Off the Shelf: Down the rabbit hole!

As we move further into a pandemic society it feels more and more like we have fallen down the rabbit hole with Alice. It seems like everything is topsy-turvy, and every day it changes. This is the first week of distance learning for the students of New Ulm. Though the library is closed for the recommended time frame we still offer some fun and educational experiences through our website.

The TumbleBook Library “is a curated database of children’s e-books, available by subscription to Elementary Schools and Public Libraries around the world.” Last week TumbleBooks granted public libraries access to their database through August 31 for their patrons who are facing home schooling and isolation situations. You will now find a link to all of TumbleBooks’ databases on the library’s website. TumbleBooks is for readers K through 5th grade. It is a large collection of e-books that feature animated audiobooks, lesson plans and quizzes, puzzles, and games. TumbleMath is also geared for the K through 5th grade student. It is the most comprehensive collection of math picture books. Just like TumbleBooks, this site engages the learner with animation and narration. It also includes lesson plans, quizzes, and games to help the learner gain confidence in the subject. The TeenBookCloud is TumbleBooks for older students in middle and high school. It features everything its younger counterpart does as well as Hi/Lo content, classic literature, and highlighted text. Both the younger and older versions of the databases include National Geographic Videos. And for parents and caregivers TumbleBooks has put together two databases just for you: RomanceBookCloud and AudioBookCloud. There is something for everyone; check out these free databases at www.newulmpubliclibrary.org, the New Ulm Public Library website. You will not need a user ID or password to access these sites.

If you have never explored the MNKnows tab on the library’s website, now might be the time. You will find five very helpful sites for your educational or recreational information needs. With the exception MNLINK which is not processing MNLINK holds at this time due to the closing of libraries across the state. There are some excellent resources within the other sites to help online research and images and stories of Minnesota. And don’t forget, if you need assistance from a librarian after hours, AskMN is available 24 hours a day 7days a week. You can connect with a real librarian who can help you find the information you need.

There are some wonderful activities being offered online for families as well. Picture book author and illustrator Mo Willems is hosting, Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. This is a series of videos produced by the Kennedy Center and found at LUNCHDOODLES@kennedy-center.org. In each installment of the series Mo teaches his audience how to draw his much loved characters and more. For families missing storytime at the library check out www.storylineonline.net produced by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. You can enjoy a book or two each day with actors like, Betty White, Chris Pine, Allison Janney, and more. As for music to get the kids up and moving, check out the Laurie Berkner Band on Facebook for a live performance Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. EST. But don’t worry if you miss it live, you can watch it anytime on that page. Laurie also post her videos online if you just need a dance break but don’t have a half an hour to spend.

I am hoping for the best possible outcome for all of us through this trip down the rabbit hole. Please stay safe and healthy. We are looking forward to seeing you all again soon.


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