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Staying Entertained At Home: Online Edition

The Hopkinton Public Library has aggregated the following resources in order to help residents educate and entertain themselves while the library is closed. All of the resources linked are free. Some resources are provided through the library and may require the use of an up-to-date library card.

These resources are for crafts, games, and activities that can be used online. Many of them include videos, livestreams, books, and more. If you're looking for offline activities, check out our Staying Entertained At Home: Offline Edition page.

If you have questions please contact us at 508-497-9777 or email us at

Library E-Services

These resources are provided for free through the Hopkinton Public Library. Many of these require an up-to-date library card. If you have trouble accessing these resources, call the Hopkinton Public Library at 508-497-9777 and leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also email us at or use our Ask-A-Librarian chat service by clicking on the blue "Ask A Librarian" speech bubble on our Homepage.

Overdrive can be used on computers, tablets, smartphones, kindles and more to access free books from the library. Download the Libby app for Android or the Libby app for Apple for the best results on tablets and smartphones. You can get help with Overdrive and Libby on the Help Site. Hopkinton Public Library librarians can offer limited support over the phone at 508-497-9777.

The library subscribes to multiple e-newspaper databases. Links to these are available on our Newspapers page.

The library subscribes to a variety of databases covering a wide range of topics. These are available on our Online Resources page.

The Boston Public Library offers an e-card which you can register for online for free. A library card number is emailed to you, and is activated immediately. You can use this to stream music and videos, read e-books, and access databases for free through the Boston Public Library. Visit the BPL's E-Cards page for more information and to register or renew your card.

Get Involved

Reach out to the local food pantry, Feeding America, Feed the Children, No Kid Hungry, or Meals on Wheels to make cash donations or donations of food or supplies. Contact them in advance or check their websites to ensure that your donation will make the greatest impact.

The American Red Cross still needs blood donations, but has temporarily stopped doing blood drives. Click the link to make an appointment.

Donate to the CDC to help them continue to support research and development.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy Covid-19 response fund is taking donations to equip healthcare workers with protective gear and support quarantined individuals. Direct Relief is doing the same, both nationally and internationally.

While it's important to donate locally and help with the pandemic emergency, folks at home can also take advantage of free time to help out with more long-term projects as well.

Zooniverse is a citizen science initiative that allows non-scientists to contribute meaningfully to real scientific research. Spend half an hour marking stars, categorizing microbes, or mapping kelp fields, and help a scientist discover new planets, find a cure for a disease, or map the effect of global warming on oceans. You can also do citizen science for state and federal projects.

Newberry is seeking help transcribing old documents like letters and diaries from westward expansion, American Indians, and homesteading. Read about their transcription guidelines, then pick a project and get typing!

If listening is more your style than reading, the New York Public Library is seeking help in transcribing its oral histories.

The Smithsonian needs help transcribing everything from Astronaut Sally Ride's papers to Japanese internment diaries.

The National Archives, of course, has reams of dusty papers no one has looked at in ages. Transcribe a court case brought against Charlie Chaplin or Award Cards for soldiers awarded the Purple Heart.

The Library of Congress is looking for help transcribing documents from Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, and Clara Barton.

Educational Resources for Students and Children

School Library Journal has a list of educational resources that are available online for free.

The Massachusetts Library System has guides on educational resources and ways to destress.

There are many websites that teach computer coding or coding concepts for free. Some of the most popular have been aggregated by Childhood101.

Many universities and organizations offer free courses online, and a few others are offering free resources during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Khan Academy offers free classes for students in a variety of subjects. This requires a free account.
  • E-learning for Kids has games that strengthen skills in math, science, computer skills, and more.
  • Scholastic is offering free access to materials during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • edX offers free courses from schools like Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley.

Use PlotGenerator or Seventh Sanctum to generate writing ideas, character names, and more.

How Stuff Works has lots of great articles on... well, how stuff works. Lots of great engineering and STEM questions answered!

