Over the past few weeks it’s safe to say we’ve all gotten our fair share of video chats going—for work, fun and even for kids. It’s been so sweet to see classroom zoom calls with kids giving the class tours of their homes and the virtual field trips offered by museums have been pretty great, too.
But one thing from many family’s weekly routines has been sorely missed: a library outing. Who has a stack of books that was due in late March that you’re still rereading?
Local libraries across the East Valley have banded together to offer up a few great resources to keep kids engaged in reading.
- Homework help
Need a break from homeschooling? Maricopa County Library District is offering one-on-one homework help for kids over the phone. Parents can “book a librarian” and they’ll give you a break from playing teacher.
- Storytime Live
For younger kids who are missing story time with their favorite librarians, Mesa and Tempe Libraries just launched a Facebook Live version on April 22. Mesa librarians record the readings in the library, giving kids a similar feel to in-person story time. What’s better, is if you miss the live version you can always replay when the timing is best for your kids.
- Curbside pickup
Not just for takeout margaritas and groceries anymore, Maricopa County libraries (that’s the Queen Creek Library and Gilbert Library) are fulfilling hold requests (up to 20 books) as of April 22 curbside. Patrons simply pull up to a library parking space, call to check-in and pop their trunk, where libraries will load up new reads for the whole family.
- Screen time, but bookish
Looking for a hybrid of books and screen time? Mesa Libraries offers free access to TumbleBooks, which are animated, talking online picture books for children. Because we all are in agreement that screen time limits went out the window weeks ago.
- LEGO challenges
Tempe Libraries are posting weekly LEGO challenges for older kids—typically a live library event, they’ve launched it virtually to keep STEM kids thinking. One recent challenge was building a bridge and testing its strength with books stacked on top of it.
Libraries have always been a haven for kids to explore and we’re so grateful that even remotely, our local libraries are continuing to support our kid’s budding imaginations from afar. When screen time is getting a bad rep or being guilted, I’m so glad to see positive resources like these that support not only our kids, but local library staff as well.