com/longbeachpubliclib.

People can register for free as an individual, or with their families or friends. For more information, or to register, go to longbeach.gov/library/learn/summer-reading-2020.

To-Go Library

On Tuesday, June 23, people can check out library books and DVDs and pick them up at four of the city's libraries through LBPL To-Go.

With the new streamlined service, library guests will be able to check out books and DVDs, CDs and audio books. 

To check out an item from a library, place it on hold online through the LBPL website, or call the nearest library: Billie Jean King Main Library, 562-570-7500; Michelle Obama Library, 562-570-1047; Mark Twain Library, 562-570-1046; and Bay Shore Library, 562-570-1039.

Once a reservation is made, an email will be sent out with instructions for item pick-up, which includes a pick-up time and how to navigate the library's contact-less pick-up policy.

Additionally, checkout periods have temporarily been extended to 30 days for items checked out through LBPL To-Go and a 72-hour quarantine period is mandatory for all returned library items, so guests should expect some delays when requesting library items.

Finally, people who borrowed books before library buildings were closed due to COVID-19 have until the end of June to return items with no penalties or late fees accrued. 

Libraries will continue to remain closed to the public, but temporary library cards are still available online. Go to longbeach.gov/library/borrow/get-a-library-card to sign up.

Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at sstutzman@gazettes.com.

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