Local library branch brings virtual services into families’ homes

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Some staff members are putting together how-to videos to watch at home

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Libraries across the country are celebrating National Library Week a little differently this year.

During the coronavirus pandemic, libraries are now operating completely virtual.

Erin Phemester is with the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. Branches have been closed for several weeks, but that doesn’t mean the staff hasn’t been working.

They are doing things like answering reference questions, virtual programming, updating online resources and much more.

“We’ve got our phone reference so that if people have questions and maybe they don’t have access to the internet, you can call in and one of our librarians can help you that way,” Phemester said.

With children learning from home for the rest of the school year, there have been several additions to the children section of their website.

Plus, some staff members are putting together how-to videos to watch at home.

For those without internet access, the library also has a call-in story time.

“That story changes every Friday at noon, so right now if you can in, you’ll hear “The Wonky Donkey,” but if you call in Saturday, you’ll hear something different,” Phemester said.

The story time can be reached by calling 330-259-3393.

The library is asking anyone who has ideas about virtual programming to contact them.

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