Altadena Libraries Support Local Students and Teachers with Back-to-School Resources

Article and Photo courtesy of ALTADENA LIBRARY DISTRICT
Published on Aug 28, 2020

Students, families, and teachers face new challenges at the start of the 2020 school year with many local schools opting for distanced learning due to COVID-19. After months of distanced learning in the spring, projections out of Brown University’s Annenberg Institute suggest that students will return to school this fall with “approximately 63-68% of the learning gains in reading relative to a typical school year and with 37-50% of the learning gains in math,” (Kuhfeld et al., 2020). The Altadena Libraries are here to help local students with needed support and resources to enhance their at-home school experience and supplement their online learning.

Starting in September, the libraries’ popular weekly Homework Helpers program will return in a virtual format on Tuesday afternoons from 4:00-5:30 p.m., connecting Children’s Department staff and teen volunteers with students in kindergarten through 8th grade for general homework assistance. The schedule and event registration information can be found at Other fall programs for students are in development that will provide free kits with at-home activities tied to age-specific learning objectives.

For subject-specific tutoring, library cardholders have free access to Brainfuse, an online platform with live tutoring daily from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. PDT, virtual flashcards, quizzes, and other study tools for a variety of subjects. Students can access Brainfuse at, as well as several online databases for students in elementary through high school with credible sources for a wide breadth of research topics. Included in the free resources on the Databases page is a link for free daily access to the New York Times online.

“We acknowledge that this new way of learning and teaching is an adjustment for all, and we are adapting how we support our community accordingly,” said District Director Nikki Winslow. “The Altadena Library District is a reliable resource for families, students, and teachers through our online supplementary offerings available around the clock and curbside services!”

Through curbside service, students and teachers alike have access to the diverse collection of printed materials available at the Altadena Libraries, and through the newly launched Library of Things, cardholders with accounts in good standing can now check out mobile Wi-Fi hotspots and laptops to take home. Readers who prefer digital reading formats also have access to a virtual library of hundreds of thousands of titles through cloudLibrary, hoopla, Flipster, enki, and more. The full list of ebook and streaming platforms accessible with an Altadena Library card can be found at

Don’t have a library card and want quick access to the above digital resources? Sign up for a temporary e-card in the online catalog at by clicking “Register here” under the login fields on the right. E-cardholders can get full access to the physical collection by calling (626) 798-0833 to schedule a curbside appointment to pick up their permanent library card.

For over 90 years, the Altadena Library District has been bringing people and ideas together for an Altadena where all are learning, growing, and thriving together. More information about Altadena Library District and its back-to-school resources is available at To take a brief survey to help shape the Altadena Libraries’ curbside service and online offerings, visit

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