The New York Times – By To stay true to their mission during the coronavirus pandemic, libraries should offer more digital services. “As we face tragedy, devastating economic turmoil and dislocation, public libraries will play a key part in the recovery of our country, cities and lives. Libraries offer all people — regardless of background or circumstance — free access to the tools and knowledge they need to open doors of opportunity and be productive members of society. To remain true to their mission, all libraries must undergo radical change. To serve the public in the face of unprecedented challenges, libraries will need to transition their services to the virtual space and explore new avenues to serve the public and bring people together, even while we are apart. Since the New York Public Library has invested for years in digital offerings, we have been able to quickly transition and expand a wide variety of online services. Our goal has been to replicate, as best we can, the unique experience of being in a library while at home. We offer online story times, tutoring and other educational tools for parents coping with remote learning, virtual book clubs, author talks, a book discussion podcast, virtual consultations with reference librarians, interactive online book recommendations and small business and job search webinars that have attracted thousands of participants. We worked with vendors to provide at-home access to research databases, made available thousands of special collections and improved access to hundreds of thousands of free e-books to browse and borrow instantly via our e-reader. And that is only scratching the surface…”president of the New York Public Library.