Safer-at-home Resources

Staying home to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here are some resources you can access online to help keep you and your family from getting too stir-crazy.

Please stay tuned for updates — your library staff is reviewing each resource before listing it here, and will be adding more ideas as we find them. 3/19/2020

Online music and theater events

Many cultural organizations, musicians and other performers are offering online concerts during the COVID-19 shutdown. Here are some to check out:

If you’re on Facebook:

Last updated: March 27, 2020

Online classes for adults

Adults need something to do, too! Learning something new is a great way to keep your brain engaged while you’re stuck at home. Here are some places to find free online classes and learn new skills.

College- and university-level courses

Learn a new art or craft

If you’re on Facebook

Last updated: April 14, 2020

Academic resources for K-12 students

Check out some of the ways you can help keep your students academically engaged during school shutdowns. Several online learning platforms are even offering free services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Academic resources

  • StudyIsland offers math, ELA and science learning activities aligned to specific state standards. They are currently offering one free year to new accounts.
  • Khan Academy offers free, personalized, standards-aligned learning for all students. You can study math, grammar, science, history, SAT and AP test prep, and more.
  • Newsela.com provides content from current events at different reading levels combined with standards-aligned curriculum. Newsela is offering its product suite for free for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year.
  • Wisconsin PBS stations are working with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to provide a daily schedule of educational programming that aligns with Wisconsin’s academic standards for grades PK-12. See pbswisconsin.org/article/family-resources-and-support-for-home-learning-from-pbs-wisconsin/ for a daily schedule beginning March 30.
  • BBC Bitesize provides daily math and english lessons plus extra lessons in biology, geography, history and more. Lessons are sorted by age/grade level and feature some of the BBC’s most popular presenters including Sir David Attenborough.

Other online learning opportunities

  • Typingclub.com provides free touch typing lessons
  • Time for Kids has made their digital library free for the remainder of the school year. It includes special editions based on your child’s age.
  • The Wisconsin Historical Society has created the COVID-19 Poster Project, with artists creating public information posters much like those created for WWI and WWII. The WHS has also prepared a lesson plan and instructions for getting students involved in the BIG History is Happening project.

Last updated: May 4, 2020

Authors online for adults

Last updated: April 14, 2020

Entertaining and Educational resources for kids

Books and authors online

Museums, Zoos and other virtual tours

STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) Activities online

  • KiwiCo has some excellent ideas for stay-at-home STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) projects for kids of all ages. Their project videos and printables are sorted by age.
  • NASA Stem @ Home has activities for kids in grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12, plus resources for parents and educators.
  • EEK! Environmental Education for Kids is a great website from the Wisconsin Green Schools network. It has videos, activities and games to teach kids about our environmental resources.

If you’re on Facebook

Online Escape Rooms

Many public libraries have been creating “escape room” or “breakout” activities online. Here’s a selection:

Last updated: April 20, 2020

Digital books and audiobooks for all ages

  • Wisconsin’s Digital Library gives you access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks you can read on your computer, your tablet  or smartphone using the Libby app, or on your Kindle device.
  • Audible.com is making a collection of audio stories for kids completely free during the COVID-19 school closures. No account or registration is required. The collection includes books for the youngest listeners; elementary, tween and teen resources; and classic titles.
  • The Internet Archive is suspending wait times on its collection of 1.4 million digitized books to create a National Emergency Library. In general, the titles in the Internet Archive’s collection are digitized print books from university libraries. This collection offers access to many print items from the 20th century that do not have other ebook editions, as well as a large number of public domain works.

Last updated: March 27, 2020

Working from Home

Working from home requires a little more organization and discipline than working in an office, not to mention a whole new suite of digital tools to make your work happen. If you find yourself suddenly working from home, these resources might help.

Home office setup and routines

Online meeting software

For government organizations