With crisp nights, the equinox passed, and pumpkin-flavored things filling up store shelves and coffee shop menus, fall is officially upon us! And now that school has been in session for a few weeks, we hope that you and your children have been able to find and settle into a routine that works for everyone. We know how challenging this time can be – even during the best of years! – but the Free Library is here to support you and your young learners, in as many different ways as we can.
While much of what the Free Library is doing remains virtual, we are pleased to share that many neighborhood libraries are offering some degree of in-person services. While availability varies from day to day and from location to location, stop by the Limited Services page on our website, or your local library’s profile page to keep you up-to-date about what the Free Library has to offer. Many library locations can accept returns and are providing phone reference, materials pick-up – where you can request library material in advance, then schedule a time to stop by and pick items up when they become available. The library helpline is also available, at 1-833-TALK FLP (825-5357), during select hours for all questions. And, a handful of neighborhood libraries have begun to provide in-building access, with browsing and use of the computer, printer, or copier during designated hours and with established safety protocols observed.
In the meantime, do take advantage of the many things that the Free Library has to offer virtually! While the Free Library’s LEAP- Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program cannot take place in-person right now, LEAP has been regularly sharing terrific information on their social media channels, like daily tips on how to make the adjustment to online learning more seamless and successful. LEAP has also created fun, user-friendly how-to videos on using library resources, hosted live help sessions on things using the Free Library’s Homework Help Online database, and have a great slate of other support programs planned. Our neighborhood libraries also continue to offer a range of creative, virtual programming, like book clubs, crafting sessions, yoga, mindfulness, language-learning, and much more.
The Free Library will also begin sharing literacy activities, including DIY Literacy Lab, where posts will be shared weekly on our Free Library Youth Services and Programs Facebook. DIY Literacy Lab is relevant to many ages, but particularly designed to support students from 1st – 3rd in their quest to read on grade level, these reading, writing, and literacy activities should help with vocabulary, reading comprehension, and confidence, in a way that’s fun and engaging. The Free Library will also continue to share special programs, opportunities for community engagement, news items, helpful parenting information, and more on our Free Library Youth Services and Programs Facebook, so if you aren’t already following us there, please stop by! Many of our summer offerings are still available through the posts and videos there, although if Twitter or Instagram is more to your liking, we have those too!
Additionally, have you signed up for the Fall Reading Challenge yet? This flexible program – available for all ages, from babies to grown-ups – allows you to keep track of books read and/or the amount of time spent reading; gives you a place to write book reviews; and allows you to earn badges and certificates for completing various activities. Kicking off last month and going through early December, this month we’ll be introducing a series of shorter, themed mini challenges, to help you diversify your reading and learning.
Visit the Free Library website to explore the resources, programs, databases, and latest news. All you need is your library card and your library PIN. And, if you don’t have a library card, (children under 12 should have their parents apply for them) visit the Free Library website to apply.