Staff at local libraries are working to bring reading and other programs online during the time of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

Sno-Isle Libraries, which includes the Marysville, Arlington and Lakewood/Smokey Point libraries, have been closed during the stay-at-home order in order to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus to staff and library visitors.

The library system already had a number of online platforms for some services, such as their Over-drive eBook checkout, which has seen an increase of 18 percent in usage compared to average use in January and February compared to March.

The streaming services Kanopy and Hoopla apps, which provide access to audiobooks, videos, films and other media, are also used by the libraries and have seen a massive increase in use by library users.

In March the libraries' Hoopla streaming increased by 70 percent and Kanopy streaming has in-creased by 107 percent.

Staff at the local libraries are also working to move some of their programs to other online platforms.

"All of the staff have had to scramble to figure out how to work from home," said Kurt Batdorf, communications specialist with the Sno-Isle Libraries.

They are getting a number of their programs which were formerly in-person up online.

"We're trying to get as many different services as we can that we provided before online in some fashion," said Batdorf.

Some school programs have had to see changes.

"We've transitioned the Third Grade Reading Challenge to be online," said Batdorf.

Storytime readings have begun to be posted to YouTube with local libraries.

"Our librarians have been reading stories from their own homes and putting snippets of that on YouTube," said Batdorf.

Clips of those readings are viewable at the Sno-Isle Libraries YouTube page at youtube.com/user/snoislevideos.

The library system also hopes to develop a 'Dial-a-Story' option soon for families who do not have access to the internet.

Book clubs are also getting off the ground with online platforms at the library.

Pub trivia and family trivia nights have moved to online as well. Users connect via a Zoom link and can be played alone or as a team. Competitors submit answers via an online form.

Batdorf said it has taken some time to get these programs up but that it is going well.

"It's going pretty well so far," he said.

"It was not like we could turn it around immediately and do it the next day. This was all new for everyone."

Staff is still looking at what else they can do to provide internet activities during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

"We're looking at anything else that we can move to online," said Batdorf.

They're also planning how libraries will roll back out once it is safe.

"We're studying how we will open the library once this is over," said Batdorf. "Until we hear when [Gov. Jay] Inslee will lift the stay-at-home order we're kind of at the mercy of that."

Batdorf wanted to thank the public for their support at this time as well.

More information is available at sno-isle.org.

 

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