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How can the library help students, teachers going back to school?


The scent of freshly sharpened pencils, a new box of crayons, clean notepads at the ready. The anticipation of a new classroom, new friends and new possibilities. Alas, this will all be different as we embark on a new school year this fall. It all feels a bit strange, doesn’t it? Some of those who have been hit hardest during this pandemic are students, teachers and caregivers. Having to adjust to online classes and learning can be a struggle for all of them. How can the library help?

One of the first things to remember is one word – read. Fifteen minutes a day can make all the difference for your child’s learning capabilities. A book can transport them to a new place, away from the pandemic. Or if they prefer, they can leap into a dystopian future and feel more empathy for those characters. They can learn about people who are different from themselves and enter a diverse world through diverse books. They can understand how to care for that new puppy, or dive into an ocean of sharks. There is so much to discover!

I personally have been reading more nonfiction about history and racism, checking out cookbooks, and discovering fiction that will help me escape reality. Our team at the Durango Public Library can help you navigate our collection and make selections for you; ask us about our Curbside Surprise service!

Speaking of curbside, we are offering curbside service for our physical materials. Contact us to request materials, get a library card and more. Once you have a library card, you can sign into your account, search our catalog and request items directly. You can do this online or in our new mobile app. Just search the iOS App Store or Google Play for the Durango Public Library and download our catalog app today.

Our eBooks and eAudiobooks are available through Overdrive/Libby, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you do not have a library card, ask us about our instant digital card through Overdrive. For the younger kids, TumbleBooks is an interactive picture book database for kids – find it on our online resources page.

Students will still need to conduct research. The library provides access to online databases. Instead of thousands of physical magazines and encyclopedias on the shelves, you can access all of them digitally. Visit our catalog at https://durango.ent.sirsi.net/ and click on “online resources” to learn about what is available.

Our Wi-Fi is on seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Everyone is welcome to sit outside or in your vehicle to access the internet. But please – make sure you are practicing safe social-distancing habits!

Visit our website at durangogov.org/library to discover what we have to offer. If you don’t have internet access, then call 375-3380 Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for assistance. All of these services are available to people of all ages. We are looking forward to the day when we can see you all in person again. Until then, stay safe and well!

Sandy Irwin is library director at Durango Public Library.