As parents and kids are finally getting used to the idea of working and “attending” school from home, families are searching for activities to keep themselves busy – and sane. Luckily, parents don’t have to look far, as local libraries offer families a wealth of resources for learning, experimenting and reading new books.
The Scottsdale Public Library has a virtual storytime program called Virtual Little Libros, where kids can join in with local librarians as they read and act out scenes from books.
“We are Facebook streaming storytimes and Books to Boogie programming so kiddos can see their favorite library staff and enjoy the fun without being in a library building,” Library Director Kira Peters said.
There are links to other read-along book sites. There’s also a section called “Learn Something New,” where kids can follow the links to sites like Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. Kids can watch each episode and create their photos, then share them on social media.
There are various podcasts, YouTube channels, and educational resources for both kids and parents.
The library’s call center is open to help people with general questions. Another feature is the Ask a Librarian On-Line, where guests can input a question to a librarian. Folks can also take advantage of the drive-through window service, where physical library materials can be picked up while maintaining an appropriate distance.
At the beginning of April, the library had 2,322 items put on hold, and 1,973 cars came through the drive-through windows to pick up.
“People from all demographics are working hard at staying home to stop the spread of the Coronavirus,” Peters said. “People are looking for more than toilet paper. They are looking for an escape, looking for entertainment, looking for news; they need fresh reading material for their kids; they are looking for their library, and Scottsdale Public is here and ready to safely serve during this community challenge of COVID-19.”
At the Phoenix Public Library website, kids and parents can find online storytimes, educational resources and Kanopy Kids, which is a wealth of fun and instructional videos that kids can watch.
For teens, there is the Student HQ, where kids can keep up with current events, read biographies or find resources for literature. There’s also a section dedicated to learning a new language, getting ready for college and Flipster, where kids can read the most recent editions of various magazines.