Business closures and many parents’ sudden introduction to homeschooling have prompted Payson and Rim Country residents to search the internet for worthwhile online sources providing both education and entertainment. The Gila County Library District is here to help.

If you have not already bookmarked this site, check out gcldaz.org and add it to browser favorites. You’ll find this an impressive aggregator with links for all ages.

An example — Payson Library’s lively story time videos. You will find engaging and creative story time videos narrated onscreen — often with a song — by children’s librarian Sarah English.

“Charming stories read aloud is just one of the ways our libraries have found to continue serving local residents during a difficult time,” said Gila County Public Services Librarian Elaine Votruba.

“Payson Library also has curbside service for students doing school work. Parents can call the library and tell them what the student needs, and the staff will find items and arrange an appointed time to meet for pickup in the parking lot during normal business hours — and all our libraries are open for any type of questions, too.”

No internet? No problem.

Libraries also have free WiFi; even though buildings are closed to public access in order to keep both staff and visitors safer and prevent the spread of COVID-19, you’re welcome to park at the library of your choice and connect on your laptop or wireless device. Spend even just a few minutes exploring gcldaz.org to find an amazing portal that links to all your favorite magazines — yes even the National Enquirer — and all free to browse online.

A comprehensive site named GALE has “the world at your fingertips” with pages linking readers to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, InContext for students, the Learning Express Library, and subjects ranging from science and U.S. history to global issues, biographies, literature and academia.

You will also find the following through the Gila County Library District portal: book reviews and authors, genealogy, Pronunciator and PowerSpeak language tutorials, legal forms and AzLawHelp.

Kids and adults — all are welcome at gcldaz.org, where index page links include children and youth and young adult. Readers of any age can easily get distracted by the mind-boggling rack of popular magazine titles. Whether you prefer the erudite New Yorker or lightweight celebrity news of US or In Touch, you’ll find access here — free. The Week, the National Enquirer, National Geographic, Prevention, Food Network Magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen, PC, Smithsonian, Soap Opera Digest, Taste of Home, WIRED… and so many more magazines than space allows to list here. Read more at GCLDAZ; and please “like and follow” the new group page (search keywords ‘Gila County Library District’) for posts spotlighting new reading-aloud videos for kids, and Pro Tips from our local library experts — showcasing library links you might not find without an insider’s help.

Tour Gila County museums

OK, you may have visited Bullion Plaza in Miami or the Rim Country Museum in Payson — but did you know there’s a Miami Sports Hall of Fame on Adonis Avenue in our own town of Miami or the Pine-Strawberry Museum in Gila County’s northernmost community? Among library district resources is a museum page with links to all Gila County Museums — take a virtual tour, get better acquainted with the Northern Gila County Historical Society (also known as The Museum of the Forest) and plan a visit to Payson to see the collections in person once we’re all able to travel safely again — and museums reopen. Explore (virtually, for now) the Gila County Historical Society, the Perkins Store Museum in Young — the Visitor Center at Roosevelt Lake — and Globe’s famous Besh Ba Gowah Archeological Park.

Wondering about books in stock?

The buildings may be closed, but you can still borrow books from our local libraries, which have arranged innovative ways to get books into the hands of Gila County residents who love to read. Moreover, the search function at gcldaz.org is fast (and, again — free WiFi in the parking lot). Try it yourself; we tested the search on Thursday, choosing a rare book about a uniquely Arizona subject — using the single keyword “Chulo” it took just a split-second to find, Bil Gilbert’s fascinating first-person account about a year spent following Coatimundi and studying their behavior throughout the Sky Islands of Southern Arizona (by the way, the call number on this was SW 599.74443). Want to learn more about our state’s unique plants, animals and biota? Search by author using the keywords “John Alcock” to find which of our libraries have titles such as “After the wildfire: ten years of recovery from the Willow Fire” published in 2017 (both copies were available when we checked last week); or the lyrical writer’s “Animal behavior: an evolutionary approach” (1979, one copy available); “In a desert garden: love and death among the insects” (1998, both of two available), and either “Sonoran Desert Spring” or “Sonoran Desert Summer” collections of essays he wrote in 1985 and 1990, a delightful mix or scientific observation with seasonal ephemera.

Explore “Tumblebooks” for young readers in grades K-6, and a TumbleMath companion; links to ebooks at teenbookcloud.com; audio book database for all ages at audiobookcloud.com; even ‘RomanceBookCloud’ for a gauzy escape from the daily dirge and drama of COVID-19. All are welcome at gcldaz.org and search keywords Gila-County-Library-District to join our new group page on Facebook

If you have any questions or need help, contact your local library.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Avoid obscene, hateful, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful.
Be Nice. No name-calling, racism, sexism or any sort of -ism degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. Real names only!