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Reading Public Library keeping citizens educated and entertained at home

Apr 20, 2020
Reading Public Library

As we recognize National Library Week, let’s celebrate the roles that libraries are playing in our community during the COVID-19 crisis, and throughout the year. As noted by the American Library Association, “Libraries are essential partners in economic recovery, workforce and small business development, student success, and digital inclusion. Although many libraries closed to in-person services as a public health precaution, library workers are continuing to deliver these services—which are more urgent now than ever.” You can read more about how ‘How Community Leaders Can Partner with Libraries During the Response and Recovery’ here: Community Leaders Advocacy American Library Association 

Renee L. Dietrich, President, Board of Trustees for Reading Public Library, shared the following update on services being provided by The Reading Public Library:

“I’m writing to keep you updated on the Reading Public Library (RPL) current status and services. Your library card is helping you to be entertained and educated in your home. Although we are temporarily closed for in-person service, we’re working hard to enhance our online options.

I thought it would be helpful to know what the Reading Public Library is doing specifically during COVID-19.  We have lots of traffic on the website and digitally as people borrow materials electronically.  I have included a list (below) for your information.

The Reading Public Library is highlighting virtual programming and digital services to provide information to the people we serve. Helping to close the digital divide is one of the keys to our successful recovery.

Here are some of our current offerings:

  • Hoopla digital service brings e-books, audiobooks, movies, music, and even TV shows to your computer, tablet, phone, and television.
  • Online library card registration is available now at: (
  • Our Little Book Swaps around the city continue to be refilled with great frequency, bringing free books for all ages to downtown Reading.
  • Services for children. This includes story time via Face Book, craft videos and support for school children who may have a difficult time with digital technology.
  • RPLis using its3-D printer to make face shields for local health workers. We are collaborating with the Berks PPE Resource Network, a group formed to organize local efforts in the production, collection, and distribution of 3D printed face shields.
  • Enhanced online programming is being created or shared. Check out the following:
    • Ancestry Library Edition from home:
      Ancestry Library Edition 
      is a genealogy database that offers hundreds of resources on researching your family history, including such items as federal census records, passenger ship manifests, and other documents.
  • #HarryPotterAtHome – Read or listen to the first book with no waitlist and add a touch of Harry Potter magic to your daily lives.

Like our Facebook page, @readingpubliclib, for more free online offerings, timely book lists, and thought-provoking online conversation… Please share ideas and suggestions on how Reading Public Library can continue to best serve the public good. Thank you for providing the support that is proving crucial in these difficult times.

Wishing you and your loved ones good health and good reads.”

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