April 19-25 is National Library Week, typically a time when libraries across the Valley would be hosting all sorts on on-site celebrations and special events.
This year, of course, is different.
The theme for National Library Week 2020, “Find your place at the library,” was chosen long before anyone could imagine the emergence of a global pandemic that would force most libraries to temporarily close their physical spaces. But you can still “find your place” at the library because libraries are open for business online, providing access to ebooks, movies, music, video games, virtual story times and activities, and more.
Some Valley libraries have implemented drive-up book-drop services, deferred due dates, eliminated late fees and taken additional steps to support continued community engagement. And of course, many of our libraries offer online homework help, which is particularly important now, when all of our kids are schooling at home.
We thought we’d celebrate Valley libraries by sharing just a few examples of the creative ways our local libraries, librarians and library workers continue to serve children and families during the COVID-19 crisis.
Avondale Public Library has launched 11 a.m. Facebook Live story times on Tuesdays (with Miss Marisela) and Thursday (with Miss Brenda). And of course you can always go back to the recorded version on the library’s Facebook page to catch up. The library’s book club also is going virtual, with weekly book discussion at noon each Wednesday. This month’s selection: “Bird Box” by Josh Malerman.
Chandler Library provides weekly “High Five” tips that give parents of preschool-age children some simple ways to encourage early literacy. Typically dispersed during on-site High Five – Reading Together programs, much of that wisdom is available online, including The Five Practices you can work to incorporate into extra home time you may now have with your young child. We also liked this archived letter-recognition activity, which reinforces the differences between uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet.
Follow the library on social media to get simple tips that are fun and easy to do with children. Today’s tip reminds parents that “Children learn best by doing activities that have meaning to them” and gives you an example to try at home.
Glendale Public Library has Babytime with Miss Noelle, featuring stories and rhymes for your baby. Storytime with Miss Polly has a dog theme for animal-loving kids. And Storytime with Miss Hannah, direct from her backyard, is a music-filled storytime.
Running out of things to watch? Maricopa County Library District has added new streaming services to its digital collection: Watch British TV shows or films on Acorn TV, take world-class courses and listen to lectures on The Great Courses, watch Spanish-language TV and movies on Pongalo and enjoy your picks from 1,500 of the best-curated concerts ever filmed on Quello. All you need is a library card, which is available to any Maricopa County resident. Call 602-652-3000 to register for a card while libraries are closed.
Mesa Public Library now offers online library card registration, which grants you access to online databases and e-resources for 90 days. In compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection act, you must be 13 or older in order to complete this registration. Parents and legal caregivers may complete therequest on behalf of their children.
Phoenix Public Library is celebrating National Library Week with a “Fill the Shelves” Virtual Food Drive in partnership with St. Mary’s Food Bank. Library patrons are asked to make an online donation to help ease hunger for struggling Valley families.
“Storytimes in both English and Spanish, Tools for School, and STEM programs are being filmed and added to online collections every week,” according to Community Relations Manager Lee Franklin. Resources specifically for kids for both family friendly entertainment and to assist kids in at home learning are regularly accessible on the “Kids At Home” page and also be sure to visit Phoenix Public Library’s “Storytimes Online & More” for a “home visit” from a Phoenix Public Librarian.