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The latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak in South Florida. This page ended its updates as of August 2020. Head here for additional stories on COVID-19 and the pandemic.

Are You Social Distancing? Here’s How To Keep Yourself Busy: Ebooks, Podcasts And More

Try to distract yourself, breathe, put down your phone and use this time to read.

Staying home and self-isolating is the most effective way to limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

As health agencies around the world aggressively respond to this global pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines focused to slowing the transmission and limiting the spread, including “social distancing.” 

Social distancing means reducing close contact between people. But for those who are already feeling social isolation and loneliness, we want to provide you with some alternatives to keep your mind busy. 

Try to distract yourself, breathe, put down your phone and use this time to read. 

WLRN has checked in with all county libraries to see what resources they have to keep you busy, while adhering to these guidelines. The libraries' open status is as of March 19, 2020.

If you can't or don't want to go to the library, there are lots of things you can still "borrow" from your home. E-books, e-audiobooks and, in some cases, movies, language-learning programs and more.

Palm Beach County Library System

Library is still open.

The library's online offerings are available here: http://orion.pbclibrary.org/online-research

Broward County Library 

Library is closed until further notice.

Digital offerings are available here: https://www.broward.org/Library/EMedia/Pages/default.aspx

Broward County Library online resources are available 24/7 with a library card. Those without a library card can get a free Instant eCard, which is all that’s needed to unlock a world of educational and entertainment resources. You can use it to obtain books, music, videos, magazines and other e-content. 

The library also offers free tutoring, with live, one-on-one academic coaching, a practice test center, and a host of online resources for lifelong learners, job seekers, and those practicing for exams such as the U.S. Citizenship test and GED high school equivalency test.

Lastly, want to write and publish your own book? (While self-distancing, now is a great time for that.) You can ePublish your book for free with the library’s Biblioboard service.

Miami-Dade Public Library System

Library is closed until further notice.

The Miami-Dade Public Library System’s online library can be accessed 24/7 no matter where you are. You can download and stream eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies, music, digital magazines and more here: https://www.mdpls.org/digital-library/digital-library.asp

The MDPLS Learning and Training page also offers many resources like free one-to-one tutoring online from noon to midnight daily on tutor.com, video courses and training on a variety of topics and skills through Lynda.com and access to digital newspapers including the Miami Herald, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Services are free, but you do need a library card. If you don’t have one, you can apply online to receive an eCard (electronic library card), which will allow you to immediately begin using the online library.

Direct link to eCard application: https://www1.mdpls.org/webservices/ecard/Account/Register

If you need help with your library account or have any questions, our Customer Care team is here for you. Email customercare@mdpls.org.

Monroe County Public Library

Library is still open.

The Monroe County Public Library put this post together with all of its digital resources: https://keyslibraries.org/self-distancing/

Other things you can do at home: 

Listen to some podcasts. Some favorites from WLRN staff are Armchair Expert, The Catch and Kill Podcast, The Dream, Throughline, Caliphate, Modern Love, Bachelor Happy Hour, Dirty John, Dolly Parton's America, The Lead: The Athletic, Last Seen, The Rewatchables, Radio Ambulante, Slow Burn and Making Beyonce