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Libraries Are Fully Open

Libraries Are  Fully Open Libraries Are  Fully Open

'The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library,' declared Albert Einstein. The Germanborn theoretical physicist had no idea how, decades after his time, the local library location and the internet would team up to expand the value and usefulness of the library even more. Activities at public libraries for adults and children happen yearround, but summertime ushers in more handson opportunities for all ages, including those for families to explore together. During 2020, virtual access at home, or at community hotspots, became the most prominent method for reading, learning, and business transactions.

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stein, however, locating yourself in an actual library building in 2021 is a world that has opened up once again. The librarians and staff of the Ohoopee Regional Library System are excited about this, and have planned activities available both in the building and virtually. Be sure to check https://ohoopeelibrary. org/srp2021/ for the program calendar. The links there become live as the events are added. Also, librarians “go live” via real time phone chat if you call 912- 537-9283. They are ready to answer all questions and to invite you in for a visit.

“Tails and Tales” is the theme for the summer reading program with an emphasis on discovering animals through live and online adventures. Registration for the reading program and pick up of the prizes still occurs at all library branches. Programs offered vary slightly by location.

Librarian Stacey Wright explains, “At Vidalia we have two story time sessions on each Monday, the first at 11 a.m. is an in-person program, while the 3 p.m. session will be a streamed version. Each branch is doing story time a little differently so patrons are encouraged to call/visit their local branch with any questions.” Wright added, “Tuesdays are our professional performer days, and while they are prerecorded we are showing them throughout the day at each of the branches if parents would like to bring the kids in to watch. They are also available online to watch.” Parents need to pick up a ticket for their children to attend either the 11 a.m., 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. shows.

Children’s Wednesday and teen’s Thursday craft day kits are picked up at the library, and the instructional videos are online. Fridays are dedicated to online STEAM activities with Miss Jazmin from the Reidsville branch or Lego Club with Matthew Stembridge, IT and Technical Services Librarian.

An exciting addition to the summer program this year is The Animals Escape Adventure. Wright explains, “This is a Vidalia program. A stuffed animal is placed in the window of a downtown business each Monday when we release a clue posted at the library, and on our Facebook page, as to where it might be found. Kids pick up the passports at the Vidalia branch and collect the sticker each time they find the animal. The business has stickers they can give out, or the child can come into the library and let us know where they saw the animal to earn a sticker.”

There is a new animal to search for each Monday, so once the animal changes, you can’t get the previous week’s sticker. When all stickers for the passport have been collected, the child’s name is entered in a raffle to win a prize.

The summer reading challenge for all ages is found at https://ohoopeelibrary. beanstack. org/ reader365, which will direct the reader through the registration process. This program keeps track of reading for the whole family and offers prizes for completing challenges. “Beanstack Tracker” is also an app on Apple or Android products.

“Traveling on the Trail” with Matthew is an exploration of Georgia's State Parks, and is accessed at https://ohoopeelibrary. org/ gastateparkvideos/. This link will take viewers to the Ohoopee Library YouTube channel where Stembridge highlights his park travels. Other tabs to explore on the Ohoopee Library website are catalog, renew books, services and get a card. The Galileo tab takes the curious to Georgia’s Virtual Library, an initiative of the University System of Georgia. To the right of the web page is a green tutorials tab that includes topics such as genealogy, languages and using social media. Many people don’t have access to a laptop or the internet at home. Libraries have computers for the public to use. The staff will assist patrons in setting up to do personal business, book searches, activities, or to just explore the world from one library location.

Let’s not forget the value of hands-on, personal exploration amongst library shelves. Available to anyone, young and old, is the quiet anticipation of discovering the opening of a book on any subject, newspapers and other periodicals, handwritten ledgers of family history at the Ladson Genealogical Library, audio stories, and so much more. First Lady Laura Bush, Literacy and Education advocate, stated: “Libraries allow children to ask questions about the world and find the answers. And the wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open.”

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