Harlingen Happenings

By Mary Torres, Special to the Star

The Harlingen Public Library has modified its services to protect community health while continuing to serve as the source for entertainment, personal growth and inspiration during the challenging times caused by COVID-19. Since its re-opening on May 1, library staff has been working hard to create opportunities for people to connect with information and each other. The library is now offering contactless curbside pickup, virtual programs, and digital resources that allow access to cardholders from the safety of their homes.

Contactless Curbside Pickup is available for library materials Monday through Thursday from 10-6 and Friday from 10-5.  Cardholders can browse the online catalog at

https://harlingen.biblionix.com/catalog/ then log in with their library card number and phone number at the top right side of the page. They can search for items to check out and click “reserve this item.”  The library will notify them when the items are ready for pickup.  When picking up, they will pull into the circle drive, call the library, and pop their trunks for delivery.

Also, to help keep everyone safe this summer, all library programming is now offered virtually until further notice.  For the most up-to-date list of virtual programs and information on how to participate, visit: https://harlingenlibrary.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/harlingenlibrary/.

The summer reading program is also virtual.  Parents can make an account for the whole family on the library’s Beanstack site and each child can digitally track their progress toward the reading goals assigned.  Along the way, kids earn a few small prizes as well as tickets they can enter into a drawing for a bigger prize.  To get started go to  harlingenlibrary.beanstack.org or download the Beanstack app. Adults can also participate in the summer reading challenge and register through Beanstack.  Signups began July 1 and the program runs through September 1. Twenty hours of reading and submitted reviews will automatically enter participants in end-of-summer drawings for prizes.

From the safety of their homes, cardholders can also access a wide variety of digital resources.  The library has thousands of eBooks, audiobooks, comics, magazines, and the Valley Morning Star Digital Archives. The library’s most popular eBook, audiobook, and digital magazine services are Libby and Digital.  Cardholders can also use the library’s databases to find up-to-date information from highly regarded professional journals, test prep materials, genealogy resources, and more.  One of the library’s databases, Reference USA, a resource for market research, small businesses, and job hunting, may be especially useful to the community at this time.

The City of Harlingen encourages everyone to stay home as much as possible this summer and use the methods described above to engage with the library.  However, if you must go to the library, a mask or facial covering is required for everyone five years of age and older.

The City’s number one priority is the health of the community as well as providing everyone with quality service. Since accessibility to City buildings and facilities is subject to change during the pandemic, check the library’s website for updated information before planning a visit.

Time is running out to register for the National Genealogical Society’s six International and Ethnic workshops on German, Hispanic, Irish, Italian, Native American, and Swedish heritages, respectively. The sessions, hosted by the National Genealogical Society and Family Search will be presented live online between July 14 and 17. Each will be two hours in length. Research specialists from the world-renowned Family History Library will conduct the workshops. Several moderators will assist with the Q&A portion of each workshop as well as with technical questions. Prior to each workshop, registrants will receive an electronic handout. Event moderators and NGS staff will assist anyone who is unsure about how to participate in the virtual workshops. Each workshop costs $35 and registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, 7 July. Visit https://ngsgenealolgy.org. to learn more about the workshops and register.