Resources from Seattle Public Library during the COVID-19 closure

The following was shared with local community groups by Kristin Edstrom, one of the Librarians at the High Point Branch.

Here are some resources from the Library during the closure. If you go to http://www.spl.org/stayinghome​ you can see more of the digital resources – including free ebooks, magazines, and movie streaming services I mentioned today.

You can stay current on these efforts at spl.org/StayingHome and our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter for updates. Highlighted below are some of the services we’ve launched since our building closures, but know that our talented staff are working on more ideas we are excited to explore:

  • Instant Access Digital Library Card:If you do not currently have a Library Card, this instant digital Library card will give you immediate access to our collection of e-books and e-audiobooks through our vendor OverDrive. To sign up for this service, you have to be 13 years of age or older, live in Seattle and have a mobile phone to verify your account.
  • LibraryLink Student and Teacher Access:If you are a Seattle Public School student in grades 6-12, or you are a Seattle Public School teacher in grades 6-12, or at a K-8 school, you can access the Library’s digital books and online resources through a LibraryLink digital card. Since our closure, we have been working on providing the same access to elementary students.
  • Virtual Story times: Our Children Services Librarians are bringing our popular children’s story times to our Facebook channel. Join live, or watch later, as librarians sing songs and read engaging stories to children. However, it is worth noting these story times are equally as soothing and engaging to stressed-out parents.
  • Small Business and Nonprofit Support: Our Library to Business team is offering one-on-one appointments for small businesses and nonprofits via online conference software, email or phone. This program helps nonprofits and small businesses identify and navigate resources available to them. Make a one-on-one appointment with us or browse through our COVID-19-related resource lists for nonprofits and small businesses.
  • More E-books and E-audiobooks: In response to a large increase in e-collection usage, the Library is working hard to bring more copies and titles to this collection to meet demand. The Seattle Public Library Foundation is planning to help us with the efforts to provide additional digital resources and access during this period.
  • Community Wi-Fi HotSpots: Prior to our closure, the Library had worked with housing and social services partners to lend Wi-Fi HotSpots to communities living with no or limited internet access, such as low-income housing developments and tiny home villages. The Library has extended loan periods for these devices during our closure so communities can stay connected. *We don’t have additional hot spots to lend at this time.
  • Your Next Five Books  and Your Next Skill: These two services provide personalized Librarian-curated content and resources to help readers and learners of all ages choose their next book or master their next skill. This customized service can keep home-bound Seattleites learning and growing.
  • Ask Us: Library staff continue to be available to you each day to help answer your questions. Contact us if you’re a parent or teacher looking for ways to engage your students in this new remote learning environment. Contact us if you are one of the many people experiencing loss of employment and you need help finding available resources. Contact us if you are simply bored and need help finding something to entertain you. We are ready to assist.​
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What are we doing to help during the COVID-19 crisis? An update…

Cindi Barker, Emergency Communication Hubs Coordinator for West Seattle (and citywide), shared this update about how hub volunteers are working with others in the community.

Whew! The COVID-19 virus outbreak has been a real head-spinner for the hubs. Hubs normally activate only when all normal communications are down after a disaster, but the current national emergency has had us thinking 180° differently.  Standing up a local gathering place – while practicing social distancing – isn’t wise. How else can we help?

On March 11 the Hub Captains across Seattle held a virtual meeting to talk about our role.  We came out prepared to utilize our preparedness / organizational skills to assist in the virtual environment.

Within Nextdoor, a West Seattle neighbor, Liz Root created a spreadsheet to make it easier to see who was offering to help.  We took that model and shared it across the city for other neighborhoods to use. Nextdoor has since launched a new feature called Help Maps, but the West Seattle spreadsheet continues to thrive (60 volunteers at last look): West Seattle COVID-19 help spreadsheet

Then, we found a website used by Bainbridge Island, which did the same thing — matching volunteers to people who needed help. It was created from a national Recovers.Org template; its advantage is that it helps everyone, not just people who are signed up for Nextdoor.  But, we didn’t have the capacity to set up and run a new website.

In one of those wonderful moments of serendipity, Phil Tavel called to see what the hubs were doing and how he could help.  Phil immediately understood the potential of the Recovers.Org tool and quickly partnered with Brendan Kolding to set up a West Seattle Support COVID-19 site in a matter of days.  This site will help individuals and our local organizations such as the Food Bank and the Senior Center post their needs and find people who can volunteer for their essential services. Please go to   https://westseattlecovid.recovers.org/  to help your West Seattle neighbors!

For more information about what the Emergency Communication Hubs have done across the city, see our longer post at http://seattleemergencyhubs.org/

 

 

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Coronavirus – safety guidance for helping neighbors

Below are three informational documents that were shared with Cindi Barker, our Emergency Communication Hubs Coordinator.

Guidance for checking on neighbors outlines how people can more safely help their neighbors. Tom Van Bronkhorst of Dept of Neighborhoods coordinated this through the Public Health liaison at the city’s Emergency Operations Center, so it’s been vetted.

Sanitize and Disinfect Guidance and Food Safety Guidance are two informational pieces that Debra Baker at Public Health Seattle and King Country sent to us as a follow-up to our virtual meeting about Coronavirus Resources.

 

 

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Novel Coronavirus Resources

Although it’s been a while since we’ve updated this blog or our website, we wanted to reassure you that the Hub Captains and other volunteers — here in West Seattle and across the City of Seattle — are still very much engaged in helping our community be prepared, resourceful and resilient.

