Using the Unalaska Public Library From Home

Apr 4, 2020

Credit Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Are you looking for a good book to pass the time while you hunker down? Do your kids need some extra tutoring help while you’re working on lessons? Your public library is here for you in this time of quarantine and social distancing! Our building is closed, but you can still check out eBooks and audiobooks, access homework resources, and chat with a live tutor from the comfort of your own home. Here is an overview of what’s available.

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eBook and Audiobook Downloads

Your library card gives you access to thousands of eBooks and audiobooks for checkout through the Alaska Digital Library. You can access and download all of these from home. Instructions vary based on your device type, but we recommend that you start by downloading the Libby app. You can find full instructions for getting started by visiting the OverDrive Help Page.

You will need to know your library card number and PIN to access these resources. All library users have a PIN, but we rarely use it. If you’re confused, don’t worry! You can call us between 1pm and 3pm seven days per week, and we will give you your PIN over the phone.

Important note: If you want to read a book that has a long waiting list, contact the City Librarian at kkresh@ci.unalaska.ak.us, and we will consider ordering a copy just for Unalaska. We share this digital collection with many other Alaskans, so some of the titles have long waiting lists. We just added a couple of non-fiction books on pandemics, but if you’d rather escape with a fluffy romance novel or some epic fantasy, let me know your favorite authors and I’ll make sure we have those, too.

TIPS: Unless you are a speed reader or listener, adjust your settings to the maximum checkout time (three weeks). And if you want to start reading right away, click “Available Now” under the collections tab to display items that do not have a waiting list.

The library also provides access to some eBook collections especially for children. Sesame Street eBooks provides just that – access to eBooks and audiobooks featuring your favorite Sesame Street characters. The Tumblebooks resource has eBooks for all ages, as well as K-6 math and animated children’s books. To access these resources, visit Sesame Street eBooks, and for the Tumblebooks collections, visit the Statewide Library Electronic Doorway (SLED) page and scroll down until you see the different Tumblebooks offerings.

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Live Homework Help

This service provides live online tutoring in subjects like math, English, and history for students K-12 and intro-level college students.  You can also get input on student writing and resumés using this service. To access it, visit the Statewide Library Electronic Doorway (SLED) Homework page.

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Other Resources

The Statewide Library Electronic Doorway (SLED) page has many other resources you may enjoy, including magazine and newspaper articles, crafting and home improvement ideas, and genealogy research tools. These resources are all free to Alaska residents thanks to funds from the State of Alaska, grants, and your local library.

If you have questions about any of these resources, you may contact the library staff by calling 581-5060 between 1pm and 3pm each day, or you may email the City Librarian at kkresh@ci.unalaska.ak.us. We are happy to help.

Before I sign off, I would like to make sure you all know that you can always play the original Oregon Trail and Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego games, staples of 1990s childhood with some educational value (and lots of nostalgia value) through the Internet Archive.

Stay safe, and stay connected to each other. These times are challenging for all of us in different ways, but we will get through them together.

Karen Kresh is Unalaska's City Librarian.