BY TERI LYON
Even though the coronavirus pandemic has forced the Abington Community Library to close its doors temporarily, children home from school right now still have access to some of its resources.
Laura Gardoski, head of youth services, said she is enthusiastic because “the Abington Community Library is getting creative with online programming.”
“Even though we have had to close our doors, the library is still available virtually to provide information, resources and a sense of community,” Gardoski said. “We have found Facebook Live to be a good platform to connect with families and individuals who really miss our usual programming in our building. As soon as we started thinking we would have to close, we were brainstorming ideas and picking out books to take home in anticipation of providing unique and creative programming from our own homes, thanks to technology.”
Gardoski said Nancy Burke has been facilitating “a great story time full of songs rhymes and books” for children at 10:30 a.m. on weekdays.
She added that Renee Roberts has been conducting book talks for adults at 1 p.m. on weekdays. These feature favorite books available via the Libby app, which anyone can download for free and link with their library card to check out e-books and audiobooks.
Gardoski has been reading bedtime stories live for families weekdays at 7 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., a video shows Gardoski reading a couple of chapters of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which she called “a classic enjoyed by all ages,” written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake.
“All these programs are available on Facebook and can be found saved in our videos even after they are recorded live,” Gardoski said.
She noted that each weekday she’s been sharing a schedule of the day’s events at the beginning of the day on Facebook, “so people can follow us there to see what’s coming up.”
Gardoski commented, “We as a library staff are continuously keeping in touch and discussing ideas of what else we can do to provide library services while people are staying at home and staying safe.
“Look for future library programs offered on Zoom, like book clubs for teens and adults. Several more staff members will be providing video tutorials for crafts, journaling and even makeup. We have loved staying in touch with our community online and are always happy to receive messages and comments.”
“Follow us to see what we are doing and let us know how we can better serve you. Also, check out what other libraries in Lackawanna County are offering for more programs and resources,” she said. “Your libraries are a vital source of information, communication, and community during a time that can feel very isolating. Join us and get inspired to keep learning, growing and connecting.”
Gardoski said the library will consider continuing its online programming after the pandemic is over, but has not committed to that as of yet.
“We recognize we only have this much interest because people are searching for some normalcy in these very abnormal times,” Gardoski said. “But now that we’re trying Zoom and Facebook Live more, I think we will be more apt to keep going and using these platforms.”
“Now, we’re making connections that we can continue to grow in the future,” she said.