Education in today’s digital landscape looks nothing like it did last year. Whether your children are learning face to face, attending virtual school, or creating a hybrid, this school year will undoubtedly be a new experience. Parents need hands-on resources to make the transition to this new education model easier. While students who are doing virtual learning will have access to their teachers remotely, they may need other support systems to enhance their experience.

Peter White Public Library can help students find the resources they need this upcoming year, regardless of how they are learning. Here are a few ways we can help you navigate these new waters.

Gain Access to Thousands of Materials With a PWPL Card

The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, is get a library card. If you haven’t gotten a card yet, you can sign up online until you have time to make an appointment for a full card. Bothwell Middle School students will already have access to our digital collection using their student number. Call Youth Services to learn more.

When you sign up for a Peter White Library card, not only do you have PWPL resources at your disposal, but you have access to materials from libraries across the country through interlibrary loans and MeLCat. Our reference librarians can explain how to discover new materials using these options.

Audiobooks, Digital Magazines, and Movies. Oh My.

When you can’t come to the library, the library can come to you – at least digitally. Check out these online options for virtual learning this school year.

Libby

You don’t have to leave your home to get materials for virtual learning. When you have a PWPL card, you have access to thousands of digital materials. Those can help you today, but they will be invaluable in the event of another shutdown or if you must self-quarantine. With the Libby app, thousands of audio and digital books for children and teens are available with the touch of your finger. Find the app for this in GooglePlay for Android devices or the iTunes app store for iPhones and iPads.

Simply download Libby to your smartphone or device, input your library bar code and pin, and you’ll find audiobooks and digital books for all ages. If you don’t know your pin, call us at 906-228-9510 to find out.

kanopy

Our digital resources are more than just books. In fact, many kids dislike reading on their devices (Don’t worry. We have that covered, too).

Your Peter White Public Library card also gives you access to our streaming service, kanopy. Like Libby, you simply download the app, inputting your library card number and pin, to see movies, lectures, and other programming – all for free. kanopy offers The Great Courses as part of their service, making these amazing college-level lectures available for students who want to do specialized study.

If lectures feel too “teach”-y for your student, kanopy offers many documentaries that can help students have a more well-rounded education.

If your kids are younger, you don’t have to pay for an HBO subscription to get educational shows like Sesame Street. kanopy offers unlimited streaming for all kids’ materials, including Sesame Street and the award-winning Wapos Bay. For younger kids, storytime includes read-alongs of books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Scaredy Squirrel, and fairy tales from across the globe.

eNewspapers and Digital Magazines

Teens in AP Government may need a helping hand learning about the world. Having the New York Times send push notifications to their smartphones about crucial political events is an easy way to help them stay informed. Follow this link. or call our reference desk for help with NYT and learn about magazine subscriptions they can access with their digital card.

Homework Help Resources

Your virtual learner doesn’t have to do it alone – and neither do their parents! Check out the resources available for Homework Help from the Youth Services. Our YS librarians add to this list as new resources and helplines become available. They are also invaluable sources of homework help if your children need to hear a voice to guide them through their next steps.

Curbside Pickup for Traditional Materials

As most patrons know, a Peter White Public Library card gives you more than digital access to virtual materials. We can make sure you get the hands-on materials your children need for virtual learning. Whether it is The Poisonwood Bible, required reading for MSHS’s AP Lit class, or help with coding for advanced computer science classes, just put your materials on hold with your library card, then schedule a curbside pickup (Click here for a simple how-to guide). You can search for these materials on our website or using our app, BookMyne. It’s easy to navigate and very user-friendly. It will look like this:

If you aren’t sure what your child will need, call us. Give us the ages of your children and their interests, and we can create a Family Pack just for you. If your older teens need help, talk with our reference librarians about specialized subjects or how to do Advanced Research. You can even “Book-a-Librarian” without leaving your home. You could also check out our new “Library in a Bag” Service. Simply fill out a simple preference form, and our knowledgeable librarians will select materials specifically for you. It’s not “School in a Bag,” but it is close!

Free WiFi on Your Schedule

If you have trouble with Internet access, we can help with that, too. If you or your children have a device but your WiFi is spotty, then use our free parking lot WiFi – although you don’t have to be in the parking lot to use it. Grab your devices, pack a picnic, and sit on the front steps of PWPL to get internet access. If it’s chilly or rainy, then have a picnic in the car. Our free parking lot WiFi is a great solution for children who want to run around, then do some homework on a device, and then run around again. There aren’t many perks to our new normal, but having the freedom for your children to learn at their own pace and on your schedule could be some of them.

The Beginning of a Virtual Learning Adventure with PWPL

While those are a few things you can do for your new virtual learner, this article is really just scratching the surface of the resources we have available. Check out Youth Services’ new page, specifically created to help boost learning for all students. There, you’ll find videos explaining the many resources available, including MeL. For more help or to learn about specific programs for your family, call Youth Services or the Reference Desk. Our librarians are eager to help your children become expert virtual learners this unusual year.

Virtual Learning Support from PWPL
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PWPL is in Stage 4 of its Reopen Plan. Call 906-226-4311 for computer and service appointments. For a list of FAQs about the closure, click here.
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