Kids 3-6 can do pre-kindergarten prep with Miss Humblebee's Academy. The password is "open".

Are you a scientist who wants to talk to kids? Are you a kid who wants to talk to a scientist? Skype A Scientist is for you!

Time Magazine for Kids is free until the end of the school year.

A Professor at Carnegie Mellon is offering Online Math Classes for students and adults who want to brush up on their math skills.

World Book Online has a variety of distance learning tools and resources for educators and parents alike.

Brush up on your typing skills with or

Netflix is offering some free educational videos on their Youtube Channel.

Mary Pope Osborne, the author of the Magic Treehouse Series is offering videos, activities, and more.

Learn how to trace your ancestry with these essential resources from

Fun Resources for Everyone

Libraries all over the state are running virtual programs for kids, teens and adults. Find something on a computer near you at

Our library website already has a list of fun, free, educational websites for kids!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has livestreams of its jellyfish tank, coral reef tank, kelp forest tank, and more! If you're looking for a fluffier screen-buddy, the Smithsonian National Zoo is proud to present to you its Panda Cam. Not sure what you're craving right now? has a variety of animal (or zen-inducing landscape!) livestreams you can channel-surf until you find something that satisfies.

Sporcle is a great trivia quiz site with hundreds of quizzes and puzzles.

You can play Madlibs on your phone for free! 21 free stories are included in the app.

Public programming can be fun too! HCAM, our local station, is playing binge-worthy community favorites. They're taking requests!

National Geographic has jigsaw puzzles and more.

PBS Kids has fun games for kids of all ages. We won't tell if Mom or Dad chills out with these for a few minutes, either.

Fun Brain has a variety of interesting games.

Watch independently produced films on American folklife courtesy of Folkstreams.

If you're anything like me, there's only so much Peppa Pig or Sesame Street you can take. Enter this great list of great podcasts for kids and adults to listen to together! Bonus: while podcasts are technology-based, they're not screen-based!

Looking for something a little more highbrow? NPR has pulled together a list of appropriately adult things that are free that didn't used to be. Scratch your theatre, music, fitness, or sports itch here! The UK's National Theatre is also offering some of their shows for free! If Opera's more your thing, the Metropolitan Opera Guild is offering a free course on reading musical scores.

Amazon is streaming a variety of free TV shows for kids!

Harry Potter At Home. Need I say more?

DC Comics' DC Kids Camp is offering an activity program featuring interactive videos, coloring pages, and book previews.

Escape rooms online? That's right! Escape the Art Gallery or test your Star Wars knowledge and find BB8 before Kylo Ren does!

Books and Authors Online

Read free ebooks online from the International Children's Digital Library.

Mo Willems, the author of the Pigeon books and of the Elephant and Piggie books, is doing Lunch Doodles daily from his studio! has a list of libraries that have scans of books, maps, and more, including original Mozart manuscripts from Harvard and the original draft of "Alice In Wonderland" from the Bodleian Library in England.

The Story Preservation Initiative offers recorded fiction and nonfiction told by master storytellers.

A variety of Children's authors are collaborating on Authors Everywhere, which includes storytimes, art demos, activities and more.

The Junior Library Guild has made tons of ebooks and more free on their website. Be sure to use the login appropriate for your child's age group!

Search #OperationStorytime for videos of famous authors reading their books!

If you miss getting Bookpage's reviews and publication notices, you can sign up for Bookpage Email Newsletters to keep up to date on all your favorite genres!

Listen to a story every day from Oliver Jeffers, the illustrator of "The Day The Crayons Quit."

PBS Kids' Facebook Page has a variety of activities, including storytimes with Michelle Obama. She's not as good as our Mrs. C, but we think she does a pretty good storytime too.

Museums and Archives Online

Many museums are offering virtual tours while closed. Find out more with Travel and Leisure.

Miss the stacks? You can visit world-class libraries virtually online!

Take 11 free field trips with School Library Journal.