The Mebane Public Library has a summer full of outdoor events on the library lawn for local children beginning on June 13.
In June, the library will host the following events: Outdoor Yoga Storytime on June 13 at 10:30 a.m. on the library lawn (registration required); a Teen Advisory Group Meeting at Holt Street Park on June 14 at 4:00 p.m.; and Outdoor Crafting at Holt Street Park on June 16 at 11:00 a.m. June 13 is the beginning of Alamance County Public Libraries’ Summer Reading Program, as well.
The library will also begin evening Zoom Storytimes starting June 24. Registration is required to attend any Zoom event the library holds.
When the pandemic began, the library began holding all its events virtually. The summer events will be the first in-person since March 2020.
The library was rather successful with the virtual events they held, and pivoted to online quickly, even though that was a challenge for some staff.
“For a staff that many of us weren't tech savvy when it came to doing video programming, it was seeing who was comfortable in front of the camera,” Amy Segposyan, Children’s Library assistant, said. “We were all working from home, so we had to figure out lighting and all of that and the best way to do it. We did offer it all online at first, and we got a lot of help from talking to other libraries and seeing what was working for them or what they were trying.”
Most of the early online events were through Facebook Live and, even though their virtual events were successful, as time wore on, library staff began noticing they were developing fatigue, along with children and their parents.
“After a while, there was burnout from the public just being online for everything and a lot of parents just didn't want to really do it that way anymore,” Segposyan said. “There was burnout from staff, just because you're talking to yourself, instead of the interaction with the kids, which is a big part of it.”
So, in February, the library began Zoom Storytimes, which allowed children and staff to interact with each other, unlike the events held on Facebook Live.
The library was also able to continue the Awesome Readers Book Club, for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, online throughout the pandemic.
However, the library has also come up with innovative ways to keep children engaged and away from a screen. One of those ways have been take-and-make packets that’re given out every two weeks.
“There was a theme, but each of the libraries do their own thing, and that was really where we had activities that could be translated to work at home,” Segposyan said. “Everything they needed, from glue sticks to crayons and everything, especially in the beginning, were supplied as they needed, if they didn't need those anymore then we didn't have them in their kit.”
June 14 through July 30, the take-and-make packet theme will be Butterfly Corner. And, now that Covid restrictions are being eased, kids will have the opportunity to work on the packets with other children at the park.
“We've been pretty successful with our take-and-make packets that we've done throughout the whole pandemic,” Segposyan sais. “We're just translating those to having them outdoors, sometimes, so that is going to be the outdoor crafting at Holt Street Park.”
The first outdoor crafting even will be held June 16 at 11:00 a.m.
Stay tuned throughout the summer for more children’s events the Mebane Public Library will be offering.