(Burlington, VT) The Fletcher Free Library has rolled out new online services to serve the public during the current health crisis. “Our building remains closed until we are able to reopen,” said FFL Director Mary Danko. “Our staff is creating many exciting online opportunities for the public to safely enjoy during this challenging time.”
The library has creatively developed new ways to reach out to the community through the library website and social media accounts: facebook (facebook.com/FletcherFreeLibrary), Instagram and Twitter (@FletcherFreeLibrary). In order to directly communicate with patrons, FFL added a chat feature on its website (fletcherfree.org) that allows patrons to ask questions and get one-on-one help with digital services, technology issues, book recommendations and many other needs.
The library launched a new virtual calendar in place of the regular program calendar on its website.
The library’s own virtual programming (such as book groups that are held via Zoom) is classified as “Fletcher Free Events”; other curated programs are listed as “Recommended Events.” Organized by times of the day, this calendar makes it easy to find great programming when you need it. All are free and vetted by library staff.
The FFL Youth Services Department has added a variety of new resources to the website. The Online Fun for Kids’ section now includes TumbleBooks and TumbleMath. TumbleBooks Library is an online collection of eBooks for children, including animated, talking picture books and read-along chapter books.
Families seeking children’s activities that do not involve screen time may want to download the FFL Adventure Activities page. For every five activities completed, there is a chance to win a Phoenix Books’ gift certificate. New story time sessions and STEM learning with FFL staff may be found on the FFL YouTube channel.
Danko said that digital resources provide thousands of eBooks and eAudio books for the public to read and videos to stream for free by visiting https://fletcherfree.org/digital-library. All physical materials from FFL have been automatically checked out until May 31. Patrons are asked to hold onto them as the book drops are closed. There will be no fines. Digital resources, though, should be “returned” online so that other patrons may borrow them.
The library has also boosted WiFi, with the help of Burlington Telecom, to support those needing a strong, free signal. People are encouraged to remain in their cars in the FFL parking lot between the library and College Street Congregational Church. Parking spots nearest the library windows will give the strongest signal.
For more information about the Fletcher Free Library, visit fletcherfree.org.