Athens Public Libraries have been keeping the people of Athens busy with various different crafts and activities hosted for all ages.
With the limitations of COVID-19, the libraries have had to host their crafts via program to-go bags. These bags contain almost all materials for a craft besides the basics like glue and scissors. To-go bags are made for people of all ages and can be picked up at any of the Athens Public Libraries. These include Athens Public Library, 30 Home St., Nelsonville Public Library, 95 W Washington St., Chauncey Public Library, 29 Converse St., The Plains Public Library, 14 S Plains Road, Glouster Public Library, 20 Toledo St., Wells (Albany) Public Library, 5200 Washington Road and Coolville Public Library, 26401 Main St.
“I've been really impressed and happy to hear other branches say ‘Hey, I had a family call, and they need four bags –– can I have my numbers to 10 this week,’'' Sarah Fisher, youth services librarian at Glouster, said. “I think, not even just youth services but the staff overall has been responsive.”
There are many different crafting opportunities and people can pick from a variety of options. All the libraries’ craft schedules can be found on the Athens County Public Libraries website.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up Wednesday, Mar. 17, the libraries are hosting various crafts during this week and next that can be taken home and continued into the weekend.
Athens is hosting take-home Family Movie Night Kits for their locals. Nelsonville is hosting a St. Patrick's Day orb take-home craft for adults over 50. Chauncey has plant hangers available for take-home for people of all ages. The Plains, Glouster and Wells (Albany) are all having take-home crafts for younger kids and family. The craft allows children to make egg shaker pets.
The libraries have also been posting recorded storytimes on their Facebook. This opportunity allows for children to experience something remotely close to storytime in the library.
“We've been trying to send home elements of storytimes in the bags so that they can kind of experience it from home a little bit,” Lia Silver, youth services librarian at Nelsonville, said. “Especially if they wanted to pick up the bag and then tune in to one of the recorded storytimes we're doing – they can have a whole storytime experience at home.”
The libraries believe it's important for the children of Athens to still feel connected to the libraries and feel connected to the books.
The support for these activities from the people of Athens has been encouraging to the libraries and their staff. The staff at the Athens County Public Libraries encourage anyone who has not tried out their craft programs to do so because there will always be something for everyone.
“It's really fun, everything's really easy and for some of them, you don't even need a parent to do with you, and some of them you do,” Tessa Evanosky, children’s librarian at Chauncey, said. “If they are not sure what we have, they can always call their closest branch. Almost every branch has some kind of craft kit available so they should definitely go and look.”
These different programs have been able to keep the people of Athens and the surrounding areas busy and they will continue until the summertime, for the libraries have more ideas and plans coming.
“We miss our patrons, too,” Deborah Parsons, in charge of adult crafts at Nelsonville, said. “We miss our group, and we're gonna do whatever we can to keep our core busy and encouraged. When we are able to open again, we'll do even more, but there's a lot going on right now – don't give up.”