Storytime

A recording for virtual storytime can be seen in the works at the Noel Wien Library. To counter its closure to foot traffic, the library is providing preschool storytime by video on its Facebook page. Photo courtesy of Noel Wien Public Library’s director Melissa Harter

Noel Wien Public Library employees have created new systems to resume some library services after the facility closed to counter traffic on Monday.

It’s not just online services. They found a way to get books and DVDs out to people.

The library is also continuing to offer preschool storytime by posting videos of its librarians reading books on the library Facebook page, according to Library Director Melissa Harter.

“It’s really important to provide consistency for kids,” she said.

That may be more important than ever following Friday’s order by Gov. Mike Dunleavy extending the closure of schools through May 1.

Library staff quickly started coming up with ideas for resuming some services after Fairbanks North Star Borough libraries were closed to visitors following the federal government’s social distancing guidelines due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

People who do not have a library card can still sign up for digital services, according to Harter. The library subscribes to multiple digital media platforms. To gain access, go to the library website at fnsblibrary.org, click the drop-down menu for “collections,” go to “library catalog” and click “register,” which is at the top-right of the page.

People who already have a library card can access digital services and also get books and other materials by calling 459-1020 or by reserving them on the library website.

The materials are being handed out from the Bookmobile in the library parking lot.

Materials being returned to the library are undergoing a nine-day quarantine, Harter said, in keeping with federal guidance.

“That is being conservative, but I’d rather be conservative than not conservative,” she said.

A world of media is available online. The library has a link, “electronic materials,” on its website under the drop-down menu for “collections.”

“So much material is available online,” Harter said.

OverDrive is an online service available free to library cardholders. The company bills itself as the industry’s largest catalog of ebooks, audiobooks and other digital media.

Hoopla is a similar digital media service, offering movies, books, comics, television, music and more.

OneClickdigital is an audiobook download service.

The library also subscribes to NewsBank through which library cardholders can access thousands of newspaper titles and other periodicals.

These platforms and more are free.

Homework help is also still available by calling the library’s main number, Harter said.

Virtual storytimes are being posted on Facebook during weekdays by 1 p.m.

Monday starts “Adam’s Amazing Activities” for school-age children. The rest of the week will be “Preschool Storytime.” The same librarians who conducted the storytimes in person will appear in the virtual storytimes, Harter said.

Public WiFi is also continuing, but Harter wasn’t sure how good the signal is from the library parking lot. Park near the building, according to the library website.

The library is also continuing to offer Chat with a Librarian, a link on its website to contact a librarian at the reference desk and chat live.

The Noel Wien Public Library is being staffed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

The North Pole Branch Library is being staffed from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The library is closed Sundays and Mondays. The phone number is 488-6101.

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.