Hinton Library Photo
Astrid Ramos, librarian at the Hinton Library, hosted a special guest during the April 17 edition of Storytime Live!, which takes place every Friday at 10 am on the library’s Facebook page.
The Hinton Library has prided itself as a third space – a home away from home for many and a focal point of cultural and literary programming.
Usage has increased and the library had been welcoming more visitors than ever within its four walls. But now, with the onset of the COVID pandemic, the challenge isn’t getting more people inside their four walls, but rather getting its programming and resources outside the four walls to the people.
“When it first happened and the doors were closed it was a challenge for us. It was almost like ‘what do we do now’. It was like that for a lot of people, a lot of libraries,” said Anayo Ugboma, manager of library services for the Hinton Library.
But the library has rolled with the challenge, despite more limited staff, and has seen success taking some of its programming online.
“We needed to transform programs to an online audience and we are doing what we can to offer those programs in a way that will engage our residents,” Ugboma said.
“At the end of the day our goal is to continue to promote literacy.”
The Storytime Live! sees kids of all ages join in on Facebook live as staff read stories, sing songs and recite rhymes during an online library story time held Fridays at 10 am.
The first Storytime gained 1,000 views and the second one saw an increase to 1,100 views.
“It’s been a success, really. We are happy to see the numbers continue to grow,” Ugboma said.
Another online program is the STEAM Club, which takes place Thursdays at 1 pm via Facebook live and sees staff complete science, technology, engineering, art and math experiments that can be followed at home.
Community Reads (#hintonreads) is a collaborative video project where Hintonites come together to read a story aloud. This is done via YouTube and Facebook and is uploaded every last Wednesday of the month at 9 am.
A Novel Idea Book Club holds a zoom meeting every third Wednesday of the month at 1 pm.
The library is also hosting a mid-week family movie with Netflix Viewing Party programming every other Wednesday at 12 pm. That same program is used to host an Anime Club every Tuesday at 1 pm to watch anime episodes and chat in real time.
And while the library ups its virtual game, it has also created partnerships to get some of its tangible resources out in the community.
Feed The Need To Read sees free library books available for pickup at community partner locations including Walmart, Freson Bros. Hill and Freson Bros. Valley.
“There are spaces there that we drop off baskets of books and you take it and it’s yours to keep,” said Ugboma, stating that the books that are distributed are ones that were donated for fundraising, but that have been repurposed to keep the community reading.
“The books aren’t part of the our formal collection.”
Library hours where staff are available to answer calls and monitor emails and social media are Monday to Friday from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm.
Overdue fines will not accumulate during the COVID closure, and any items on hold will remain at the library and patrons will have the opportunity to pick up their holds once the library is once again open to the public.
Library electronic resources are available with a full list of e-resources at www.hintonlibrary.org. Contact the library for more program info at (780) 865-2363.