“Hi, Kale! Hi, Phillip!”
Wendy Schultz smiles and waves at her computer screen. The children on the other side wave back, ready for Schultz to put on her storytime hat and start to read.
It’s been hard to find something normal over that last month. Seward Memorial Library, however, is doing its part to provide that.
Schultz is continuing to lead story time, reviewing shapes and reading stories online. The library hosts two sessions on Tuesdays, two on Wednesdays and one on Thursdays.
“It’s different,” Schultz said of reading stories to a computer screen. “They all seem to stay glued to it.”
She usually has a craft or project for the children to complete during their library visits. She said since storytime is now online, she’ll send the ideas to parents ahead of time so children can complete the projects.
She’s also kept her storytime hat, a star-covered triangle complete with a gauze veil. Her mom made the hat for her, and it’s been used to show circles, ovals, triangles and stars.
Schultz said she tries to keep the routine the same for the kids, who watch storytime via the Zoom app. At this point, 40 families are signed up for story time, but if more want to participate, they should call the library at (402) 643-3318 to sign up. Links for the Zoom gatherings are sent out on Fridays. Schultz said.
Schultz has been leading story time since August. As a musician, she tries to incorporate music into the programs, giving the children songs to sing.
All the books she reads are from the library’s collection, so children can check them out.
One of the challenges is the absence of face-to-face contact, tailoring the program to the children in attendance based on how wiggly they are or how engaged they are in the story.
Story time lasts around 20 minutes.
Students in elementary school will have an opportunity for their own storytime starting March 31. Over four days, Schultz will read “My Father’s Dragon” by Ruth Gannett. Call the library to register.
Plans are still being developed for the summer reading program.