Last evening, over 40 of us met VIRTUALLY with a representative from the Community Mitigation branch of Public Health Seattle & King County/to learn more about how we can help slow or stop the spread of this virus, and safely help those in our community who fall ill.

We also wanted to share a few local and national resources here and encourage all of you to share information with your friends, families, neighbors and others — and do what you can to dispel any misinformation.

Public Health Seattle & King County — Latest information and recommendations about all things related to the Coronavirus. Note that they have established a Call Center for individuals as well as one for health care providers who have questions.

West Seattle Blog — This link to their ongoing coverage of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak includes video from yesterday’s press conference by Governor Inslee and other leaders, as well as past and future stories relating to the virus.

Mayor Durkan’s Blog —  Mayor Durkan’s blog post of March 10th visually articulates the strategy being taken here and tangible steps we can each take to mitigate the impacts.

Center for Disease Control website — Provides a national perspective and information about the Coronavirus.

World Health Organization — Offers the worldwide perspective and rolling updates about the Coronavirus.

West Seattle Be Prepared Facebook group — We want to remind you of this resource! Some of the resources listed here were originally shared by members there. Feel free to share additional information and insights, and pose any questions that you may have.

 

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Who’s shakin’ on October 17th?

Me! You! Everyone!

Mark your calendars for 10/17 at 10:17 AM for the 2019 Great Washington Shake Out. Over a million Washingtonians have already registered to participate!

This annual earthquake preparedness exercise offers an easy opportunity for hands-on practice of Drop-Cover-Hold wherever you are that morning. It is also a wonderful entry point for broader discussion and thought about how you might respond if an earthquake strikes while you were at home, school, work, or somewhere else. 

If you can’t take part on October 17th at 10:17 for some reason, you can arrange to practice at another time. Visit the website linked above for more details and informational resources.

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Volunteer opportunities!

The Seattle Office of emergency Management (OEM) is looking for community members within each of the seven Seattle Council Districts to serve as Emergency Preparedness Educators.

Full Volunteer Position Description:
https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Volunteering/20190930_PubEd_CouncilDistrictPD.pdf

Volunteer Services Application:
https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Volunteering/Volunteer-Application-Current_Fillable.pdf

For more information, contact Carrie Brazil, Volunteer Coordinator, carrie.brazil.@seattle.gov.

FYI, several of the Hub Captains from neighborhoods outside of West Seattle do this. They note that the curriculum includes some information about the emergency communication hubs.

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Free Training: October 21st, 10 to noon, Planning for Animals in a Disaster

The flyer and information below are for an upcoming training session on disaster response around animals. While we do not have existing standing teams specific to Seattle, this presentation will cover what is being done in King county.

Animal Planning Training flyer (.pdf file)

FREE TRAINING – PLANNING FOR ANIMALS IN A DISASTER:  INTRO TO A CART COMMUNITY / COUNTY ANIMAL  RESPONSE TEAMS

 

WHEN October 21, 2019 10am – 12pm

WHERE King County Office of Emergency Management (3511 NE 2nd St, Renton, WA 98056)  or Skype option

PRESENTED BY  Dick Green, Senior Director, Disaster Response  Tim Perciful, Manager, Disaster Response  ASPCA

 

Regional Animal Services of King County

Contact: Marcy Goldstone 206-485-6394 or  Tim Anderson 206-263-5939

 

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Don’t miss our Urban Survival Skills Fair on Saturday, August 10th, at Delridge Day!

The Delridge Day festival runs from 11 until 3 at the Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW).

This wonderful annual community festival highlights local organizations and has a strong focus on community safety. The SW Police Precinct will host their annual Precinct Picnic, so free food will be part of the fun!

Here’s an overview of this year’s festival highlights. 

We hope to see you there!

Urban Survival Skills Fair banner

 

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Two more opportunities to learn Urban Survival Skills (and have fun)!

Have you glanced at our calendar lately? We’ve recently added two more Urban Survival Skills Fair sessions!

The first, a Mini-Urban Survival Skills Fair at Field Day will be on Saturday, June 22nd from 11 until 3Visit 5+ stations to learn skills related to Utilities, Water Sanitation, Making Toilets, Smartphone Apps, and Pet Preparedness. We’ll also have information about the emergency communication hubs; and personal, family and community preparedness. Field Day is a joint ACS / West Seattle Radio Club / PSRG (Puget South Repeater Group) event. It’s held at South Seattle College on the large field to the south of Olympic Hall. Come see the ACS team and other radio groups from throughout the greater Seattle area…as well as learn new urban survival skills! 

The second, Urban Survival Skills Fair at Delridge Day will be on August 10th from 11 until 3. This will be a larger Skills Fair, similar to the one we held at this year’s West Seattle Bee Festival. Delridge Day is hosted by VieWS, and is held at the Delridge Community Center playfield. This annual festival features live music, as well as a Vendor Fair!

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Seattle’s Fault – field exercise follow-up

Thanks to all who stopped by or participated in yesterday’s Seattle’s Fault citywide field exercise!

Two of our hubs, Morgan Junction Park and Hiawatha Playfield, activated for this event. West Seattle Blog and King5 each stopped by the Morgan Junction hub:

West Seattle Blog’s coverage

King5’s coverage

Below are some photos that I took at the Hiawatha Playfield hub in the Admiral neighborhood just as the exercise was starting to get underway.  

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Several hours later, the message board above looked much different; and all who participated came away with new insights, information and ideas.

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