The Belen Public Library is providing access to its patio as an “outdoor virtual classroom” for students who might not have internet at home.
As the school year begins, all elementary, middle and high school students and teachers will be attending classes online, which could pose a challenge for some.
Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 18, the Belen Public Library will permit limited access to the library’s patio area for students K-12 to access the library’s free internet WiFi services.
Individuals may use WiFi devices from their cars during inclement weather.
Appointments can be made by phone by calling 966-2600. For fairness to those without internet access, appointments cannot be made by email. Appointment times are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, and will last one hour long. The last appointment of the day will end at 4:30 p.m. Those who arrive late will lose time from their appointed hour.
Students 12 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Only students and adults from the household of the students may use the patio area at this time.
No other area of the library will be open. Public restrooms will not be available, and staff and tech support is not available for assistance.
Social distancing and face masks or coverings are required when in the patio, and temperatures will be taken.
Students must have their own electronic devices, as well as their own supplies (pencils, paper, etc.)
Printing for school assignments can be emailed to the library at email@example.com. Students must sign in and sign out with a librarian on duty.
The maximum patio capacity is 12 people — two people per picnic table, one person per bench. This limit includes accompanying adults. People sharing a table must be from the same household.
The library’s free WiFi (password: Guestwifi) is available from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday in the library’s parking lot.
For those without electronic devices, computer appointments inside the library may be made from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, by calling 966-2600.
Individuals who are not feeling well, are running a fever or have active symptoms will not be allowed to enter the patio.
The library is also hosting several online resources that promote remote learning.
Kanopy, a free video-streaming platform available only through public and university libraries, has a large variety of more than 30,000 films and documentaries, videos, classic TV shows and a special section for children called Kanopy Kids.
Patrons have access to more than 1,500 children’s films, and they can watch their favorite picture books come to life with Weston Woods animations.
Some of the popular titles include “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” by Mo Willems, “Corduroy” by Don Freeman, “Diary of a Worm,” by Doreen Cronin and much more.
While you won’t find the latest box-office hit on Kanopy, there are independent and foreign films plus thousands of informational videos on just about any topic you can think of. The collection contains more than 6,000 “Great Courses,” which are multi-video sets surveying a broad topic, such as European architecture, or how to provide in-depth instruction.
You can sign up for the service from home. Visit the Belen Public Library catalog page, belen.biblionix.com, go to the Electronic Resources on the left side, scroll to the bottom and click on Kanopy. To register, you will need to enter your complete 14-digit library card number and the 4-digit pin number you chose when you signed up. Once you’ve signed up you can download the app on any device and use the full card number and pin to sign in.
At the beginning of each month, registered users will be issued five credits. Each credit is good for viewing one video. Once you have watched a video for 5 seconds, the credit is deducted. You will then have 72 hours of access to the video.
There are two exceptions: Great Courses videos and Kanopy Kids videos are credit-free. Once you start a Great Courses video, you have 30 days to complete the set. Kanopy Kids videos are unlimited. There is also a special section of movies and videos labeled as “credit-free.”
Another online resource is Brainfuse HelpNow, which provides online tutoring for a broad range of subjects and class levels.
The free online tutoring platform is available for a variety of services, including help with writing a paper, preparing for a test, such as SAT, ACT, GED or the U.S. Citizenship test.
The service also has a flashcard feature, which you can access and create interactive learning games, quizzes and flashcards.
To connect with a live tutor, go to belen.biblionix.com/catalog.
Mometrix is another online service through the Belen Public Library, which helps with test preparation. The Mometrix study guide can prepare those taking exams in certified administrative professional, certified public accountant, certified drivers license, nursing, journeyman electrician and plumbing, certified financial planner and more.
Go to the Library Online Catalog at belen.biblionix.com/catalog/and click on the Mometrix icon under Electronic Resources.
How to get a library card
To obtain a library card, you can apply online at belen.biblionix.com The upper right hand corner says “Log in to your Account.” If you click in the Card Number box, it provides a link that says “Never had an account? Sign up right now!”
If anyone isn’t sure if they have an account, or can’t maneuver the webpage easily, they can call 966-2600 to register for a library card on the phone.
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.