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Storytime running differently at Las Vegas libraries amid pandemic

Posted at 8:15 AM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 11:24:19-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Reading a book can open up a whole new world of possibilities. That’s why 13 Action News is proud to be a part of our company literacy campaign called "If You Give a Child a Book..." Through Sept. 30, we’re doing a series about the importance of literacy in our community.

Storytime at our local libraries looks different these days.

The story room inside the Windmill Library is closed, the little chairs that normally host dozens of kids are wrapped with caution tape, and social distancing reminders are scattered throughout the library floor.

There is one thing that remains unchanged in a global pandemic: the value of putting a book in a child’s hands.

RELATED: RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN BEHIND ON READING

“It really is the difference between getting ready for kindergarten and not being ready at all,” said Shana Harrington, the youth services manager for the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. She’s been doing storytime for 19 years.

“Over 10,000 storytimes a year in our district at over 25 branches. We served over 200,000 kids and parents. That’s what it was pre-COVID,” Harrington said.

Now, numbers have dwindled and many families stay home instead.

The district is still offering one storytime at each branch every week. They’ll host families in larger rooms to allow for a six-foot distance.

“We have carpet squares on the floor, tape on the floor, mark out tape for the presenter. We have tickets that we give out and we make sure that we have just the appropriate number of kids and safe spacing,” Harrington added.

RELATED: CLARK COUNTY LIBRARY DISTRICT TACKLING ADULT LITERACY

There is an option for families who can’t attend in-person storytime.

Harrington says they have a “Take and Make” program where parents can take home a book bundle and a craft bag.

For parents who are interested, weekly storytimes are posted here.

The 2020 Scripps Howard Foundation's If You Give a Child a Book campaign is sponsored by Findlay Toyota and benefits Spread the Word Nevada.