Washoe County Library System sees digital usage increase, signs-up made easier

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The COVID-19 virus forced Washoe County Libraries to close, but it hasn't stopped it from still offering services.

Washoe County Library System Director Jeff Scott says before the shutdown, people would check out a few dozen E-Books and Audiobooks each day. But since they closed, the library have seen more than 5,000 checkouts than normal.

Scott says they want to see the numbers get even bigger! If you want to join the virtual side and don’t have a library card, now you can get it online.

The library started sign ups this week and Scott says nearly 1,000 people have signed up for a library card.

With this membership, you can read E-Books, Digital Magazines and Learning Courses, a new Language or listen to Audiobooks.

“I recommend downloading downloadable audio books, especially when things can be very stressful,” said Scott. “If you have a lot of anxiety, you can download an audio book and you can have the nice narrator's soothing voice into your ears telling you the story, which might be better than trying to read an e-book right now."

Scott says soon they library staff will start a virtual story time to help the young readers stay engaged during this shutdown.

If you have checked out a hard copy and the due date is coming up or already passed, Scott says to hold onto that book and return it when the libraries reopen. Right now, the book drop off location are closed to stop the spread of the virus. Scott says no fines will be assessed on any of the items.

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