From April 19-25, Berks County Public Libraries will be celebrating National Library Week by inviting all community members to find the library at home by visiting www.berkslibraries.org to access virtual services and resources.

While the library’s physical spaces may be temporarily closed due to COVID-19, the public can discover eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies, online storytimes, and much more—all from home.

In times of crisis, libraries respond to their community’s needs in innovative and inspiring ways. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, libraries of all types are continuing to make a difference in people’s lives by providing electronic learning resources, including virtual homework help, online crafting and DIY sessions as well as information about keeping your family well and safe.

This year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic keeping many people at home, all Berks County libraries are offering Instant Digital Cards to any Berks County resident without a library card. These new cards are temporary but allow county residents to access the OverDrive digital library collection from home without a traditional library card.

Registering takes less than 30 seconds and the cards last for 365 days after signing up. Libraries encourage residents to take advantage of these Instant Digital Cards before June 30 when they will no longer be available. Additional information about how to sign up plus other free online resources is available on the Berks County Public Libraries website.

The original theme for the 2020 National Library Week, “Find your place at the library,” was chosen months ago before the emergence of a global pandemic would force libraries to close their buildings.

In response to our rapidly-changing times, the theme was revised to “Find the library at your place” to bring attention to how libraries are open for business online, offering the electronic services and digital content their communities need now more than ever.

In 2019, Berks County Public Libraries patrons checked out nearly 125,000 electronic materials including eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, movies, and other digital content. Based on average purchase and rental prices across several service platforms, Berks libraries saved residents over $850,000 in electronic checkouts alone.

Especially during this time of social distancing, libraries are here to provide free public access to information and resources no matter where that may be.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries of all types across the country each April.