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Summer reading redesigned for COVID-19

By Chelsea Childers
Rowan Public Library

This summer reading program, Imagine Your Story, will be different at Rowan Public Library due to the modifications in library operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. In past years, I would be preparing a Summer Reading Program to perform live in front of hundreds of children. These past several weeks have been a learning process for me as I have been recording story times for online viewing. While this might seem like it would be easier, many of us in the children’s department have taken this technological challenge head on  and built something different and out of our comfort zones. All of our staff members have come up with brilliant ideas to empower the children of Rowan County with knowledge.

While many of us within the county who are teleworking are familiar with the difficulties of life at home while watching webinars and attending Zoom meetings, the challenge of technology is not an obstacle for us at RPL in this case. Many of our staff have been taking online courses in video production, in order to get these precious story times to you! The Summer Reading Program at the Rowan Public Library is vitally important because it gives our children an opportunity to learn over the summer when school is out. 

“Kids can stagnate in their learning process during the summer. Summer reading programs are important because it helps the children continue their learning. Not only reading, but math is equally important.” – Robert Jones

Our experience with summer reading during this time was altered without performing in front of children. It has been a challenge, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun! What makes this summer unique is that everyone’s story time is different. Aida animated books, Robert had a mini movie and did stand up storytelling with a flannel board, and I played with dolls in a stop motion animation video. We all performed songs using props. Many of us have been filming these story times inside our homes, the library, or even outside! Across the three branches, all of us have put in many hours in order to ensure that we could provide our quality programs for the children of Rowan County. We love our jobs so much because we work with children and we still wanted to give them something, at a distance.

Chelsea Childers is the children’s outreach program supervisor at the Rowan Public Library.


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