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A Roundup of Pandemic Resources for Librarians, Teachers and the Parents That We Serve

As I write this my library is closed to the public, my kids are home from school, and the world feels very, very strange. This is all happening, of course, because of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, and I am very thankful that my place of employment is doing their part to help flatten the curve and to protect everyone’s health. I myself have asthma and The Mr. has recently been diagnosed with some health issues that put him in the high risk category. I hope that everyone will do their part to keep everyone as safe as possible.

What I’m going to be doing here is sharing a collection of resources that I find to help entertain and educate our kids remotely, best practices, etc. It will be an ongoing collection that I will keep updating. Thank you to everyone who has worked to help provide these resources.

Covid-19 Resources

To get current, up to date information on Covid-19, please visit the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO).

Medium also has a list of reputable resources discussing Covid-19.

Here is a resource to help parents talk about Covid-19 with their children. NPR also has a great comic that parents can use to talk with their children about Covid-19.

If your library is closing, and I sincerely hope that you are because that is the moral and ethical thing to do to help flatten the curve and save lives, you can reach out to your patrons with digital access and promote your online resources. I know that this time will really be a stark reminder of how vast the digital divide is and how much our patrons need our services, but closing for a period of time as recommended by the CDC will literally save lives. I have also seen that some libraries are offering additional services like pulling holds and drive up services. You’ll want to evaluate these services and keep your staff members health in mind as you do so. Public health and safety should be our number one concern here.

The ALA has a resource on pandemic preparedness here.

Guest Blogger Stacey Shapiro offers some suggestions for remote programming here at TLT.

General Education Resources

There are a lot of resources to help keep kids entertained and educated being offered right now online. Below are just a few of those resources that you may want to share digitally with your patrons.

Scholastic has released free resources for students at home during this time.

A spreadsheet of education companies offering free subscriptions due to closings can be found here.

A list of free distance learning resources for 4th and 5th graders can be found here.

Learn in Color has a list of free resources and activity suggestions here.

Here is a list of museums offering free virtual tours. And here is a list of 10 online university art classes you can take for free.

Here is a list of other virtual tours and resources that may be of interest. This list includes zoo cameras, the Louvre, and a mission to Mars.

There are a ton of free art lessons available all over. Art for Kids is a good place to start.

This is a huge list of Art at Home resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EVMQiHHKugF4RQ071DzimkSKn1AuiBNOJ-i6xs1mBts/preview?fbclid=IwAR2ddbcSncG9_D6I2nvu3-aw9qHdihXlV-PW5rzNLidqQx5Z584pGEpNGgo

Music resources for school closures: https://nafme.org/music-teacher-resources-school-closures/?fbclid=IwAR3YYlKkyv6VK3SPzJuK9sYzfUqiRaJcOkF3pNooi8nI-N8wQuLWgbJL51w

Here is a link to 12 YouTube channels to get kids moving while indoors. It skews very young.

Here is a link to some resources on online theater design and tech resources for those interested in theater.

The New York Times is providing access to free daily online writing prompts.

15 Broadway Musicals you can stream from home.

Comic Book Artists Hosting Online Tutorials.

Special Kids Advocacy Agency shared this list of resources:

The Seattle Symphony is offering free streaming of concerts. You can learn more about that here. Here’s another free concert resource. from the Berlin Philharmoniker. The Metropolitan Opera is also offering some free concerts.

Former TLTer and all around excellent librarian Heather Booth has a resource list that she has shared online here.

Never Ending Search also has a pretty comprehensive list of resources for learning at home.

Kids Activities Blog has a list of companies offering free subscriptions during this time.

Here is a list of the best podcasts for kids of all ages from We Are Teachers.

Ted-Ed Video Playlist

Author and Illustrator Resources

I have seen several authors state on Twitter that you can read their books for digital storytimes. You’ll want to look for this information and act accordingly. As librarians, I feel that we have an ethical responsibility to be mindful of copyright law, even in a time of crisis. SLJ has an article up about copyright, fair use and the Covid-19 crisis that you may want to consult. One thing we will all want to keep in mind is that this is a short term problem (I pray that it is really short term) and that we want to be mindful that we aren’t creating content that will impact creators long term for a short term situation.

