The Ozark Regional Library is going virtual in order to give community youth the Story Time they all know and love.
"Ozark Regional Library is videotaping people from our region reading picture books for our patrons to watch online," Library Assistant Director Michelle Swane said. "These will be short videos kids can watch whenever they want."
Virtual Story Time will be posted to OzarkRegional.org each Monday through the end of June, excluding Memorial Day. A link to the story will also be posted to the Ozark Regional Library System Facebook page.
Guest readers included Madison County Sheriff Katy McCutcheon, Firefighter Russ Parker, Fredericktown Mayor Kelly Korokis, Science Teacher Juli Kline and more.
"We asked folks we thought kids would recognize, like the fire chief, chief of police, mayor of Ironton, a superb science teacher and state representative," Swane said. "We like to think of them as our local celebrities."
Some of the books being read include "Martha Speaks," "Where the Wild Things Are," "Mother Bruce," "Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes," "Pigsty," and "Mr. Tiger Goes Wild."
"I've selected a variety of my personal favorite stories, both old and new to share with our audience," Youth Librarian Shannon Sansom said. "I think that both our readers and our listeners will enjoy them as much as I do."
Sansom said the library definitely wants to thank the publishers for their generosity.
"Publishers have been extremely generous with copyright allowances during this period of social distancing," Swane said. "We would like to thank all the authors and publishers who have shared their intellectual property so we can share it with our patrons."
Swane said as of this writing, the copyright allowances will expire June 30, 2020, so be sure to check out the story time videos before the library has to take them down.
"It is important to keep youth engaged so they continue to reading and learning even though they can't come to the library physically," Swane said. "The library offers all kinds of information, even online, so this is a great time to check out what you can do online with a library card."
Swane said you can learn a new language with Mango Languages, research family on Heritage Quest and check out eBooks on MissouriLibraries2Go.
"However fun it may be to learn new skills and think about the future of Virtual Story Time, nothing beats the real thing," Sansom said. "I miss connecting with the young listeners and their caretakers, singing songs, and doing crafts with them and most of all the conversations."
Sansom said she has had to learn several new skills including video editing which she admits is not in her wheel house.
"We have been learning a lot and working hard to supply as much access to library materials as we can online," Swane said. "Including, eCards, eBooks, eAudio, databases, online art shows, audio readings of classics, Facebook Live events and Virtual Story Times."
Swane said ORL would like to thank all the readers who have shared their time with to bring these fun stories to life, Cory King, John Jones, Chris Dinkins, Juli Kline, Bob Lourwood, Katy McCutcheon, Kelly Korokis, Russ Parker and more.
"We miss everyone like crazy," Swane said. "However, we are still in the library doing what we can from afar, so give us a call if you have any questions about our online resources."
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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