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Free culture during the quarantine

Perhaps you’re doing the right thing and trying to stay inside. Perhaps you’re bored. Perhaps you’ve also just lost a bunch of money from the immolation of the stock market and you no longer feel like spending hundreds of dollars each month on subscriptions to streaming services.

Here’s some free stuff.

Our Tri-corner region libraries are all closed for the duration but most are sending out emails and posting information on their websites about programs that are available “virtually.”

If you’re new to the area and haven’t yet signed up for a library card, some of the libraries will let you sign up online — notably, the Cornwall Library. Go to the website at www.cornwalllibrary.org; they can email your library membership number to you or send it by the postal service. Or you can call the library at 860-672-6874. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get through; it’s possible your library is closed. At the Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury, sign up online at www.scovillelibrary.org; or call the library at 860-435-2838 between 2 and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to get your card number; again, don’t be upset if no one answers the phone.

The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon says new patrons should call 860-364-5041 or go online to www.hotchkisslibrary.org. Leave a message or send an email with name, mailing address and preferred phone number. The library will call or email with a barcode that allows access to the digital library.

Most other libraries in the area will have similar programs going; go online for information. Try calling but don’t be surprised if no one is there to answer. Most of the librarians are on email these days too, so you can get some questions answered via email.

Once you’re signed up, most of our area libraries will give you access to at least one of these two free streaming services: Hoopla (which has television shows, movies, music and audio books) and Kanopy, which is mostly films, including a large selection of classics and foreign flicks.

Music lovers can also go to Hoopla for a playlist of music by the artists who had been scheduled to perform at this year’s South by Southwest (aka SXSW) festival.

The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon and some other libraries also offer an app called SimplyE.


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