For the time being and in the interest of community health and safety, the Hernando County Public Library System is closed to the public. Patrons should be rest assured, however, that it is only the four brick and mortar library locations whose doors are locked to the public. Online at https://hernandocountylibrary.us/, patrons will find a busy and thriving Hernando library branch that is open 24/7; offering a complete selection of programs, resources, and services.
"I would encourage the community to read, read, read!" said Angela Gazabon-Serje, Community Engagement Specialist, Hernando County Public Library System. "It doesn't matter the type of material they choose. There are all kinds of reading options at the library including magazines, DIY books, recipe collections, novels, etc. Plus so many formats (including audio-books) which can help your mind travel out of your every day (Especially handy when we are spending so much time at home.)"
Even while the library is closed, patrons still can check out e-books and musical recordings online, through the library's Overdrive and Freegal programs.
"We have over 10 different resources (including Overdrive and Freegal) that can be accessed from virtually anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. We have resources both for adults and children," said Gazabon-Serje. "To log in, simply click on the resource you want to access and use your library card number and pin to access. Some of these resources will allow you to download their apps. Apps are also free and it is a convenient way to keep them handy for everyday use....If they like to listen to music, maybe they can start with Freegal. If they need to have books and audiobooks downloaded to their device, they can start off with Overdrive."
Yet, when it comes to the Hernando County Library System, books are only the beginning. With the help of the library system, patrons can turn their time away from regular daily activities into the pursuit of knowledge and even professional advancement.
"If they want to hone their professional skills or acquire a new one, begin by using Lynda (a leading online learning platform that--through online courses taught by experts--’helps anyone learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals’)," said Gazabon-Serje. "One of my personal favorite ones is "Mango Languages," a language-learning app where you can learn over 70 different world languages. I always advise our patrons to start off with one because there are so many! From there, they can continue exploring and adding fun to the mix of resources and ultimately choose their favorites!"
Beyond the fun, enrichment and escape offered by way of online library resources, they also offer vital information regarding the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic--along with valuable community help services to help patrons and their families cope with the crisis.
"(The COVID-19 and community resource pages) give the patrons a place/link to find information for questions that they may have," said Gazabon-Serje. "The information is kept up to date by the CDC and other agencies."
For a full selection of online adult resources available through the Hernando County Library System, visit https://hernandocountylibrary.us/databases/.
Ah, but what about the younger folks? And what about parents, looking for ways to keep kids occupied and educated while schools are closed? Well, it's the library system to the rescue, with a whole host of teens' and children's e-resources available at https://hernandocountylibrary.us/databases/.
"All of our e-resources are available to them if they have a library card and pin number. For example, Tumble Book Library has read-along features and animation on many of their books. It's very convenient for parents!" said Gazabon-Serje. "You can just set kids down to watch with the peace of mind that they will only see age-appropriate content. Another great one for kids is Floridamemory.org, this is a website run by the State Library that is loaded with Florida archives and historical accounts, including photos and videos of our folklore and culture. I personally use it all the time with my 7th grader!"
These online features empower local residents to 'go to the library'--from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
"When you read," said Gazabon-Serje. "Your mind travels without having to physically move!"