PRINCETON, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – On Thursday, August 12, the Princeton Public Library was pleased to welcome the return on in-person storytimes. The library has not held storytime inside the building since the spring of 2020.
According to Director of the Princeton Public Library Sheena Johnson, storytime is one of the last in-person events the library has resumed. Johnson says this is because storytime does not require registration and can yield high attendance.
“We wanted to make sure our parents were comfortable, and our staff was comfortable. We are doing what we can to promote safety,” she said.
In-person storytime and other programs ceased when the library suddenly closed in March of 2020 due to the pandemic. While closed for several months, the library continued to offer online programs and crafts for the Princeton community.
While virtual programming was a great way to keep the community engaged, Johnson said it just wasn’t the same, adding that library employees and Princeton families alike are happy to see the program back.
“We are incredibly excited. It’s something that we waited on, and we are very excited to get back into it,” Johnson said, explaining that all storytime programming and activities are being coordinated by Laura Buchanan, who is in charge of the library’s youth services.
“Her ideas are fantastic, and we are happy for her to be able to participate in storytimes this season.”
Peapod storytimes for ages birth to two will be held at the library at 11 a.m. on Thursdays. Bookbugs storytime for ages three to five will be held at 11 a.m. on Fridays. All Bookbugs storytimes will be followed by a fun craft.
Johnson noted that, while age limits have been set for each class, all ages are welcome to attend.
She continued, highlighting the importance of fostering a love to read at a young age.
“We think it’s important for socialization. It really builds on those skills and for using imagination. It’s incredibly important for parents to get their children involved in the library. There are so many benefits that are down the road, such as a lifelong love for reading, that they can then pass on to their children. It’s great for the community, and it’s a free resource. I think a lot of people don’t realize the library is not just books; it’s a hub for people to gather and a great place in the community.”
Storytimes at the Princeton Public Library do not require registration. The library is encouraging everyone to take part in the program; however, it is closely monitoring the state’s COVID-19 cases and will not hesitate to pull back in-person programming if necessary.