Life & English: Librarians find creative ways to serve kids

In 2020 and 2021, camp ideas seemed unlikely due to the spread of COVID-19. That did not stop St. Louis libraries, though. They did not cancel their programs. They brought camp into kids' homes. Children who signed up for ukulele camp got a beginner's book, instructional video and a ukulele in the mail. It was all free. In addition, camp sessions still went on. Camp leaders met with kids over video calls. Joe Monahan runs the kids programs for the St. Louis libraries. He said 70 camps were scheduled at first. Some were dropped but 54 were still held online. "We had to scramble" to do the camps, Monahan said. However, he thinks it made a huge difference. "It made for a concrete, fun learning opportunity instead of just sitting in front of a screen," he said.

Staying Connected Through Facebook Librarians across the country are thinking creatively. They are trying to find ways to connect with kids when it is not possible for students to go to the library. The D.C. Public Library system has a page on Facebook. In many ways, its Facebook page has turned into a single library serving the whole city. Librarians across the city will host video story times on the page. The Facebook page has how-to crafts, and videos on science, technology, engineering and math. The page also has exercise classes. Something as simple as looking for a book is more difficult now because of COVID-19.

Books in a library

In Washington, libraries are required to quarantine returned books for four days. They have to wait before they can check them back in and put them on the shelves. When books are quarantined, no one handles them for a period of time. This prevents any germs on the books from spreading. For this reason, visitors are not allowed to touch books.

Book Bundles And Take-And-Makes In St. Louis and Washington, librarians have been putting together book bundles. The choices are based on genre. They might be mystery or adventure books. The bundles are available for pickup. Librarians created grab-and-go activity kits. The kits are also known as "take-and-makes." They come with instructions and craft supplies for fun at home.

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Collected & edited by QM

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