Accessing Penn Library Publications
Ellen Iwamoto, APPC-V

This Penn Library plugin/tool allows you to read publications Penn libraries subscribes to that might otherwise have a paywall, while you’re off-campus. Examples: The Economist, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal. (Notably absent: NY Times and Washington Post.)

An Urban Oasis
Karen Riley, APPC-V

My little urban patio/break spot. Enjoying it more than ever with all this time spent at home.

Going Places
Ellen Iwamoto, APPC-V

One favorite vacation: Yosemite National Park

Where I want to go: Pick a place, any place.

Playing Games With Friends
Monica Czuczman, APPC-V

On the weekends, my friends and I get together online (we use Discord, but you can also use Zoom or Google Video). Here are our two favorite free online games to play as a group:

We usually start our game nights with, a simple, but fun drawing game (reminiscent of early 2000 online games). Have one person click “create a private room” to get the URL link to share with the group. One of our house rules is to avoid writing words and letters, except for logos.

Then we venture off to more challenging games, like this online version of Codenames. This version is 100% free and was created by a friend! If you like team based, strategic word games, I think you’d like Codenames.


Fun and Free!
Ellen Iwamoto, APPC-V

Who doesn’t love freebies?! If you’re looking for something to do, here are some ideas that won’t cost you a penny:

If you want to do digital jigsaw puzzles:
There are six free ones here using images from the Smithsonian Library. They may be customized for any skill set, and you can download other images and create your own. Also check out Jigsaw Explorer for more puzzles.

If you want to color:
This Library of Congress site lets you print and color images from its collection: This link is Japanese woodblock prints. Go here for more family fun resources from the Library of Congress.

If you’re looking for a book:
Overdrive is a free app to check out ebooks and audiobooks for free You can use your own library card or register for a digital one. And here are a few recommendations from moi:
A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell: A biography of American Virginia Hall, who was one of the most important spies for Britain in Nazi-occupied France. Despite a prosthetic leg and her superiors’ sexist notions, she was incredibly successful laying the groundwork for the eventual liberation of France during World War II while evading the Nazis who were hunting her.
Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson: For mystery lovers, particularly Agatha Christie fans. A fast read.
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner: A novel about sisterhood that spans 65 years.  

If you want to visit a Philadelphia museum:
The Mutter Museum offers a virtual tour.

The Museum of the American Revolution has a virtual field trip with activities for kids.

If you want to play card games with far-flung friends and family members:
Trickster Cards: My friend plays Hearts and other card games with her family and friends on the weekends. She recommends this site.

New Resident (Wanna-Be Pet?) Getting the Boot
Daniel Corkery, APPC-V

It seems a squirrel has gotten into our walls, and our house is crowded enough as it is, so one of us must go. I reached up with my phone to try to take a picture for the exterminator and somehow caught the squirrel in the act.

A Visitor Brings Smiles
Lana Xu, APPC-V

Our dog niece Harper just paid us a visit (her Mom, my sister-in-law, Eve Nora, maintained social distance!).

A Good News Story!
Lori Robertson, APPC-V

This is Silver, who is sporting a new “cancer survivor” bandanna. Silver had his final chemo treatment on May 1, and the x-ray and ultrasound showed no sign of cancer. He had a hemangiosarcoma tumor removed in January. He’s doing great! And he’s the best part about working from home. 

Cat Communication Specialists
Michael Rozansky, APPC-V

#mynewcoworkers Izzy and Bella, sisters adopted from a rescue a year and a half ago. Izzy’s a lap cat – she spends the evenings kneading and chewing on the knees of our clothes until she’s exhausted, then falls asleep. Bella, her shyer sister, has one trick – she can fetch a squishy ball and drop it near your feet.


Four-legged FactChecker: ‘What I Put Up With’
Robert Farley, APPC-V

This is Suzie, who has rarely been more than 3 feet away from me for a month and a half, and has likely grown tired of this kind of abuse.