Feeling bored and restless and looking for something to do? Take a look at our library's Extended Learning webpage for activities for all ages. There are non-technology options to get you away from your screen and reading/literacy options to keep families reading even while library buildings are closed. The more learning activities section offers varied activities including computer coding, stop-motion animation, digital breakouts (online problem-solving games), virtual tours for zoos, museums and national parks, and much more! (I just did a Harry Potter-themed Digital Breakout with my daughter and we had a lot of fun.)
Take a look at the video tour to see a preview of some of the fun and stimulating activities available for your family.
The Sunflower eLibrary offers a large variety of ebooks and audiobooks for all ages to anyone with a Sterling Public Library Card account. The Libby app makes it easy to read and listen on a mobile device.
This collection has over 5,200 popular juvenile fiction (for ages 18 and under) titles divided into genres like romance, mystery, fantasy, and graphic novels. They also have a nice selection of beginning readers and nonfiction. Titles include: Boxcar Children, Big Nate, Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and much more. For the month of April, they are offering free, unlimited access to the book one of the Harry Potter series.
Learn how to access this resource here (scroll down the page to Sunflower eLibrary). My two favorite sources for digital books are Sunflower eLibrary and RBdigital because they have a large selection of popular titles I want to read.
RBdigital gives access to hundreds of audiobooks for all ages. The State Library of Kansas has paid for all Kansas residents to use this service. All you need is a free Kansas Library eCard account. Email Mrs. Brownlee and she will get you set up! It’s quick and easy. For more info, click here.
This is my favorite site for audiobooks because it has so many options! I can download audiobooks to my device and listen when I’m offline. They have many of the William Allen White books on audio. Last summer I listened to 11 WAW books on this site.
Three minute video tour of the RBdigital app recorded on an iPhone.
If you like classics, you’re going to love Loyal Books. They have over 7,000 free public domain ebooks and audiobooks. You can read online or download to your device for offline reading. The site is well organized so you can search by genres like Fantasy, Science Fiction, Teen/young adult or Children's books.
This would be a great time to read some classics like Treasure Island, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Anne of Green Gables, War of the Worlds, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Black Beauty, and much more!
Two minute Loyal Books video tour.
These two platforms, recommended for grades 3 and up, include over 300 ebooks and digital audiobooks. These resources are licensed just for Sterling students and passwords are required. Take a look at our detailed instructions for accessing these resources. The instructions include two excellent video tutorials created by Mrs. Michelle Miller, our library assistant.
Ebooks include: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, The Hunger Games, Rick Riordan books, Little Women, Peter Pan, sports, romance, classics and more!
Abdo Digital Bookshelf (PreK - 12) is an ebook service that is being offered free until May 31. They offer an outstanding collection of Marvel Age graphic novels/comics, sports books (mainly nonfiction and biographies), and animal books. They also have abridged classics like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Sherlock Holmes and much more.
The website makes it easy to search according to Grade Group (beginner, elementary, middle grades, high school), Genre (graphic novels), and Subject (animals, sports, etc.). The Advanced Search feature lets you search for sports books for a certain grade group, for example. After clicking on a title, a details screen includes ATOS level, which is the AR reading level, letting you know that book has an AR test available.
Novel80 offers free fiction ebooks. They have a variety of popular middle school, young adult and adult titles, including many full series. The books are organized by genres. The website does not include descriptions of the books, so I would suggest searching a book on the Goodreads website to read a description. Scroll down (past the book list) to see a three minute video tour of Novel 80.
Here are some of the authors and series I’m familiar with that I found on this site. I put a * by my favorites. Search by AUTHOR names or book TITLES, not series, in Novel80.
Romance / Realistic
Three minute video tour of Novel 80.
Sterling Jr. High and High School students visited the library this week where each student was able to choose a free book and was treated to a free cookie and hot drink. The “warm up with a good book” event encouraged students to “read a latte” and gave them time to select a book and spend some time leisure reading.
“For over a year, we’ve been collecting new and gently used middle school and young adult books with the goal of having enough to gift a book to every student in grades 7-12,” explained district librarian Amy Brownlee. The books had broad appeal ranging from sports, history, and science titles to fantasy, romance, and adventure. “Studies show that the more students read, the better their achievement in all subject areas,” Brownlee said. “Students are apt to read books they have easy access to and select themselves. An event like this is a fun way to encourage literacy and learning.”
Some books were donated, and others were purchased from discount sources like thrift stores and yard sales. Funding for the project came from Booster Club, a grant from the South Central Kansas Library System, and the school district. According to Brownlee, “it was a team effort.” Librarian Sherilyn McPherson created genre signage to help organize the giveaway books and coordinated the schedule so all students had the opportunity to select a book. Food services coordinator Sandy Skucius and her staff made homemade cookies for the event, and FACS teacher Carol Prather organized and staffed the hot drink bar with the assistance of her classes where they served coffee, cider, and hot chocolate.
In addition, English teachers were generous in giving their class time to bring students to the library for the event. Over 450 books were available in the giveaway. Extra books were offered for free to students and staff.
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon asked people to vote for a great summer read. They chose the YA fantasy Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.
Jimmy Fallon is reading throughout the month of July and posting his thoughts on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more about it here.
Mrs. Brownlee is the District Librarian for USD 376 in Sterling, Kansas.