Local libraries host video story times in response to coronavirus

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Area libraries are coming up with innovative ways to bring a sense of normalcy to patrons, including offering video story time. 

The Southington Public Library has made videos of Molly Virello, a children’s librarian, reading books before the coronavirus pandemic as a project for the American Library Association and the Specialized Cooperative Library Association. She called the project “Storytime Anytime.”

“The project is to do something for groups who cannot get into the library,” Virello said. “For the virus, why wouldn’t we continue to do it?” 

Other libraries have begun to produce story time videos in response to the pandemic.

The Meriden and Wallingford public libraries shot their first videos on Tuesday. 

“We’re just hoping to give parents and children an opportunity to connect with people they are familiar with and strengthen early literacy skills,” said Meg Cavicchi, head of youth services at the Meriden Public Library.

The Wallingford Public Library is having patrons stream the videos on Zoom, a video and audio conference application. 

“If people want to know, Zoom is very easy to use,” Allison Murphy, a children’s librarian said. “On our social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. We will be posting when we are doing story time and they can click on the link to join us.” 

Libraries will continue to make the videos throughout the coronavirus threat so parents and children can feel connected and so children can gain literacy and communication skills. 

“We feel so terrible about this situation,” Murphy said. “We just want to engage with our patrons.”

When the virus subsides, the Meriden and Wallingford libraries are not sure if the videos will continue. 

“Typically there are copyright rules, but rules are on furlough,” Cavicchi said. “We may continue with songs, fingerplays and rhymes, but I’m not really sure.” 

The Southington Library, however, will continue with the Story Time Anytime videos. 

“I know we will still do it for Story Time Anytime,” Virello said. “I’m not sure if we will keep doing Monday, Tuesday videos. Time will tell and we will see how popular they are. It’s trial and error.”

jsimms@record-journal.com203-317-2208Twitter: @jessica_simms99

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