The 5 Q's: Jake Johnson explores summer reading opportunities at Webb City library

·3 min read

Jul. 12—Q: What types of summer programs will the Webb City Public Library offer this year?

A: We are pleased to say we are having in-person programming this year. We have first- through sixth-grade programming Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m., preschool through kindergarten programming Thursdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., and for those that feel more comfortable outside, we have a story time and crafts program at the Webb City Farmers Market on Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m.

Children enrolled in our summer reading program get a paper reading log or can track their reading online using Wandoo Reader. For every 10 hours logged, children get a free book (up to five books total) and get entered (up to 15 total entries) to win a $25 Walmart gift card at our sendoff.

Q: Are signups still available for certain summer programs?

A: We are allowing children to register for the program until Saturday, July 17. This will give children two weeks to submit reading logs for prizes. Any child not in our library district is eligible for a free temporary summer reading card valid through Aug. 31.

Q: What types of activities and events does the library have planned for this fall?

A: We do not have anything set in stone yet. We hope to bring back our regular preschool story times shortly after the end of summer reading, but are still working out the start date and times. We also hope to do a homeschool program in the fall as well. As always, we ask patrons to follow us on Facebook and to visit our homepage at webbcity library.org to view our upcoming events calendar.

Q: How has the library been operating throughout the pandemic?

A: We, like most places, have adapted the best we can. Even though we are back to normal operating hours and fully open to the public, we are still offering curbside services for patrons that do not feel comfortable coming into the building. I believe this is a wonderful service, and we do not plan on ending it anytime soon. We also have a semipermanent shield around our circulation desk to keep both patrons and library staff safe.

Also, for those who still do not feel comfortable coming in, we have added many more digital materials to our collection that can be viewed on our website or the "Libby" by OverDrive app on their tablet or smartphone.

Q: Why is it an important mission for the library to continue to offer services despite the pandemic?

A: For some, we are their lifeline. Not only do we offer books and movies for their entertainment, but we were also the only place still available for them to have computer and internet access. During the time the building had to be closed to the public, we extended our Wi-Fi to be accessible into the parking lot, and offered curbside faxing and copying services. One thing I want our citizens to know is we are here for them, and we will adapt in any way possible to continue to meet the needs of the public.

Jake Johnson is the director of the Webb City Public Library, 101 S. Liberty St.

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