The doors of the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library may be closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the programming is continuing on.
Regular programming, such as story time, has been replaced with a virtual equivalent hosted through the library’s social media platforms.
“We’re looking for ways to still be able to reach our community members and engage with those kids who come to story time every week, sometimes twice a week,” said Corrie Brown, programmer at the library.
Live Stories with Miss Corrie is held every Tuesday and Friday morning at 10:30 via Facebook Live.
Brown explained the live story times seemed to be the most logical program to start with as it is fairly simple to do.
All it takes is getting permission form publishers and authors to read their stories, which Brown adds, is something the publishing houses and authors have been very supportive of.
“We’ve had really, really good response to it so far,” Brown said in a phone interview. “Our first video… we were able to reach almost 1,000 people just with that one video.”
She says continuing to provide the programming and engaging these kids for the 30 to 40 minutes brings a sense of normalcy into the kid’s and parent’s lives.
“It helps us still feel connected to them and it just allows us to keep promoting literacy even though our physical doors are closed,” commented Brown.
To oblige to publisher rules the videos are being taken down when a new one is posted, for example, Tuesday’s story time video will be removed after the live on Friday morning.
Additionally, several other programs will be and are making their digital debut.
On March 25 the library launched a virtual anime club for the regular after school kids. This program will run every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
The program had everyone use the Chrome app “Netflix Party” as they watched a show together and connect through the chat feature.
An online photo exhibit is launching March 27 which will have people at home participate by posting pictures online using #SylvanLakePhotoWalk.
Photos will feature what Sylvan Lake looks like to you and can be taken inside your home or while out on a social distancing walk.
Weekly spotlights will also be posted onto the library’s Facebook Page and website. Submissions can also be made to be considered for an in-house exhibit once the doors re-open.
Boredom Buster blogs are also being posted daily to help inspire at-home activities.
W’re also looking to do some of our book clubs online, we’ve had some requests to do our mystery book club virtually and our Bring Your Own Book club as well, so we’re looking at some conference platforms,” said Brown, adding a poetry project is also in the works for April.
On top of all the programming all the library’s usual digital resources are available, as well as some new temporary resources.
A person must be a member to access these materials, but there is a procedure in place to renew or sign up over the phone.
The library can be reached anytime between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday by phone or social media.
“If they need any help connecting with any of our digital resources we can walk them through how we do that,” said Brown. “People can get in touch with us in a variety of ways if they need any help or have any questions.”