Warwick Public Library Children’s Staff Gets Creative
What Happens When Children’s Librarians Are Put on a Stay-at-Home Order?
Members of the Warwick Public Library (WPL) Children’s Department have used their natural creativity to reimagine how to deliver vital programs and services to their patrons during the coronavirus pandemic. Their revamp of the Kids Page
on the Library’s website was created by Ellen O’Brien, Children’s Department Manager, and staff members Pam Miech, Christine Kayal, Andrea Hutnak, and Corey Paul, and features several ways that children and their families can stay connected to all that WPL has to offer even while staying at home.
In addition to recorded story times and Zoom book group meetings, the Children’s Librarians have brainstormed other activities that do not revolve around screen time. The Spring Reading Program started on April 1 and uses the Beanstack reading program tool. In addition to reading, participants are encouraged to complete various activities to earn badges. So far, 303 participants of all ages have logged over 28,000 minutes of reading and activities. Participation is not limited to just Warwick residents—interested patrons from all over the state may join in.
This summer, WPL will be using Beanstack in place of its usual Summer Reading Program. Activities will include visiting various historical sites in the city, performing Daily Acts of Kindness, and finding different ways to enjoy a book, such as reading to family members or pets. Department Manager O’Brien is working with the Warwick School Department to train teachers on using Beanstack for summer learning assignments.
“Librarians are naturally resourceful and masters at finding the tools they need to provide the best possible services to patrons,” says Jana Stevenson, WPL Deputy Director. “There are many valuable resources online, but our librarians are also working to provide access to experiences offline. As we move forward to plan for a Summer Reading Program that will be like no other, I am confident the librarians of Rhode Island will provide a reprieve in a time of chaos.”