Having fun isn't hard when you've got a library card

You can now get a Halifax Public Libraries card from the comfort of your couch.

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Arthur said it first. We're saying it second. Get yourself a library card and unlock a world of learning and imagination that you can engage with from the (dis)comfort of your living room couch.

Halifax Public Libraries announced yesterday that Haligonians can sign up for a library card online. Since then, over 200 people have already signed up. 

"It’s a tough time for everyone right now, and I know a lot of folks are trying to fill some time while they stay at home much more than they're used to," says Dave MacNeil, manager of collections and access for Halifax Public Libraries.
"So we figured why not provide some easy ways to take their minds off things."

From cookbooks (Cloud cookbooks gives you the keys to 3,000 recipes about bread making, turkey basting and the option to filter dishes by local ingredients —a big plus right now) to Tumblebooks (with animated, talking picture books specifically for kids) the resources are endless and now's as good a time as ever to get e-learning.

For over a year, Michelle Obama's Becoming has been the most popular book across all of the library's platforms. But local author Mayann Francis' autobiography An Honourable Life is the second-most checked out e-book last year on Overdrive, an app for desktop, tablets or phones that allows users to check out ebooks and read them right on their devices.

MacNeil shouts out RBdigital's magazine and newspaper archive as one of the best ways to pass time—with full resolution issues right on your phone or tablet. (May we recommend the most recent issue of Bon Appetit on how to be a better baker?)

For people "who may have been holding off learning any languages," MacNeil highly recommends the library's Rocket Language tool with 15 different languages you can learn on the "easy-to-use site."

And if you, like many Nova Scotians, have been laid off from your job amid ferocious economic uncertainty, there's Lynda.com—an incredible resource of online tutorials on everything from photography and photoshop to Javascript, CSS, HTML, and so much more.

"We're hoping we can at least distract the folks of Halifax a little bit while they're in the midst of tough times," says MacNeil.

With the library, you can fly to the moon, explore the ocean floor, find out which one's the tiller, which one is the oar. (And more, as MacNeil says the library will be investing in even more e-resources in the coming weeks.)

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