Friday Grab Bag, March 27, 2020

In good – er, normal, times, public libraries are always evolving to meet the needs of their communities, but with our doors closed how are libraries innovating to meet patrons where they are? In order to share knowledge, we are launching a new “Pandemic Practices” series, and we want to hear from you about solutions you have implemented in your library: Curbside pick-up? Mass renewal of expired patrons? Virtual meet-ups?  Tell us what you are doing, how you implemented it, and any lessons that you’ve learned or best practices you’ve established thus far. We’ll share that information on Colorado Virtual Library so that all Colorado libraries can benefit. As they say, if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.  If you have information that you would like to share, please reach out to me, Marisa Wood, at, or by phone at 303.351.2338.

On a lighter note, do you, like me, love old stuff with dubious purpose? Yes? Then you will probably also enjoy this piece from Collectors Weekly about the history of whoopee cushions, and other novelty gag items: Fun Delivered: World’s Foremost Experts on Whoopee Cushions and Silly Putty Tell All

Also, if you want to be distracted and simultaneously keep the pandemic front-of-mind, the New Yorker has social distancing in classic literature covered: The Fever Room: Epidemics and Social Distancing in “Bleak House” and “Jane Eyre”.

Now that I’ve probably revealed more about myself than I intended, let’s get into the bag…

Free Resources for your Extended Stay-cation

Many vendors are offering free access to resources during the COVID-19 crisis. And then there is just stuff that is always free that you might not know about! Here’s a roundup of roundups of stuff you can access or recommend to patrons looking for fun and/or educational content.

Colorado State Library is maintaining a few different lists of resources that you might find useful.

  • Extra Stay-cation Resources: This page was created as a patron-facing list of resources that are available without any library authentication or intervention required. It will be continually updated, so you can link to it from your site, or copy and paste, and check back for new content.
  • COVID-19 Youth Services Resources: This post includes a bevy of resources for librarians and educators, as well as patrons looking for educational and entertaining content.  It is also being updated on an ongoing basis, as new resources and information become available.

CLiC has compiled a list of resources that are being offered free of charge from vendors that they work with for varying durations during the pandemic. This list of Free Resources is also being updated on an ongoing basis.

Finally, the Internet Archive has a great blog post of 7 Things To Do If You Can’t Leave The House. If you’ve got an internet connection and time to kill, consider checking out IA’s Software Library, where you can get seriously nostalgic with games like The Oregon Trail, Tetris, and more.

The Finer Things

If you’ve already used Netflix Party to watch The Tiger King with your friends or you are just looking for a more refined viewing experience, check out some of the offerings from museums and cultural institutions.

Each day, The Metropolitan Opera is making encore presentations from the company’s Live in HD series available for free streaming on the Met website. Each Nightly Met Opera Stream  is available for a period of 23 hours, from 5:30 p.m. MDT until 4:30 p.m. the following day.

Denver art institutions offering virtual tours, free classes as residents are homebound | The Know
From art museums to a local ceramics company, arts can still connect at a distance.

Western Slope Museums are Live Streaming Tours | Western Slope Now
The Museum of Western Colorado  and the Eureka Science Museum will be doing live stream events on their website while closed during the coronavirus crisis.

Good News

Centennial family sets up a free library on their front porch to help kids cope with COVID-19 | The Denver Channel
If this story doesn’t warm your heart, I don’t know what will. Libby Ames, who works as a librarian at Laredo Middle School, created her own library right on her front porch.

Arts center receives prestigious designation | Pueblo Chieftan
The Sangre de Cristo Arts Center has been re-accredited by the American Association of Museums: a level of confidence given by the nation’s top trade association for museums and cultural centers.

What’s New at the Colorado State Library

Learning Opportunities

Upcoming and Archived Library Learning Opportunities
Whether you are swamped with tasks, or looking for projects and professional development, we have a wide variety of online learning opportunities on offer.

State Publications Blog

Library Research Service Blog

Colorado Virtual Library

Pandemic Preparedness for Colorado Libraries 
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we’re continuing to monitor and update information to help you and your library respond.

Stories of Colorado: Social Distancing Diaries
Looking for an activity to keep you (or home bound kiddos) busy, and connect with friends and family in a meaningful way? Consider creating an oral history via smartphone for the Stories of Colorado: Social Distancing Diaries collection!

Distance/Remote Learning Resources
We’ve curated a list of lists of Distance/Remote Learning Resources – One List to Rule Them All!

Library Related Employment:

Are you thinking of making a change this year in your job?  Check out Library Jobline for hot new library employment opportunities.

This post is part of the Spotlight on Sharing initiative, which aims to increase the visibility of resource sharing in Colorado libraries. Do you have a story from your library to share? Email Marisa Wood, Also, be sure to follow Colorado State Library on Twitter and Facebook.

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