Library programming ongoing via internet

The Finney County Public Library may be closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the staff is still hard at work bringing programs to the community.


Pam Tuller, executive director of the library, said everyone at the library has been keeping busy and are trying hard to keep the community involved in the library’s programming.


“We want to make sure that the library is right there the first thing they think of when they want something fun to do, to go see what the library has,” she said. “We’re trying to stay as relevant as we can in this completely virtual and digital world at this moment.”


Tuller said there is programming for everyone of every age group.


For the zero to five year old age group they have Wee Reader Online Story Time, which is basically the same as the Wee Reader program they have when the library is open, they read simple story books for young children.


Emily Biernacki, who runs the zero to five year old programming, said she averages about 60 to 70 video views.


“We have had parents send us the cutest pictures of their children watching story time at home,” she said.


For the six to seven year old age group they read simple chapter books, Tuller said. They started with the Magic Tree House series and are moving on to other books.


For the 10 to 12 year old age group they have the Chapter Book Read-O-Loud, where they read more difficult chapter books, they read a couple chapters per say.


So far they have read Holes and Matilda.


Calli Villanueva, the program director for the six to 12 year old reading programs said the patrons control what they read through the comments or voting via polls.


She lets them know about the activities that go along with the books and/or if there is a movie version of the book.


The programs average about 10 watches per video.


“My age group is difficult to reach because even though school is no longer in person for us, they still are in school virtually for most of the day,” she said. “I am also researching some videos to film with my 4-year-old and I will share those activities virtually with patrons. She's my biggest fan.”


Tuller said they have gotten permission from the publishers and authors to post recordings of the Read-o-Loud’s on Facebook.


They used to read them live and then delete them, but now because they have gotten consent to keep them up people just have to join the Facebook group and they can listen to the recordings.


“If a kid misses a day of Matilda, they can go back and catch up,” she said. “The publishers have been so great and generous with allowing us to do that.”


The teen age group has something called Reality Check, Tuller said. It gives them the “opportunity to take a break from life and do something fun.”


They do crafts using things that can be found inside the home — cardboard boxes, paper towel tubes, etc.


There is another program called Outside the Lines, where they work on learning how to write stories, Tuller said. Teens can submit a story they’ve written and the program director will give suggestions.


There is also programming for adults, Tuller said. The programs they have are Armchair Travel, Pen & Paper and Reading Cafe.


Tuller said Armchair Travel is where they post a schedule of virtual outings for things like museums, concerts, aquariums, national parks, etc.


“We try to corral all those into a place where you can find them,” she said. “We have some resources available also where you can go find some of these things.”


Pen & Paper is where three writing prompts are given a week and people can submit their work to Facebook either for one of the prompts of something that incorporates all three, Tuller said.


Reading Cafe is like a book club, but because they can’t all have the same book, they vote to choose a genre for each month.


“Everybody reads their own book and then they can review it,” she said.


Eren Jiminez who runs the adult programming, said the virtual attendance for the adult programs has been positive, they average 90-200 views and have received positive feedback from the patrons.


“Being a library, we used the days following the stay-at-home order to inform people about COVID-19 in hopes of keeping our community safe,” she said. “Now with more people being better informed we are working toward developing fun activities for patrons that are at home or still working so that they have something to look forward to at the end of the day.”


For more information on the library’s programming go to the library’s website, finneylibrary.org and their Facebook page, facebook.com/FinneyCountyPublicLibrary/.