In light of the COVID-19’s effects on our community and beyond, your local library — the Sherman and Ruth Weiss Community Library — hopes to find you and yours healthy and safe. We at the library thought we would let you know some of the ways we can help you, especially during these difficult times.

Please be aware that although our physical building is closed to the public, our digital “branch” is waiting for you to “check it out.” Here are some of the services we provide to those with computer access.

> Our free Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. Feel free to use the Wi-Fi from your car or on the bench in front of the building, while maintaining the correct social distance. No password is necessary.

> You can access digital media (eBooks and eAudios) through the Libby/Overdrive applications with your library card. Go to the library’s website at, go to our home page, then select Wisconsin Digital Library. We are thrilled that the State Department of Public Instruction has added extra content to Wisconsin’s Digital Library at this time. This means more titles are available to read and the waiting time for titles you have on hold will be shortened.

> No library card? No problem. You can apply for a temporary card to use our digital library. Just go to our website at, go to our homepage, click on “Access Your Record,” and then click on “Self Registration” at the bottom of the page.

> Watch the weekly Facebook Live version of our LEGO Club every Tuesday at 6 p.m. We tell a few jokes, talk, and read a book at the beginning of each program. Then we announce a LEGO building challenge related to the book. We encourage parents to post pictures of the creations to our Facebook page or they can email the pics to us at

> We have extended our Read A Latte – Adult Reading Program to June 1, 2020. The program is sponsored by Backroads Coffee, which is offering a drive-up service daily. Find more information on our website on the Events page.

> Want to research your family history? Courtesy of ProQuest and its partner, library card holders can access Ancestry on their home computers or by using the library’s Wi-Fi. The companies will provide remote access until the end of April and will re-evaluate monthly as needed. Just follow these instructions:

1. On Google Chrome, open New Incognito Window or clear browser cache.

3. Enter password: merlinancestry.

4. Click on link or Ancestry image.

5. Ask for troubleshooting help as needed.

> You can search the world’s most comprehensive index of full-text books through Google Books at All you need to do is go to the website and then enter your author or title in the search box. At the top of your result list, select the All prices pull down menu and select “free.” Click on the free eBook you want, click on the Free button and start reading, or download to your Google Play app.

> The library’s website offers additional resources under our page “Links of Interest.” One of them is Badgerlink, which you can access using your school login or with your regular or temporary library card. From personal interest to educational research, BadgerLink provides Wisconsin residents with licensed trustworthy content — including magazines, newspapers, study guides, and more — not available from free search engines. Since the pandemic they are offering many more resources for children, parents and adults.

> Free access to Gale Courses has been expanded to all patrons with a self-registration (temporary) card. Gale Courses offers professional, online learning classes that are available anytime and anywhere. They also offer prep classes for the ACT and SAT. The courses are free to all library users in the Northern Waters Library Service area, and available by signing up and logging in with a personal library card number. With six-week courses, library users can join programs year-round. Better yet, they can first check with employers and colleges to find out if the courses, which provide completion certificates, will qualify as continuing education or can be transferred as college credits. Many courses also are designed for personal development and enrichment. People across the country already have found success doing so. Course start dates: April 15.

> National Emergency Library: “Announcing the National Emergency Library, a collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed…. To address our unprecedented global and immediate need for access to reading and research materials, as of March 24, 2020, the Internet Archive will suspend waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in our lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. This availability will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.” This library can be accessed by typing the following address:

> If you have a question about unemployment or financial resources during the crisis, we also have links on our homepage: 

1. Unemployment COVID-19 Public Information  (

2. Financial Resources to Help Get Through COVID-19 (

If you apply for a temporary/self registration card online, we look forward to seeing you when our doors open and we can issue a physical library card to you.

For those without internet access we have a “Little Free Library” in the front of the library which is restocked with a variety of books every other day. We also have a “Little Free Pantry,” which contains some non-perishable food items for people in need.

Any physical items currently checked out are due on May 1, 2020 and will be renewed if the library opens after that date. No fines will be incurred during this time period.

Our drop boxes are open but we are encouraging people to hold on to their items.

If the “Stay in Place” or maintaining a safe social distance continues, the library is exploring new and different ways to offer programming, including Summer Reading Programs to the public. We will let you know our plans when they have been confirmed.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at or message us on Facebook. Hope we can interact in a new way and hope to reach those we haven’t reached before. Remember that, even though the building is closed, we are here for you!

Stay safe. Stay well!

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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