The Surrey Public Library offers digital resources during the pandemic

It's not just a library, but an expansive resource hub

Surrey Center Library. (Wikimedia.commons)

During the pandemic, the Surrey Public Library has stepped up, and now provides a wide variety of free resources that are available to the public and students of all age groups online.

In an email exchange with The Runner, Seline Kutan, director, communications, and advancement, who is a representative of SPL, wrote that “when the provincial health orders are eased, we plan to resume offering all our programming in person within our branches.”

SPL hosts free online book clubs through Microsoft Teams, which take place on the last Wednesday of every month. Books that are discussed are available to read online through an eBook format. The next meeting is on Jan. 27 at 2:30 pm and will be discussing Kim Thúy’s book Vi.

The SPL also hosts Online Book Chats through Microsoft Teams. Event attendees can choose their own book or AudioBook, and engage in a lively discussion with others about their chosen books. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month at 2:30 pm. The next event is on Feb. 3. Registration is required for these events.

The SPL provides free resources that are available through the library card, such as a one-year subscription to the New York Times. Flipster access is also included, which provides free downloads to popular magazines like Time and Elle.

SPL is partners with educational and career focused programs, including an online centre that provides courses from business to algebra. Gale Courses, which is also partners with SPL gives access and opportunities to “individuals for professional development, technology, and personal enrichment courses.”

Learning Express Hub is another educational resource that provides practice tests, tutorials, and quizzes to expand an educational portfolio.

Some other resources that the library provides is access to Kanopy Great Courses, a video platform that provides lectures on topics like languages, history, science, music, and mathematics.

Mango Languages, is a language aplication that is accessible through SPL, and includes pronunciation practices along with lesson plans and goals. SUMMA, is another platform which hosts Indigenous documentaries, podcasts, and videos through the library card. Another resource is Creative Bug, which has free arts and craft workshops taught by top artists.

The SPL has Access Video on Demand, a free streaming video service that has educational films and TV series from around the world for both kids and adults. Medici TV is also offered, it contains an online collection of classic ballets, operas, and music with some of the world’s most acclaimed performers. Both are available by logging in with your library card.

Details about these events and resources can be found on the Surrey Public Library website. To access them, SPL has created the option to sign up for a library card online.

“Our website lists the types of services the library offers. Currently, because of the pandemic, our library branches are open Tuesday through Saturday and are offering limited services. These are listed here,” wrote Kutan. “We have many programs running online and our online library is open 24/7.”