By Judy Woodward

Every week, the reference librarians at the Roseville Library answer dozens of questions from the public. Here are a couple of the more interesting queries we have received lately:

Q. Are there any Library services still available to us now?

A. Americans are living through an unparalled crisis these days. But even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Library staff is doing its best to provide essential services without compromising the health or safety of people.

Although our buildings are closed to the public, you can still access many Library services online. If you haven’t explored our free online services for e-books, e-magazines and downloadable audio files, now would be a great time to take a look at our digital offerings like Cloud Library or RB Digital.

Or what about trying out one of our many other digital learning tools? We have databases that will help you with everything from finding addresses for long-lost friends (ReferenceUSA) to mastering new computer software ( to learning a new language, from Albanian to Zulu (Transparent Language). You can even research your family tree at home. Our database,, which is normally restricted to Library use only, is now temporarily available for remote access.

If you don’t currently have a library card,we can probably fix you up with a temporary account that gives you access to these online features.

We’re also presenting online programming from virtual children’s story hours to pre-recorded history talks.

If you run into a problem with one of our online services or have a general computer-related question, please email us using our Ask A Libarian email feature, or call our staff at (651) 724-6001 for assistance.

We even offer curbside pickup for real books and other materials at some of our locations. Call ahead for more information.

Q. How can we return our library books while the buildings are closed? Will we rack up big fines if we can’t get them back?

A. Book drops are currently closed, so please don’t try to return items at this time. Due dates for all items have been reset for May 1 and may be further extended if the situation requires it. You will not incur fines for books or other materials while the buildings are closed.

Judy Woodward, who lives in St. Anthony Park, is a reference librarian at the Roseville Library, 2180 N. Hamline Ave. The library’s general phone number is 651-724-6001.

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