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Libraries stay ahead of pandemic curve with online features

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- As the world goes more and more virtual during the coronavirus pandemic, local libraries are staying busy as ever - through computer and tablet screens.

In St. Joseph County, upwards of 100 people have signed up for the library perks in the last week and 400 in the last month, according to St. Joseph County Public Library.

Its communications director, Jennifer Henecke, said it was prepared for the transition brought on by the pandemic.

“Luckily, we have a large collection of digital resources available, Henecke said.
“That pre-existed this. So we were able to quickly transition to helping the community get access to resources that way.”

That also means no late fees will be issued until well after the library reopens, focusing all resources to be used online.

The library has also streamed kids’ reading programs, becoming a hit with parents.

“Given the situation that our community find ourselves in with parents having to teach their children online and kids being at home, and remote work happening, this is a great time to use your library,” Henecke said.

The county library website includes links for signing up for free memberships here.

Additionally, most library buildings offer free public wifi in its parking lots.

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