October 6, 2022

Libraries in Northeast Ohio use story time, book clubs and events to connect with community – News-Herald

Libraries in northeast Ohio have suffered massive upheaval in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but have been able to thrive by adapting story times and other events.

Euclid Public Library offers a variety of clubs, programs, and events that aim to educate and captivate their residents.

Karla Bowman, adult services manager at Euclid Public Library, said she is hosting a variety of storytelling events that were once in-person but moved to Zoom.

“It was actually a well accepted change in our system,” Bowman said. “It was difficult to switch to Zoom, but it was worth it because in the end, it allowed a lot more people to come and interact with each other and discuss their books or enjoy the hour. storytelling with their children.

The Hillcrest Concert Band returned to perform outside Euclid Public Library last month. (Courtesy of Euclid Public Library)

Euclid Public Library offers monthly book clubs and a variety of children’s story times via Zoom.

In addition, the library organizes many other events throughout the year.

“In September, we will be hosting a beer tasting at the library,” said Jean Robinson, communications and multimedia specialist at the library. “It’s something we’re excited to be able to bring to our older residents.”

The beer tasting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on September 9. Tickets are $30 and will be available starting August 8 on the library’s website.

Stargazing with the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association will take place September 29 as part of the annual Friends of the Library meeting. It aims to share how to use telescopes and nurture the love of astronomy.

“There will be a discussion about binoculars and then everyone can use telescopes set up outside the library,” Robinson said. “We’re very excited because it’s something we’ve never done before.”

Euclid Public Library constantly organizes new events to attract the public to its institution.

The Mentor Public Library also hosts a variety of clubs, events, and story times.

Jason Lea, community outreach coordinator for the Mentor Public Library, said their events aim to educate and engage patrons.

“All of our educational programs have entertainment, and all of our entertainment programs have an element of education,” Lea said. “Even our desserts have consistency, and our entrees are still a little sweet.”

Each week the library hosts a variety of events each with a different theme as well as special classes. Guests can attend craft classes, learn about the ocean’s most dangerous animal, learn art history, and more.

womn instructs children in outdoor project
Mentor Public Library Children’s Library Associate Amy Raischel shows off the layers of the ocean with the help of a volunteer during a Marine Monday program at the library. (Courtesy of Mentor Public Library)

In addition to these programs, the library organizes story hours with various themes. Through the efforts of library assistant Gillian Dipofi, the library is often decorated to match these themes. She decorated the library for her celebration of Dr. Seuss and her hungry caterpillar event. Each time, the bookcase transforms to help create a fun atmosphere for children to enjoy.

Lea said they had something for everyone at the library.

“Very often one of the best things about working for the library is how you’re constantly reminded of the difference you’re making for people,” Lea said. “There is nothing better than helping someone to satisfy their enthusiasm. Someone likes to doodle and draw and wants to learn more? Here are three different books about it and by the way, we have this program which teaches American artistic styles.

The Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library also has a variety of clubs.

Sarah Vargo, children’s services manager for the library system, said she believes their programs and clubs are important in strengthening their connection to the community.

“Programming is so important to libraries because it shows how we can evolve and grow,” Vargo said. “We’re not just here to provide career and employment materials and services; we are a community hub.

The Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library offers a variety of educational services and tutoring clubs.

“We have a large population of home students who come to us for programming,” Vargo said. “We offer many homeschooling clubs and have seen an increase in homeschooling students since the start of the pandemic.”

The library also hosts the Next Chapter Book Club, a club for adults with special needs. This club helps these adults grow as readers and think critically while reading.

Vargo said that since the pandemic, his game club, chess club and many other services have become increasingly popular.

“A lot of things that we offered before COVID are now being offered again and becoming popular again,” Vargo said. “It’s nice to be closer to normal and to have this increased demand for our lineup.”