Social Distancing Resources

With schools, libraries, and many public facilities closed to the public, we have gathered some social distancing resources for families and individuals to use at home during this difficult time. Many of these resources are being made available to our patrons free of charge by their creators, for which we say THANK YOU!

Free Ebooks and Online Learning

Home Schooling Resources curated by the Central Plains Library System include Program Contacts, Nebraska Department of Education homeschooling rules, support organizations, curriculum, parent resources, podcasts, printing material and more:

Tumblebooks has provided our patrons access to their five ebook and audiobook database collections through August 31, 2020. This resource is a home run for parents and schools looking to make online learning fun. Library cards are not required to use these services. Tumblebook may be accessed by visiting our online catalog at and scrolling down through the database resources found below the Covid-19 procedural announcement.

Their youth resources include animated children’s books that can be read manually or with an automated storyteller. Built in book report features and book themed games like sentence comprehension and Memory add to the educational value, and with Tumblebook Library and Tumble Math, there is something for every age group.

Tumblebooks also offers a Teen Book Cloud with fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry, enhanced ebooks, graphic novels, and even AP English selections.

In addition to the services for kids and teens, Tumblebooks has provided access to Audio Book Cloud and Romance Book Cloud for adults.

EBSCO LearningExpress is currently providing FREE access to their complete line of learning products, for public, college, and school libraries. LearningExpress products offer resources including practice tests, tutorials, e-books, articles, and flashcards to help students of all ages:

  • Improve core skills in English language arts, math and science, social studies and computers
  • Prepare for AP®, SAT®, ACT®, and other college entrance exams
  • Prepare for military entrance tests (ASVAB, CFAT)
  • Explore colleges and careers
  • Prepare for occupational certification tests (e.g., allied health, nursing, teaching, and many more)

The link below will provide access to LearningExpress Library and PrepSTEP. Patrons will need to register for an account using an email address and password which will allow for progress to be saved:

Oxford Owl for Home is an award-winning website from Oxford University Press created to support children’s learning both at home and at school. Home resources are are plentiful with guides available by age. Subjects include Reading, English and Math and include fun activities and videos. Registration is required, but is free.

Open Library has a vision to make all published works available to all people. This site offers tens of thousands of books scanned in their original form. Registration is required, but access is free:

Salem Press Database is available with access a limited number of nonfiction history resources available at by the Library of Congress offers a number of different ebook and interactive options, including rare and out of print books at

The Omaha Henry Dorley Zoo is offering virtual Zoo From Home resources and free learning activities:

International Children’s Digital Library strives to build a collection of books that represent outstanding historical and contemporary books throughout the world. Includes publications from many countries and in many languages:

Wilbooks is offering free access to a number of ebooks, coloring pages, educational videos, poetry and more at

Virtual Story Times and Activities

  • Children’s author, writer, animator and Kennedy Center Artist in Residence, Mo Willems, has invited viewers into his studio and creative process with the video series “Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems.” Kids can learn how to drawn Pigeon, Piggy, and more funny characters as they are encouraged to create drawings and write their own stories. The Kennedy Center’s Mo Willems webpage also includes fun printable activities to use at home:
  • Storyline Online is the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website that streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.
  • Children’s author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers is reading one book each day at Noon MST live on his Instagram feed (@oliverjeffers) and then talking about the creative process of writing books. The live interaction allows kids and their parents to interact with the author in real time. Those of you without Instagram can find the recorded videos posted here:
  • Author and illustrator Jared J. Krosoczka, creator of the popular Star Wars Jedi Academy books, is streaming a live drawing lesson everyday at Noon MST on his youtube channel where viewers can learn the ins and outs of illustrating, with each episode dedicated to a specific lesson, such as word bubbles, facial expressions, and proportions. Parents can even submit their child’s art work with the hopes of being presented during one of the live shows. His cute Pug Cam is an added bonus.
  • Stimola Live, presented by Stimola Library Studio, will offer multiple live stream events throughout the day with authors and illustrators. The live events will occur across multiple social platforms. A schedule of events and links to recorded streams can be found on their website at (events are listed in Eastern time.)
  • Save With Stories works in partnership with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry “to provide fun and education to kids and parents stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak.” Donations are being taken to help make sure that children who rely on school meals won’t go hungry during school closings. Recorded story times may be viewed on Instagram and Facebook by searching #savewithstories and include books read by Jeff Bridges, The Ellen Show, Jake Gyllenhaal and more.
  • #OperationStoryTime organized by the online publisher Romper features authors reading their favorite books and includes Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Victoria Kann and more. Stories are available on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
  • Pete the Cat author James Dean reads daily via instagram at 10:00 a.m. MST @petethecatofficial
  • Celebrated author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi is streaming “Drawn of Fantasy” live draws every day at 1 p.m. MST on facebook
  • Storynory features podcasts of children’s stories (also available on itunes) with read along text and various games:
  • A Mighty Blaze offers author readings and live author interviews at and mostly focuses on authors writing for adults.

Coding and Programming

  • Girls Who Code will release free weekly exercises for 3rd – 12th graders to do at home at
  • Grid Garden is a free website that teaches the basics of CSS by means of a digital carrot garden. Perfect for absolute beginners, the game is designed to teach players the basics of layout creation available at
  • offers free courses for kids K-12 and beyond. Available at
  • Scratch is administered by MIT and is a great introduction to programming where kids can create stories, games, and animations available at
  • Hopscotch is a mobile app that allows kids to build their own games and projects. Available in your mobile store

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