Free Library Resources in a Time of Quarantine
Social distancing or cocooning at home doesn’t mean you have to be bored. With a Corvallis-Benton County Library card, anyone can access free online and streaming entertainment, books, and reference resources.
While the Corvallis Benton-County Public Libraries are closed through April 28 in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, anyone without a library card can apply for one by calling the library at 541-766-6793 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., or by using their unsecure online form.
There is something for almost everyone, whether you want to catch up on your reading list, listen to an audiobook while deep cleaning your home, or simply relax and watch a film.
Stream “Thoughtful Entertainment”
Using your library card, you may stream up to ten free films or documentaries per month through Kanopy. In addition, library cardholders may stream unlimited children’s programming, Great Course content, and content featured in Kanopy’s “credit free viewing” section.
Both Oregon State University and the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library offer access for their cardholders so many residents may combine their library memberships for even more play credits.
Kanopy focuses on what they call “thoughtful entertainment,” including a mix of classic, indie, international, and award-winning films and documentaries.
To access, follow the library’s link to Kanopy, then enter your library card details. Kanopy also has apps to stream through Roku, Fire TV, and through your phone or tablet using the free Kanopy app from the Apple and Android App Stores.
Browse Downloadable Magazines
You don’t need to visit your favorite library branch to browse magazines. The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library has a collection of downloadable magazines available through the RBdigital app, which can be downloaded on a phone, Kindle Fire, or tablet using your library card to log in.
The library’s collection contains 29 different magazines including Backpacker, bon appetit, The Economist, High Times, Mother Earth News, the New Yorker, Popular Science, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Wired, Rolling Stone, and Yoga Journal.
Listen to a Downloadable Audiobook
The library offers downloadable audiobooks available through three apps. Since different publishers offer content through different apps, many public libraries partner with more than one audio and eBook app.
Availability for audiobooks and eBooks vary depending on demand for the title and the rights purchased by the library system. Popular new releases often have a waiting list, but the apps have a list of currently available titles.
Audiobooks can be accessed through RBdigital, Overdrive or their sister app Libby, and cloudLibrary. Each app has versions for IOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. Some also have computer browser apps.
For additional instructions, visit the library’s download instruction page.
Cozy Up With an eBook
Cardholders can borrow from a great pool of eBooks, with titles ranging from classics to new and recent releases. Keep in mind there may be a waiting list for some popular titles.
For details on accessing the downloadable magazines, audiobooks, and ebooks, visit the library’s download instruction page.
Learn a Language
The library subscribes to the app Mango which offers lessons in over 70 ancient and modern languages – whether you wish to learn the basics of ancient Greek, Mandarin, or Spanish.
To get started, visit the library’s e-resources page and follow the link to Mango found under the language section. Alternatively, you may download the Mango app and enter your library card details. Since Mango is also a paid subscription-based app, be sure to associate your account with the library.
Research Your Next Purchase or Read Consumer Information
The library offers online access to Consumer Reports so you can access their news, reviews, and other issue-oriented content such as Consumer Reports guides to the coronavirus or data privacy.
To use Consumer Reports, go to the e-resource page and find the external link in the Consumer Information section.
Keep the Kids Busy and Engaged
While you have to miss storytime and other library activities, now is a great time to make use of the library’s online children’s resources.
For example, Kanopy Kids offers unlimited streaming of video content such as Sesame Street, educational programs, and kids cartoons or films.
BookFlix is a multimedia platform geared toward children in preschool to 3rd grade.
National Geographic Kids offers video and magazine content allowing kids to virtually explore the world, while the World Book is an online encyclopedia.
Visit the library’s resource page for kids and families for these and other fun and educational resources.
The library even started offering the ocasional online storytime via YouTube!
Use Virtual Reference Material
The library offers a series of online reference resources on subjects like health, science, business, law, and consumer information. The best way to see what is available is to visit the library’s e-resource page.
By Samantha Sied