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Stanislaus County Libraries Offering Free Resources

Though they have to remain closed to the public, Stanislaus County libraries are still as active as ever.

If it hasn’t already popped up on your Facebook page, the county’s libraries host a variety of virtual events throughout the week. These include virtual story breaks (primarily in English, but on Wednesdays they host bilingual story time), coding clubs, trivia nights, and STEM challenges. In fact, a local Oakdale Library staffer – Jana Ciccarelli – is a regular reader for these events.

For those who want to request a book from the library, it’s still possible amidst closures. A simple visit to their website or a phone call to the local library is all that it takes. Volunteers also relayed that they’re happy to recommend books and report what’s on their shelves to those who call.

The county’s libraries are also starting a new program called Zip Books. It was a project that started in Shasta County and has been adopted statewide. California State Library partnered with NorthNet Library System, funded by California Library Services Act funds to offer the program.

Essentially, if there’s a book that a library patron wants that’s not in the system, they can ask the library to purchase the book. The library will then ship the book to that person’s house for a six-week loan period; when they finish the book, they return it to their local library. If a library user can find the book or book on CD on Amazon, with books for less than $50, and on CD for less than $75, it will work with the program.

For returned books, staffers at both the Oakdale and Riverbank locations assured that all books are quarantined for at least three days or more.

“It’s a matter of safety,” Riverbank Librarian Vicky Holt confirmed.

The local library is also accepting returns only by the front door during their updated hours: Monday through Thursday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Not barred by open hours are the free resources on the county’s website and apps. Via their website, library users can access a free language-learning program, summer reading challenges, virtual theater from The Act!vated Actors, virtual escape rooms, and more. The county also offers a cloud library which offers ebooks and downloadable audiobooks. The app “hoopla” gives free access to comic books, TV shows, and downloadable audio. RBdigital app also has plenty of magazines, comic books, and audiobooks, all for free.

For the foreseeable future, the libraries will remain closed. Oakdale Library confirmed that if Stanislaus Emergency declares a need for cooling centers, they’ll open up a community room. Other than that, stay tuned to local resources and updates via Stanislaus County Library’s Facebook page or their website: or call the Oakdale Library at (209) 847-4204 or the Riverbank Library at (209) 869-7008.