While many of us were hoping for a return to in person programming this fall, it simply isn’t our reality for 2020. Instead, we have embraced the opportunity to provide our core children’s programming online and are finding some hidden benefits! Join us virtually for what will be a different kind of fall program season. Our programs can be found on both our Facebook and YouTube channels, follow us on social media @TBayPL to stay up-to-date.
Families in Thunder Bay have long enjoyed our Tales for Twos and Preschool Storytime, both of which provide children and their parents with early literacy skills. The sessions feature activities which are designed to be developmentally appropriate.
So how will things look this year? Rather than doing an eight week session we’ve split it into two four week sessions. Registration for each session will happen through our online calendar or by calling the library at 345-8275. By having two sessions, we can include those who missed the October session in November. The program goes live at a set day and time, and families will be able to access it for the rest of the week. If Tuesday morning has never worked for you this is your season to join us! Activity kits for each week will be available for pick-up at the branch of your choice so you will have as close to the full experience as we can make it in our physically distanced times.
What if you don’t have a child aged 2, 3, or 4? We’re keeping up with our weekly storytimes – running an eight week session at the same time as our registered programs. However, one of the hidden advantages of online programming is that we can put up new content at times we wouldn’t be able to host a program in the branch. This October and November join us Sunday evenings at 6 pm for evening stories. These will remain on our Facebook page until at least the end of the year so if you miss us on Sunday evening or just want to watch a favourite again you’ll be able to do so.
We haven’t forgotten that kids love crafts and activities. Staff at all four branches have developed Take and Make kits which can be picked up any time we’re open for holds pick-up. The exterior of the envelope lets you know if there are small pieces and whether you need supplies such as glue to complete the activity.
Now that we’ve got the younger kids taken care of, I would be remiss not to mention our upcoming teen programming. On Wednesdays and Thursdays there are two different teen programs planned. Both are being hosted on Discord and are restricted to teens. Wednesdays join us for “Get Woke, Stay Woke” during which we will discuss current issues in a safe and respectful (but passionate) manner. Thursdays, sign on to talk about what’s on your mind while doing a craft or colouring. There’s no pressure and no agenda, just a group that wants to listen and unwind. Colouring sheets and a monthly craft are available for pickup. To find out more about both these programs and discover how to connect with us via Discord, check out our online calendar.
Adults we’re doing things differently for you too! We’ll continue to share great online programming from all over; events like the Toronto International Festival of Authors which we would not typically be able to access remotely. We are also offering some adult Take and Make programming. Registration opens October 1st for both Hallowe’en Rock Painting and Altered Art programs. Additionally we’re looking at a return to our library book clubs along with other ways to interact with you virtually.
While this year has had its challenges we look forward to continuing to make the best of it with you.
If you need a library card, simply email us at email@example.com and we’ll get you set up. Access our online calendar for more event details at http://www.tbpl.ca (scroll down to view the calendar).
Ruth Hamlin-Douglas – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.