10 ways to use your Library at home

Illustration of a hand holding a cellphone and the text "Check out the library at home."

Tired of talking to your pets and re-arranging the spices? The Alachua County Library District is prepared to ease the boredom of social distancing with hundreds of thousands of books, magazines, songs, and more available from the comfort of your couch. Here are 10 of our favorite ways to make the most of your time at home. 

1 - Books, books, books!

OK, this one seems obvious, but do you know just how expansive our digital collection is? We have eBooks and eAudiobooks for all interests and ages. Download the right app for your device, then start to browse. Our digital collection includes audio and books for children and teens, even titles with a read-along narrator. 

Don't have a card? No problem! We are partnering with our eBook vendor to provide access to digital books and audiobooks to Alachua County residents who do not have library cards. Sign up with your cellphone number at www.aclib.us/OverDrive.

2 - Map Your Family Tree

Easily research census records, wills, city directories, immigration records, military records, and more with Heritage Quest Online. This database offers an astonishing array of public documents online, including Revolutionary War pensions, Freedman's Bank archives, maps, and early land ownership records. If your roots go back to Gainesville, or you're interested in local history, check out the photos in our Heritage Collection. For more recent history queries, check out our Gainesville Sun Microfilm Index 1986-2007.

3 - Stay Informed.

Many news outlets are offering free access to COVID-19 coverage, but you can read the whole paper with your library card. Peruse the New York Times any time. With Newsbank, you can access the Gainesville Sun, Miami Herald, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and dozens of other papers. 

4 - Build your song library

Use our Freegal music resource to download up to 5 songs per week. You can also download music videos and historic speeches by leaders including Martin Luther King, Jr., Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth, and Babe Ruth. 

5 - Get craft

We love all our eSources equally, but those of us who love crafts get giddy about Creativebug. Want tips for watercolor painting? Choose from dozens of classes. Need a recipe for galaxy slime? Done! Want to knit a panda hat and mittens for your niece? Can do! Creativebug has tutorials, patterns, and an Inspiration Feed to track what sparks your creativity and share your projects.

6 - Indulge in a Magazine.

Enjoy the simple pleasures of magazines without a subscription using Flipster. If you're craving a break from current events, browse food, entertainment, and hobby titles including Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Entertainment Weekly, People, and Essence. Find even more magazines, including Bon Appétit, Men's Health, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Vogue, and Popular Science, with the RBdigital tool

8 - Learn a Language. 

Shine up your rusty Spanish or take on a new tongue with Transparent Language. From Afrikaans to Zulu, Transparent Language offers more than 100 languages, plus language-learning games and lessons for children. You can practice typing in a foreign language, dive into the grammar of a new dialect and test your pronunciation. 

9 - Expand Your Knowledge.

Build your professional muscles with hundreds of classes on Lynda.com for computer programming, public speaking, business development, graphic design, and other marketable skills.

10 - Make Your Career Move. 

If you've dreamed of starting a business or launching a product, now's your time to research, build a plan, and get your forms together. Use AtoZdatabases to research demographics, potential clients, and businesses in your area. Learn how to build a business plan and a marketing strategy using Safari Tech and Business Books Online, which offers books and video courses in web development, project management, and other fields. Try Gale Business: Entrepreneurship for more resources on funding and managing a business. 
If you're ready to go, start filling out the paperwork with Gale Legal Forms. This database covers copyright patents, trademarks, contracts, partnerships, and small businesses, plus much more. 

Find more resources to keep you busy at www.aclib.us/mobile.

Posted by RachelC on March 17, 2020