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Learning from home during COVID-19

MeL Minute

MeL Minute: Support for Virtual Literacy Engagement

by Liz Breed on 2020-03-13T16:28:00-04:00 | Comments

Michigan eLibrary facivonAdapting to ever-fluid situations is not uncommon in the field of youth services. Considering these unique times, let’s think about how we can engage with youth by going virtual! Take your traditional forms of engagement with MeL a step beyond the desk by going virtual on social media.



Virtual Programming

Here are a few virtual family programming ideas to get you started: 

  • Create scavenger hunt games for families to explore PebbleGo Animals. 
  • Lead a virtual trip through history in PebbleGo’s Social Studies content. 
  • Share the early readers and printable activities in World Book Early Learning. 
  • Post trivia questions to encourage use of Britannica School, with a prize drawing for those with correct answers. 
  • Start a virtual reading club with the eBooks K-8 and create a group page for discussions.  CSLP’s Imagine Your Story resources are now available for you to use for library programming year-round, as well as the past 2 thematic years. 
  • Create a hashtag for families to follow the virtual program offerings throughout the next few weeks. 
MeL eResources 

Britannica School 

Reliable, quality information is available from home with just a few clicks. Students from elementary through high school will find resources to help them write essays and research papers and complete homework assignments. Includes over 132,000 encyclopedia articles, 103,000 images, 7,500 multimedia elements, more than 27,000 eBooks, and novels and essays. Tools include translation for 50+ languages and read-aloud functionality.  

eBook Collections in MeL 

The eBooks K-8 Collection includes beginner cookbooks, craft books, alphabet books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Big Nate series, and a wide range of students’ favorite sports’ team, just to name a few.   The eBooks High School Collection has Illustrated Classics, Orca series, sports’ collections, biographies, history books, STEM books, do-it-yourself projects, and over 1,200 young adult fiction titles.  Be sure to explore the eBooks AcademiceBooks Business, and eBooks Public Library collections as well.   


Find bite-sized pieces of content for your K-2 learners. All types of animals are covered as well as habitats, animal behavior, and dinosaurs. The social studies area covers topics ranging from “Being a Good Citizen” to continents and countries and “Jobs in the Community” to “People and the Environment” and transportation. Short videos and activity sheets are also available so learners can be active participants from home. 

World Book Early Learning 

Students in grades PreK-3 can follow Trek and Taffy the cat around the world. Share their love of colors, numbers, game, and other fun things. Come inside for stories and pictures! 

World Book Kids 

Students in grades Pre K-5 will find easy-to-read content in addition to hundreds of activities, science projects and experiments. 

Additional Resources 

Youth Services Programming During a Time of Crisis
A printable toolkit designed to help public libraries in times of crisis plan programming that creates a sense of normalcy for youth and teens in times of disaster or upheaval.  This toolkit is the Capstone Project designed and written by Jamie Gilmore, Grace Morris, Erica Trotter, and Alexandria Wardrip through the University of Washington's Information School.  It was also featured (8/30/17) in The Conversation's article, "Public Libraries can (literally) Serve as a Shelter from the Storm," by Grace Morris.   

ALA’s Where to Start? Creating Virtual Library Spaces

EveryLibrary’s Libraries Help Families During Quarantine


Brought to you by the Cathy Lancaster, Youth Services Coordinator, and the MeL Team. 

Supporting Michigan Libraries by Putting You First. 

Want more information on MeL?  Stay tuned for the next MeL Minute available on many Michigan library listservs,  visit, or sign up for the MeL Minute and other Library of Michigan e-mail lists via GovDelivery. We encourage you to share MeL Minutes with your colleagues and networks. 

MeL eResources are available to Michigan residents or for Michigan library or school access only. 



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