Introducing Book-A-Librarian


You have questions; the Library has answers! From Shakespeare to stock investments, you can find reliable research information online and in the catalog with your library card.

However, if you’re not sure where to get started, or need a little extra one-on-one help, the Library now offers a Book-A-Librarian service. Simply fill out this online form to select which topic you would like assistance with and which appointment time you would like. Then, meet one-on-one with library staff in person at the Anderson Main Library, via Zoom, or on the phone.

Topics include assistance with genealogy and local history research, how to check out and read eBooks with the Libby app, or help with Microsoft Office programs. If you don’t see a topic that fits your question, you’ll have to option to fill out what research or learning topic you need assistance with, and library staff will do their best to help. You can also see all upcoming computer classes, workshops, and programs the library offers on the events calendar.

Libraries Support At-Home Learning


@ Home Learning written on a chalkboard next to a keyboard and headphones

Recently, a Facebook group of which I am a member changed its name from “Librarians Serving Homeschool Families” to “Librarians Serving At-Home Learners and Homeschoolers.” Parents are more involved than ever in their children’s education, and it’s imperative that they know all the resources that are available to them, especially the ones that cost little to nothing.  Enter the public library.

The Anderson County Library is part of a consortium of twenty county library systems in South Carolina that share resources.  If we don’t have a book in Anderson County, but Beaufort County has it, you can put it on hold from wherever you are and have it brought to your nearest branch library, and it usually takes less than a week. The following chart shows how to save almost $300.00 on just a few items by using the library instead of purchasing literature for your class.

Savings From Using the Library

TitleCost
Charlotte’s Web6.40
Wind in the Willows, The18.94
Where the Sidewalk Ends10.99
Aesop’s Fables9.89
Pilgrim’s Progress22.99
Velveteen Rabbit, The8.39
Grimm’s Fairy Tales36.49
Magic Treehouse set (Books 1-28)100.86
Boxcar Children set (Books 1-12)48.95
Jane Eyre11.94
Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry20.11
Total savings$295.95
*prices retrieved from Amazon September 14, 2020

But what if you need an item right away? Digital resources make that entirely possible. The Hoopla and Libby apps allow you to download e-books, audiobooks, music, and videos straight to your device. Want to take a free online course? The library offers the popular Universal Class on our website if you have a library card.  From Accounting to Web Development, Universal Class has dozens of topics for you, including more than 40 online courses under the “Homeschooling” category alone. Do you have a teen learning to drive? Look under the “Research” tab of our website and you’ll find current SC DMV practice tests. Do you need a tutor for your child? No problem. Tutor.com offers one-to-one tutoring anytime, anywhere at no cost to you, thanks to DISCUS.

Learning at home presents many challenges. The library’s new resource CreativeBug offers innovative ideas for making science fun.  Are you studying polymers? Let CreativeBug show you how to make Galaxy Slime. (Full disclosure: I did this with my middle school age niece and nephew and it was a hit!) Are you studying the states of matter? Ponder the soap bubble: is it a solid, a liquid, or a gas? CreativeBug shows you a great recipe for bubble solution that produces bubbles far sturdier than any solution you’ll find in the stores. (Another hit with my niece and nephew.) It’s science. It’s fun. It’s all available through the library.

Libraries all over the country have valuable resources online to help at-home learners and their families succeed. September is National Library Card Sign up month.  Stop by your nearest branch to get yours today.

Helpful websites for at-home learning from the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library

Finally, I encourage each family to download the Flipster app, which allows access to leading digital magazines on your mobile device. This can be limited to Family & Children’s resources, and includes the popular National Geographic for Kids, as well as Muse, which encourages reading for fun as well as learning.