K-12 Educators Newsletter: Back to school

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Hennepin County Library K12 Educators newsletter


September 2020

Library services for you and your students this school year

We know that this is a difficult year for educators and families, as many of you navigate shifting plans for the school year while prioritizing student safety and learning. This issue of the K12 Newsletter provides an overview of current library services, and subsequent issues will cover more specific resources that may be helpful for you and your classroom. 

As always, if you have additional questions, requests, or ideas, you can Ask Us via phone, email, text, or live chat with staff. Chat is available Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday noon-5 p.m.

Find current service information on our website. 

Current in-person services

Plymouth library

As part of the reopening plan, some libraries are currently accommodating short in-person visits at our "Grab and Go" and Computer Use by Appointment locations.

Grab and Go

When you visit a Grab and Go location, it will look and feel different from an ordinary library visit. Pandemic precautions limit our ability to be a space for gathering, and we are limiting the total number of patrons and staff inside each building to allow physical distancing. If a library meets its capacity limit, patrons may be asked to wait outside until other patrons have departed. All visitors to Hennepin County buildings are required to wear face coverings.

Grab and Go services include:

  • Retrieving of holds
  • Limited browsing of materials
  • Checking out items
  • Quick reference support
  • Returning of library materials
  • Getting a library card
  • Computer use (appointments are recommended)

Meeting rooms, study rooms, children’s play areas, and lounges will not be available for use at this time.

Computer Use by Appointment

Additional locations have computers available by appointment

  • Call a library offering computer use to make an appointment.
  • If you are visiting a library offering computer use only, the front door may be locked, but staff will be ready to let you in at your appointment time.

Same-day appointments may be available at some locations, including instant appointments. Call your library to confirm availability.


Live online tutoring through HelpNow

With an Internet connection, students have access to HelpNow, an online service staffed by live tutors each day, 1-11 p.m. Students will need a library card to access this service - if they have forgotten their account information or need a new library card, they can Ask Us

screenshot of Help Now tutoring service

A screenshot of the HelpNow SkillSurfer feature

Just select the grade level and subject matter, and get connected to a live tutor through the chat right away! Spanish-speaking tutors are also available. 

HelpNow Writing Lab

Students can also submit their essays on HelpNow and get feedback within one to two days. Select "Writing Lab" on the left-hand menu, create a username and password (no email required), and attach the document for feedback.

Talk to library staff in Spanish, Hmong, and Somali

Students and families who are more comfortable speaking with library staff in Spanish, Hmong, or Somali can contact staff by texting or calling the following numbers:


Questions? Ask Us

You can Ask Us your questions via phone, email, text, or live chat with staff. Chat is available Monday-Thursday 9-9, Friday-Saturday 9-5, and Sunday 12-5. 

Contact us



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