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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    The library pushes to give access to works despite COVID-19 concerns

    In normal years, Gonzaga’s library is usually packed with students. This year, the library has had to be creative in how to get books and movies into the hands of students, moving to adding digital platforms. (Photo by Mrs. Pam Valeiras)

    In pre COVID-19 times, Gonzaga’s library was among the definitive social spaces on campus. It was perpetually rammed with students cramming for tests, taking naps or frantically printing a forgotten worksheet before class.

    However, since school closed last March, the library has not been able to lend books to students. Books themselves have even had to serve two-week quarantines between rents.

    This situation left librarian, Mrs. Pam Valeiras, looking for a workaround, and her research presented her with Sora, an ebook platform published by Overdrive.

    Sora works in tandem with the public library system. Users are given the option to sign in with a library card, and upon doing so have access to any ebook imaginable, as well as their respective audiobooks.

    “The public libraries have such robust content,” Mrs. Valeiras said. “I mean, it’s crazy.”

    Sora’s audiobook library provides Gonzaga students with a wealth of useful content.

    “A lot of people don’t like to read on screens because they’re on their screens so much for class anyway,” she said. “It’s a great option when you can’t get the physical book.”

    In addition to using Sora for e-books, students can now access Canopy, a movie streaming service. Also integrated with the public library system, Canopy grants students free access to thousands of TV shows and movies.

    The library has also invested in a program called Swank Streaming, which allows teachers to assign movies for students to watch. Certain streaming services such as Hulu will not allow screen sharing of their content as a piracy protection, which several teachers have struggled with throughout the year, but Swank provides teachers with a workaround by providing students with a link to their assigned film.

    These services have been advertised all year; however, Ms Valeiras fears they have been drowned out by other announcements and emails. All the mentioned websites can be found via the library Canvas page.

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