38 Ways to Use the Library from Home

March 18, 2020 | Wendy

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TPL homepage showing ebooks and online content menu

 

Since library branches are closed, and we're all staying home as much as we can, we want to make sure that you're stocked up with things to read, watch, listen to, learn and do. Here's a quick guide to all of the online services you can use with your library card:


For Kids

Need ideas for songs, games, stories, crafts, activities - and help with schoolwork? We've got you covered.

Mother and baby playing in kitchen

Ready for Reading

We've created a collection of songs, stories, activities and games to help your little ones aged 0-5 develop their early literacy skills. 

TPL Kids

Fun polls, contests, jokes and riddles, and a Wonder Wall of kid-submitted questions and answers for school-aged kids.

TPL Storytimes on YouTube

A collection of popular storytime songs, performed by library staff so you can sing along at home. 

OverDrive Kids

An amazing collection of ebooks and educational videos - including readalong books with audio, books in sign language, and more. Check out the "Cabin Fever Cures" collection for books with fun activities!

Cantook Station Jeunesse

French-language ebooks for kids of all ages.

Kanopy Kids

Until April 15th, Kanopy is offering unlimited access to its collection of fun and educational Kanopy Kids videos, including Sesame Street, Franklin and Friends, Gumby and Poky (remember them?!) and more.

Hoopla Kids Mode

Select "Kids" at the top of the Hoopla page to browse only kid-friendly music, movies and comics. As of March 20, we have increased your Hoopla credits to 8 plays per library card per month. (You might need to sign out and sign back in again to see the increase!)

Brainfuse

Free online tutoring for students from kindergarten to Grade 12. 

Dial-A-Story

Children's stories in over 16 languages, available over the phone. Dial 416-395-5400.

 


Online Books

If you don't have enough books at home, here's an easy way to stock up:

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OverDrive eBooks & eAudiobooks

This is the best place to start: a massive collection of ebooks, audiobooks and videos. Includes collections for kids and teens, as well as small collections in Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese. Borrow up to 30 items at a time; place up to 30 holds.

Pro tips:

  • For most readers, the easiest way to use the OverDrive collection is with the Libby ereader app on your phone or tablet. (If you use a screen reader, the OverDrive app works better.)
  • Want to read something right away? Browse the "Always Available Audiobooks" and "Best Bets - 7 Day Loan" collections. Or choose a collection to browse, and select the "Available Now" filter.

Cantook Station

French-language ebooks available from Franco-Ontarian, Quebecois and some European publishers. 

RBDigital Audiobooks

More audiobooks, including some exclusive Canadian content. Borrow up to 15 items at a time; place up to 10 holds.

Safari Tech books

The latest books and videos from major technology and business publishers. Always available - no holds required.

Biblioboard

Self-published ebooks by local and international indie authors.


Online Book Clubs

Discover new books, have fun, connect with your fellow readers.

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TPL Reading Challenge 2020

Download our challenge and read 12 books in 12 categories in 2020. Join your fellow readers to discuss what you're reading on Goodreads and in our Facebook Group

 


Movies and Music

If you get tired of reading (as if!), it's always good to have something to watch or listen to as a backup.

Kanopy

Hoopla 

Current and popular movies and music. As of March 20, we have increased your Hoopla credits to 8 plays per library card per month. (You might need to sign out and sign back in again to see the increase!) 

Kanopy

Stream from a great collection of classic films, world cinema, documentaries and popular movies. You get up to eight plays per month, per library card. And this month, Kanopy is making a special collection of over 30 titles available for unlimited streaming that won't count toward your eight-title limit. (You'll need to either log in or create a username and password). 

Medici.tv

Stream unlimited concerts, ballets, operas, music documentaries and musical master classes from around the world. 

OverDrive Video

Unlimited streaming of a selection of kids' movies, TV series, exercise and meditation videos, and even favourites from The Great Courses series.

