Jane B. Holmes Public Library offers virtual reading and crafts

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

HELENA – Typically during the summer months the Jane B. Holmes Public Library offers a wide variety of in-person reading and crafts events for children. However, this year due to COVID-19, the library had to take a more unique approach to their summer programming.

According to Library Director Dan Dearing, the library wanted to create a way to continue offering summer fun through reading and activities for children from the safety of their own homes. They used their resources to make a series of educational and entertaining videos

“We have a summer reading program that we do here at the library, which we always try to put our own twist on,” Dearing said. “With the pandemic we could not have more than 10 people in a room so we decided to see if we could do some video options.”

The theme of this year’s program was “Imagine Your Story,” which focuses on fairy tales. The library has several videos featuring readings of classic stories so that parents and children can read along at home.

The library’s programming also includes virtual visits with the Helena Police and Fire departments. During the summer reading program, children will typically go in-person to the departments and see the different aspects of their jobs, however, a different approach had to be taken this year to ensure everyone’s safety.

There are several activities that children can follow along with including origami, finger puppets and more.

“The police and fire departments are very generous to provide programming to the library,” Dearing said. “We asked them to make videos and they went out of their way to do these for our program. We got a really great response from the departments and the community after we put them out.”

The library’s summer reading program is coming to a close soon, however all of the videos remain available on their Facebook page at Facebook.com/Helena.Public.Library.Friends.