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Local libraries turn to virtual storytelling, activities during coronavirus pandemic

Digital membership & online visitors have increased in the past few weeks as libraries turn their focus on a virtual format.

AKRON, Ohio — While their physical doors may be closed, access to local libraries remains “virtually” open. 

We found that digital membership and online visitors have increased in the past few weeks as libraries turn their focus on a virtual format.

“We have our children librarians that are presenting Facebook Live storytelling, and those have been a tremendous hit,” said Carla Davis with the Akron-Summit County Public Library. “I actually watched one, one day, and I could feel my ‘whoosah’ happening, and I really could feel the stress going away.”

Davis said the storytelling videos posted on the library’s Facebook page have been viewed by thousands of guests – and hundreds have applied for the libraries online digital membership to borrow eBooks.

“In the last week, we’ve added nearly 400 borrowers.”

It’s not just librarians logging onto share stories. The Cleveland Public Library is teaming up with guest readers, including WKYC’s Maureen Kyle.

“When reading, we are teaching basic skills that are second nature to adults,” said Annisha Jeffries with the Cleveland Public Library. “So we want to keep kids engaged during this stressful time.”

There are also virtual activities for adults. The Akron-Summit County Public Library has featured doodling sessions for stress relief.

“If you ever wanted to learn something new but didn’t have time, this whole stay-at home season is a great opportunity to learn something new,” said Davis.

Books, magazines, audio and videos are also available online for library members. Visit www.akronlibrary.org and www.cpl.org for more information.

Click here for more of our coronavirus coverage.

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