Naxos Music Library

Music spanning medieval to modern - classical, jazz, electronic, world music, and more. (Note: Naxos can accommodate 100 users at a time. If you're turned away, try again in a little while.)

 


Newspapers and Magazines

Stay current on the news or find magazines that support your favourite hobby. (Or your celebrity addiction - we won't judge).

PressReader

PressReader

Full-page images of current and recent newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries, in over 60 languages. Includes the Toronto Star, the Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian.

NYTimes.com

Current news and archived articles from the New York Times.

RBDigital Magazines

Current and recent issues of popular magazines including The Economist, The New Yorker, Us Weekly and many more.

Flipster Magazines

Current issues of popular magazines including Maclean’s, Chatelaine, Bloomberg Businessweek, People and more. (Note: some titles have limited availability; if the one you want isn't available, wait a little while and try again.)

 


Comics

Did you know we have digital comics too? All kinds: single-issue comics and original graphic novels.

Hoopla digital comics

OverDrive Comics

DC and Marvel superhero comics, Archie comics, Harlequin Romance comics, and many more. Borrow up to 30 at a time; place up to 30 holds. 

Hoopla Comics

Always-available comics including Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and more.As of March 20, we have increased your Hoopla credits to 8 plays per library card per month. (You might need to sign out and sign back in again to see the increase!) 

 


Online Learning

Keep your brain occupied! Feed your interests or take the time to learn a new skill.

Lynda.com

Lynda.com

Over 3,500 video courses on software development, business, design, photography and more. Certificates of completion available. (Note: Lynda.com can accommodate 150 users at a time. If you're turned away, try again in a little while.)

Safari Tech and Business Books Online

Video courses and eBooks on technology and business topics. (Note: Safari can accommodate 45 users at a time. If you're turned away, try again in a little while.)

HSTalks

Lectures with slide presentations by leading experts on business, management, and biomedical and life sciences.

Gale Courses

Instructor-led, 6-week courses on accounting, college readiness, business, creative writing, and much more. Current session started March 18th - you can still sign up this week!

Mango Languages

Interactive courses in 71 different languages, including English as a Second Language.

Brainfuse Adult Learning Centre

Live, one-on-one help with academic and career goals, including high school equivalency preparation, résumé writing, citizenship test prep and more.

Digital Archive

Instant access to rare historical photos, maps, books and more.

The Great Courses

Audiobook collections of university-level lectures on a huge range of topics, delivered by professors.


Research Tools

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Ancestry Library Edition

Until April 30th, you can use this powerful genealogy tool from home! (It's usually only available in library branches.)

JSTOR

Archive of articles from scholarly journals for arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities.


Podcasts

Need something new to listen to while puttering around the house? These podcasts were created and curated by library staff.

Live Mic logo

Live Mic: The Best of TPL Conversations

Curated discussions and interviews with some of today's best-known and yet-to-be-known writers, thinkers and artists, recorded on stage at one of Toronto Public Library's 100 branches.

Shelve Under: Podcast

Join library staff for discussions with writers, public figures, library workers and other notable people.

Writers Off the Page

A biweekly series produced and curated by Toronto Public Library, celebrating 40 years of the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA). Episodes feature recorded on-stage interviews, readings or panel discussions with some of the 20th century's best-known writers and thinkers.


Program Videos

Did you miss seeing your favourite writer when they were in town last year? Now's your chance to catch up. 

Saeed Jones at the Appel Salon

The Appel Salon on YouTube

Over 500 videos of onstage interviews with today's leading writers and thinkers.


And remember, while the library is closed, you don't have to return items to us. We won't charge you fines, and any holds that were waiting for you when we closed will still be available for pickup when we reopen.

 

Edit: Online Book Clubs added, Mar. 19, 2020

Edit: Let's Learn Tech Online removed (temporarily unavailable) Mar. 23, 2020

Edit: Libby and OverDrive app links added Mar. 25, 2020

Edit: Ancestry and JSTOR added Mar. 26, 2020

Edit: Time limit added to Kanopy Kids April 1, 2020

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