Library Summer Reading Program is going virtual this year

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By Rachel Auberger

White County Public Library has been hosting popular, engaging, educational, and entertaining Summer Reading Programs for over two decades, but this year’s program will have some new twists.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the safety measures that have been put in place to protect the library’s patrons, hosting the traditional Summer Reading Program, which typically has over 100 children attend and numerous teens and adults as well, is not realistic for the county librarians. Not wanting to break the tradition of summers full of reading fun, White County Public Library will be taking this year’s program, whose theme is “Imagine Your Story,” online.

“We’re excited to offer these services,” Librarian Cathy Farley said about the program, which will be posting videos to the library’s Facebook Page daily over the next month. ”Kudos to the staff members here for learning new ways to reach and serve our community.”

The “Imagine Your Story” Summer Reading Program is set to kick off in June, with five series of videos - one for each day of the week (excluding weekends).

Mondays are “Southern Storytelling,” and participants are encouraged to get comfortable and be ready to smile as storyteller John McCord weaves some yarns. His stories will entertain listeners as he tells all about growing up in Alabama, family, friends, and happenings along the way.

Teen Tuesdays will feature Mrs. Julie, teen librarian, as she gathers friends to talk about books, make some projects and have fun together.

Wednesdays will feature the library’s own traveling Puppet Show singing a new song each week. Participants should be prepared to sing along to their old favorites and enjoy learning some new songs as well.

Thursdays are when the Children’s Program portion of the Summer Reading Program historically meets, so, keeping with that tradition, a line-up of live-stream entertainers has been reserved, along with Mrs. Dana, children’s librarian, leading a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) story time and activity some weeks.

Fridays this summer are going to feature the all new “Hey, I Know You!” segment in which library staff conducts interviews with “interesting, local folks.”

Along with the regularly-scheduled videos, the library hopes to add in some “Crafts with Jimmy” and other bonus videos throughout the summer.

“Keep in mind, we are not professional video people,” their website jokingly claims. “We are librarians doing our best to serve our wonderful community in trying times.”

Those wishing to participate are encouraged to sign up for the Summer Reading Program and fill out a short questionnaire to help the staff better prepare and reach as many community members as possible. The form can be found by clicking here.

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