Stuck at Home? Your Library Card is a Passport to Learning, Entertainment

Libraries may be closed across Michigan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but your library card can still be useful.

CultureShift’s Jeff Milo reviews local music for 101.9 WDET. He’s also a staffer at the Ferndale Area District Library.

While establishments across Michigan are shut down to slow the spread of coronavirus, we asked Milo what should library patrons be aware of when practicing effective social distancing.

Public libraries across Southeast Michigan offer their patrons a variety of outlets to access content on their mobile devices, e-readers, and desktop computers, using their library card.

The fastest way for you to access these will be to visit your home library’s main website and look for the links that say “digital services,” “online resources,” or sometimes, “digital library.”

This is where libraries will have links to streaming platforms, reading apps, and even online courses, from services like Hoopla, Libby, RB Digital, Kanopy, CreativeBug and

  • Hoopla is a digital streaming platform that lets library cardholders instantly borrow digital movies, music, and eBooks. (There will very likely be a limit of 5 to 15 downloads per month). A similar service libraries may offer is Kanopy.
  • RB Digital has a variety of digital magazines (National Geographic, Cooks’ Illustrated, etc) as well as audiobooks. 
  • Libby lets you borrow ebooks and digital audiobooks.

Some libraries will also provide access to services like CreativeBug which offers thousands of online arts and craft courses. There might also be a variety of databases that you can access. 

​Typically, library cardholders will create their own account with each of these services and can find each of them in their App Store to download onto their device. These services may also not be accessible if your account is not in good standing.

If you have any questions about your library card, or have forgotten the personal PIN number attached to your library card, you will need to contact your library. At this point, emailing their libraries would be most reliable. Phones might go to voicemail and not every library is monitoring their social media constantly. Find information about that on your library’s website, on the “About” or “Contact” tab. 


  • Jeff Milo
    Jeff Milo is a Reporter for CultureShift. He's a longtime music journalist documenting the Michigan scene for 15 years.