School Dazed and Confused? Let the Library Help.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

NOTE: Some of this content may have changed as of January 25, 2022.

Educational Resources

The start of the 2020 school year finds parents, educators, and students in new territory due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, the Library offers a variety of free educational resources to aid with everything from homework help to online learning; this year as a result of the challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve also launched new programs and expanded access to existing services aimed at helping our community.  

“Much has been written and discussed about school looking very different this fall,” says Crystal Faris, the Library’s Director of Youth & Family Engagement. “And yet, your Library continues to support each student, each family, and each educator in the learning process. Check out these resources available to you and trust that your Library is here to help in whatever way school is happening for you.” 


Have questions or need help?  

Get a Library Card, Get Instant Access 

Now it's easier than ever to access the Library’s digital resources, thanks to expanded card availability for children under the age of 13. As of August 2020, children of all ages can register for a card online and instantly access eBooks, digital audiobooks, streaming movies and TV, and more.
Students attending Kansas City Public Schools can use their school I.D. as their Kansas City Public Library card. The number will be KCPS00xxxxxxx (student's unique school I.D.) + 8-digit PIN (student's birthday).

Need Internet Access? Borrow it from the Library. 

Many families are now in need of reliable home internet in order for kids to be able to join in the virtual classroom or work on assignments. The Library’s new, free Internet to Go service gives you a way to enjoy online access from nearly anywhere using a portable tool that let you wirelessly connect your laptop computers, smartphones, or tablets. Reserve a Wi-Fi hotspot kit today.  Read more about the service >


Homework Help & Resources

BrainFuse’s homework help and free live tutoring is available for all ages and all grade levels every day from 2-11 p.m. 


How Do I Check Out Library Materials During the Pandemic?  

Borrowing physical books, CDs, or DVDs 
The Library's buildings are not fully open to the public due to COVID-19, but our Pop In / Pick Up holds service offers a safe, easy, and contact-free way for you to borrow physical books, DVDs, and CDs. Available at all Library locations; service hours vary.  

Check out eBooks and other digital materials 
Using your library card, you can access the Library’s wide collection of digital resources – including many educational services, apps, or online tools. Here are a few that can prove handy for the at-home learning environment.  

  • Kanopy Kids highlights youth films and TV series that help children develop empathy, mindfulness, and self-esteem through entertaining and educational videos. Includes age-based ratings from Common Sense Media, as well as additional parental controls. 

  • Bookflix is a digital literacy resource that pairs more than 120 animated stories from Weston Woods with a best-selling nonfiction eBook from Scholastic on a similar subject.  

  • hoopla offers thousands of movies, TV shows, music, digital audiobooks, eBooks, and digital comic books for free – no holds needed, no waiting. All you need is a library card and a web browser, phone, or tablet. 

  • OverDrive and its Libby app offer large digital collections for kids and teens. Browse, check out, download, and stream tens of thousands of eBooks and audiobooks with your library card. Link cards from multiple libraries, sync positions, bookmarks, and notes across your devices.  

  • TumbleBook Library offers online narrated children's books, complete with sound and moving images. Related services include: TeenBookCloud (grades 7-12) and TumbleMath (grades K-6).


Library Provides Shelf Help 

In addition to the Library’s existing Shelf Help reading recommendation services, this year we’ve launched Family Shelf Help, which gives parents and caregivers an assist finding great reads for kids. And for patrons who can’t reliably access our online catalog, our staff can lend a hand by reserving books, CDs, and DVDs on your behalf so you can check them out. Just give us a call!  

Phone Shelf Help: Family: 816.701.3597  | Adults: 816.701.3596   


Fall Kids Café Sessions 

Free Kids Café meals for children ages 1-18 will be available this fall Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Library’s Southeast, Trails WestWaldo, and Bluford branches. 


Youth Ghost Story Contest 

Do you like stories about haunted houses and supernatural encounters? The Library wants you to write your own urban myth or ghost story as part of the Youth Short Ghost Story Contest. If your story scares us enough, we’ll produce it into a spooky video that will feature on the Youth & Family Engagement YouTube channel around Halloween. Get details on how to participate!


Youth & Family Engagement on YouTube 

Follow the KC Library Youth channel on YouTube and tune in for videos featuring STEAM experiments, book talks, yoga adventures, comics drawing, and more!