Books, Books, Books!
ListenUpVermont! – Hundreds of books for all ages are available for download to your mobile devices and computers. Once you have the Libby app (available for both Apple and Android devices), all you need is the last four digits of your library card number. If you don’t know your number, email Shana at email@example.com.
The Digital Public Library of America – Open Bookshelf is a digital library collection of popular books free to download, formatted for modern devices, and handpicked by librarians from across the US. All books are free to download and yours to keep.
Scribd – Reading subscription service Scribd is giving free access to its library of over one million ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more for 30 days.
Professional Book Nerds podcast – A podcast for book lovers, by book lovers.
AudioBookCloud – all ages audio book database
RomanceBookCloud – a huge collection of steamy Romance novels for the older crowd!
Online Book Clubs
Favorite Poem Project – Boston University’s Favorite Poem Project is a collection of well-produced videos showcasing everyday people reading their favorite poems and talking about why those poems are so meaningful to them. A construction worker relates how he found encouragement in Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” a student from South Boston discusses how the teens of Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem “We Real Cool” mirror today’s young people who find themselves victims of the opioid crisis, a computer science professor shows us how he uses Robert Frost’s poem “For Once, Then, Something” as inspiration when he feels stuck…. Why does poetry matter? These videos answer that question in so many ways.
The Social Distancing Reading Series – The Green Mountains Review presents a new reading each Wednesday and Sunday.
NaPoWriMo – You’ve heard of NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month (November) has gotten a lot of press over the years. But poets have their own month, too! A poem a day for 30 days. You can start your own NaPoWriMo any time – just commit to a poem each day for 30 days. You can use the NaPoWriMo site for daily prompts (just start on day 1 of any year and work your way to day 30).
#ShelterInPoems – Perhaps, one of your NaPoWriMo poems would be a perfect fit for The Academy of American Poets. They’re using the hashtag #ShelterInPoems to invite readers to share poems that help them find courage, solace or energy — and a few words about why.
Concerts, Musicals, Plays, & Opera
Metropolitan Opera Free Nightly Streams
Seattle Symphony broadcasts
15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage From Home
Archive.org: Grateful Dead
Archive.org: Live Music
Billboard’s ongoing list of live streams and virtual concerts
Other Fun Sites and Activities
Ancestry.com – The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration has teamed up with its long-term digitization partner Ancestry to provide FREE access to search nearly 500 million records and images on Ancestry. Exploring the records is completely free – just create an account by entering your email to start your search. The almost half a billion digitized and searchable records being made available are comprised of nearly 300 different collections, including ship passenger and crew lists, naturalization and citizenship records, immigration records, and key military collections such as WWI and WWII draft cards.
Class Central – Discover thousands of free online courses from top universities around the world like MIT, Stanford, and Harvard.
First Sunday Shakespeare Reading Group – Organized by Strafford resident and former Sharon Library Director Jared Jenisch, the Shakespeare Reading Group meets monthly through the Howe Library, and all are welcome to join in! No prior experience or attendance is required. If interested, email Jared, and he’ll send you an invitation to join by Zoom.
The Getty Museum – Recreate a Work of Art – The Getty Museum has challenged those of us at home to recreate great works of art, and their Twitter feed is filled with both silly and surprisingly spot-on examples. What work of art can you recreate?
Google Arts and Culture – If you haven’t yet discovered this fun curation, you’re in for a treat! Google Arts & Culture works with cultural institutions and artists around the world in order to preserve and bring the world’s art and culture online so it’s accessible to anyone, anywhere.
How Stuff Works – Articles, videos and podcasts about… well, nearly everything. Want to know the difference between mitosis and meiosis? Maybe you’re wondering why school buses don’t have seat belts or how the stock market works. You’re in the right place.
Izoizolyacia – Art museums around the world are showcasing recreations of famous pieces done by those of us stuck at home with excess time and creativity on our hands, but the movement seems to have outgrown the museums. In just over a month, a Russian Facebook group for art re-enactors has gained 540,000 followers around the world. The group’s name, Izoizolyacia, combines the Russian words for “visual arts” and “isolation.” Do yourself a favor and check out the site; the results are stunning.
Jigsaw Explorer – A site filled with thousands of beautiful puzzles, all available for free. You can even create your own! You decide how difficult each puzzle will be by choosing the number of pieces and whether the pieces have the ability to rotate.
Lauren Gunderson’s Free Playwriting Class – Gunderson, the most produced playwright in the country (really), has posted a free class on her Facebook page!
Origami Resource Center – Tutorials from across the web show how to fold baskets, animals, stars – you name it. You can even fold precious toilet paper into beautiful works of art – without ever taking it off the roll!
Patrick Stewart Reads Shakespearean Sonnets – A sonnet a day keeps the doctor away. That’s the phrase, right?
Postcrossing – Allows you to “send postcards and receive postcards back from random people around the world.” The service is safe and free (well, except for buying the cards and stamps, a wonderful way to help our struggling postal system).
Radio Garden – Do you enjoy flipping through radio stations? How about spinning a globe with your eyes shut? Well, then, this will be a treat! Radio Garden is a non-profit Dutch radio and digital research project developed from 2013 to 2016 by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. You can use it on your desktop, or download the Apple or Android app onto your phone or tablet. Then, just spin the globe and see where you end up? Norwegian pop? Russian talk radio? Up-tempo Tanzanian? Cambodian punk? Jamaican gospel? There are more than 8000 stations registered all over the world.
SNSC at Home Snow Series – Starting January 25th, join the Special Needs Support Center for their next
10-week series of program, including book clubs, cooking, art, and fitness. To learn more or sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telling Our Stories in the Age of COVID-19 – We’re living in a unique and disquieting time. There’s a lot of fear, a lot of questions, and, for many of us, a lot of reflection. Journaling can help us put it all into perspective. If you’d like to share your journal entries with others, check out Telling Our Stories. “No participant names or other identifying information will be included. Write daily or a few times a week, post pictures or stick with text, share anything you are noticing – there are no rules. Just come share your story and know that we are in this together.”
Tree.FM – People around the world recorded the sounds of their forests, so that we can escape into nature while we’re unable to travel. This is wonderfully calming, and it’s so lovely to hear the sounds of the birds in the hush of winter. You may need to try opening the page in different browsers until it works for you (Chrome seems work just fine).
Vermont Folklife Center: Listening in Place – With so many of us in seclusion for our own safety and the safety of us all, how can we find strength in each other? The Vermont Folklife Center believes that a pathway through anxiety, fear and uncertainty lies as much in the act of listening as it does in the act of telling one’s story. The Listening in Place Sound Archive will preserve recordings submitted to us by Vermonters, creating a living document of how Vermonters are coping with this global reality. We invite people to send us audio recordings of interviews with the people they are sheltering with, exploring their lives during this time of pandemic. We also encourage people to record the sounds that punctuate their lives in these unusual times—board games and birds, cooking and pets—whatever fills your ears.
Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesdays – From Charlotte Bronte to Nicholas Black Elk to postmodern architechture, check out what the Vermont Humanities Council has lined up! Live on Wednesday nights (also recorded).
WriterSpace – Looking for some writing inspiration? River Valley Community College’s WriterSpace is now meeting online Mondays and Wednesdays at 6pm and Fridays at 9am. For the weekly link, more questions, and to learn about WriterSpace Kids, send an email to RVCCWriterSpace@ccsnh.edu