I find it hard to believe what I am about to say, but I have been writing this monthly column for the Beloit Public Library since October of 2007. Over the years I have gotten comments and compliments from family, friends, and even strangers, telling me how much they enjoy reading the articles. Well, almost everyone enjoys them; my dear sweet father doesn’t hesitate to let me know when he thinks they are boring. I always tell people that I like writing the articles, but if I’m being completely honest, I have to admit that sometimes I struggle to come up with new topics each month. My writing style tends toward focusing on a particular program or resource that the library has to offer and then connecting that to something from my personal life. Hence all of the stories about growing up, about my Frank Lloyd Wright adventures, and about my husband and our dogs.

But folks, I’m really having a hard time with the column this time around. Needless to say, the last several months, and the last 10 days in particular have had such an impact on the lives of every single person in this country, and in the world, that I just don’t have the life experience to draw upon. There is no way I can connect the economic, and physical, mental, and emotional health crises that we are facing back to a fun arts and crafts program at the library. All I can do is tell you that libraries have always been pillars of their communities and they will continue to provide resources during this unprecedented time. For our Beloit Public Library customers that means you can still read books, listen to audiobooks, or watch movies. You can even learn a new language, research your family history, or sign up to learn Graphic Design using Gale Courses. Simply visit the library website at www.beloitlibrary.org, click on “Resources” and then select “Online Resources” from the drop down menu. All of the resources are free to Beloit Public Library customers and some of them do require a library card to access the information. If you don’t have a library card, you can get a 90-day Temporary Digital Library Card by visiting www.sharelibraries.info, selecting your local library, clicking the “Login” link at the top, and then clicking “Don’t have a library card? Click here to register!”

This is the point in the article where I usually give you some titles for books you can pick up at the library. This time, I’m going to give you a couple of titles that you can download right now. And in the meantime, be sure to like the library Facebook page for further updates and more information.

How to Be a Conscious Eater by Sophie Egan (e-book on hoopla). A radically practical guide to making food choices that are good for you, others, and the planet. Using three criteria—Is it good for me? Is it good for others? Is it good for the planet? (Book Description)

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis. (audiobook on hoopla). Rachel Hollis urges women to stop apologizing for their desires, hopes, and dreams and instead to go after them with passion and confidence. Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women being afraid of their own goals. (Book Description)

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