‘We are all in this together’: Hackley Public Library offers free e-books, audiobooks, music and more during closure

Hackley Public Library. Photo by Anna Gustafson

While Hackley Public Library isn’t expected to be able to reopen to the public until Tuesday, April 14, it’s working to ensure that patrons still have access to books, music, magazines, and more during a global pandemic that is forcing many Michiganders to remain at home.

Anyone with a Hackley Public Library card has access to thousands of titles that library officials hope will help Muskegon residents enjoy their time at home. To see all of the library’s digital offerings, click here.

“It’s extremely important [to offer the digital resources] because our role as a community organization is to serve the public and provide them with great resources and things they can enjoy and learn from,” said Mallory Metzger, the program and marketing coordinator at Hackley Public Library. “This pandemic is making life very difficult for people, and we’re trying to provide as many online resources as we can so people can feel some kind of normalcy.”

For Hackley card holders, the following services are available for free: 

  • Hoopla: A mobile library that provides movies, music, audiobooks, e-books, comics, and TV shows. Hackley patrons will have unlimited Hoopla borrows during the library’s closure.
  • OverDrive: A platform that offers e-books and audiobooks.
  • rbDigital: This service can be used to download e-books, audiobooks and magazines.

The library has also published a compilation of fun games and other activities for children and families, which you can find by clicking here.

Hackley Public Library, which is located 316 W. Webster Ave. in downtown Muskegon, has been closed since March 16, when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order shuttering a variety of public places. Since then, the public has not been able to enter the library, but staff had continued to go into work. Due to the governor’s stay-at-home executive order that began today, March 24, library staff are now working from home.

“Our main effort right now is we’re trying to make sure the library is in tip top shape for the public when we reopen,” Metzger said yesterday, when the staff was still working at the library. “We’re doing deep cleaning to make sure the library is a clean and secure environment for when our patrons come back.”

After the closure ends, Metzger said she and the entire Hackley Public Library staff are going to be thrilled to see their patrons once again.

“Seeing the space empty and without our patrons, it’s eerie and sad,” Metzger said. “It’s the people who make this library come alive, and we miss them. It’s definitely a sad time, but we are all in this together. We’re trying to stay positive, keep our heads up, and keep working towards our goal, which is making our library in great shape for when we reopen.”

Story by Anna Gustafson, the publisher and editor of Muskegon Times. You can connect with her by emailing muskegontimes@gmail.com or on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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