The show must go on, or in this case the story. While we are all diligently staying at home and avoiding mass gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, Buncombe County employees are learning new ways to connect to the community. For Abby Moser, that means using technology to facilitate good old fashioned story times. The Buncombe County Preschool Outreach Project (POP) Coordinator says while it can be challenging, story times are a big hit. “This is such a stressful time for everyone, and not much seems normal. But story time gives children a normal moment with the library.”
The logistics have shifted from being in front of children to sharing a screen, which has presented some growing pains. “I had to learn to make sure I’m holding the books and puppets in ways that they can be seen clearly… It’s been a steep learning curve for me to figure out lighting, computer issues, how to sit and speak so that the microphone and camera pick up my action and to learn which books work best for online reading,” explains Abby.
However, Abby says the spirit of the stories still resonate with the children. “The teachers set up a screen with a camera in their classrooms, and from my house I read stories, sing songs, and share puppets and felt stories with the kids,” she says. “I’m able to see them and respond to their questions and comments, so it’s as close as we can get to an actual in-person story time.”
Virtual POP sessions last about 25 minutes and Abby books times for morning readings Monday-Friday. If your preschool or childcare center is interested in virtual POP story time, please contact Abby Moser. If you are interested in the library’s virtual story times for the general public, please contact Raj Bowers-Racine.