During the closure of all the schools, Natrona County Library recognized the importance of continuing to get books into the hands of the community’s young readers even though the library was closed.
Using programming funding that would have otherwise gone unused during this time, NCL decided to gift nearly 5,000 picture books, easy readers, early chapter books, and young adult fiction to homebound students. The books will be distributed through school lunch pick-up points, and readers are empowered to pick their own books from the wide array of options.
Ordinarily, the library does three trips to Title 1 schools each year to distribute books to students in preschool, second grade, and fifth grade. They’d done two of the three, but with schools closing, realized the third wasn’t going to happen.
“This time we took those books we’d already purchased, plus titles for young teens that were in the Friends of the Library section and divided them so there was an assortment for all reading levels,” said Kate Mutch, NCL Assistant Director. “We delivered those to central services, who then will send them out to the food distribution points that the school district implemented the very first day of school cancellation.”
She added, “We thought this was a way to get the books into the hands of children in the community at a time where reading is not only fun, but even more important than ever.”
For seniors, the library supplied around 400 large print books to Meals on Wheels to be distributed to homebound and elderly citizens that may not have access to other print or digital reading materials during this time. The library is also pulling from their collection and donations made to the Friends of the Library to select a variety of books for use in stocking Little Free Libraries throughout the community.