SLJ has more on what various kidlit authors are doing, copyright, online storytimes and more here. The Classroom Bookshelf also has a roundup of resources.

It looks like you can search the hasthag #KidLitQuarantine on Twitter to get a lot of valuable resources and ideas.

You can also search the hashtag #OperationStorytime on Twitter for authors doing storytimes online.

Jbrary has a link of Storytime Online resources. If you aren’t familiar with Jbrary they are an excellent resource. I don’t talk about them a lot here because they do a lot of a younger audience, but I love this resource.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Kate Messner has put together a great list of resources from authors and illustrators. Kate has done an amazing job of creating this extensive list of author and illustrator resources. Thank you Kate for this work that you are doing! Lots of authors doing cool things online collected here by Kate Messner.

Kat Cho has created a centralized calendar for live online kidlit events.

The Wisconsin Library Association has a great list of resources they are compiling as well.

LivBits has a list of free online literary events and resources here.

Temporarily Free Ed Tech Tools: https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=free-resources-tools-for-online-teaching-and-learning-during-school-closures-COVID19-coronavirus&utm_source=editorial&utm_medium=SLJTW&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=articles

Online Book Festival called Everywhere Book Fest information: https://twitter.com/EverywhereFest/status/1239320844184190979 More info on this here: https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=kid-lit-authors-organize-virtual-book-festival-for-may-coronavirus&utm_source=editorial&utm_medium=SLJTW&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=articles

Saturday Morning Storytimes with Josh Funk: https://twitter.com/joshfunkbooks/status/1239920434264539137

Operation Storytime has a variety of authors, illustrators and celebrities doing readalouds and there is a schedule here: https://twitter.com/LBookends/status/1240002457629003778

Online Storytime Permissions From Various Publishers

Kate Messner has a list of publishers offering limited permissions with very strict rules here: https://twitter.com/KateMessner/status/1240008865455931394

Scholastic has announced this temporary policy for doing online storytimes: https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=scholastic-temporarily-revises-policy-for-online-read-alouds-coronavirus-copyright

Simon & Schuster temporary online storytime guidelines: https://www.simonandschuster.com/p/online-read-aloud-guidelines

Penguin is having online storytimes and that info is here: https://twitter.com/penguinkids/status/1240117290403868672

Sourcebooks has online storytime info here: https://www.sourcebooks.com/online-storytime-requests.html

Candlewick Press online storytime info:

Lee and Low online storytime guidelines https://blog.leeandlow.com/2020/03/20/lee-low-guidelines-for-virtual-book-read-alouds-during-covid-19/

Professional Development Resources

Free Training and Webinars for Library Staff are being collected here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jJt1qoNqe_XteGFvzK2vq_fzutTAP8XCjESH8pHmFxE/edit

Also, here’s a really good example of how one library is promoting their digital content on their website during this time: https://www.wcpl.net/homebound_library_hacks/

Please feel free to link to additional resources in the comments.


  1. Free Gale Resources to Support Libraries and Educators Impacted by COVID-19: https://www.gale.com/covid19support

  2. The KidLit TV team, a group of diverse children’s book authors and illustrators, has created a virtual library of FREE read aloud, drawing & writing tutorials, podcasts, art activities + reading resources for kids! Find them here: https://kidlit.tv

  3. Kati Nolfi says

    Thank you! I’m looking for some help for extroverted young children (first grade) who miss their friends, teachers, and routines and starting to feel very sad and lonely.
    Thanks to anyone who comes across something out of the ordinary. I’m not having any luck.

  4. Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal is free for 1 month for all schools affected by COVID-19. This is an extensive IB-specific database which supports students and teachers throughout the Diploma Programme. If you are interested then please contact Irena Burton through the contact form on this website: https://ideasroadshowibdp.com/

  5. Thank you for sharing!
    It is a good article thanks for sharing this blog it gives lots of information

  6. Thank you for sharing this! Great compilation. This definitely helps especially with the current situation right now. Teachers and Parents are facing drastic changes and its been really tough. I’ve been joining forums and looking into resources. I found this https://alldigitalschool.com/. Do check it out, it might be a great addition to the list of resources you already have. I hope this helps your audience too! Great job on the article by the way! Stay safe!


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