Ralston Library web graphic

Despite a vacant building, Baright Public Library did it’s best to celebrate National Library Week, which was observed last week.

This year’s theme is “Find Your Place at the Library.” While patrons can’t visit the library, Justine Ridder, youth services librarian and assistant director, said she encourages people to celebrate at home.

“It’s important to still celebrate National Library Week because we are more than just the four walls that make the building,” Ridder said. “With the global pandemic right now, libraries are just as essential as they were before.”

Baright offers a variety of digital materials including virtual storytimes. These options, Ridder said, are great ways to explore more of the library’s materials.

Before the coronavirus caused the library to close its doors to visitors, Ridder said library staff had fun activities planned including a scavenger hunt.

They also planned on having library visitors fill out cards on why they loved their local library which were to be displayed around the building.

“It is really weird to be doing National Library Week without having patrons coming into the library. I can’t tell you how much I miss getting interrupted at my desk by little kiddos,” Ridder said.

“By having patrons come into the library, we get to physically see patrons celebrate libraries, but we know this is still happening at people’s homes as they are utilizing our databases and other online services.”

However, the library is still holding its online Spring Into Reading program through Beanstack, which can be found on the library’s website, ralstonlibrary.org.

Children who participate can learn about libraries with different activities. They also have the opportunity to share their favorite books and learn about the Dewey Decimal System.

Though she misses seeing people celebrate Baright in person, Ridder said she was still happy to honor National Library Week.

“This week gives me the opportunity to talk to people about how important libraries are.

“A lot of people still think of libraries as this stereotypical place that is dark and musty with a librarian constantly holding her finger to her lips shushing everyone,” she said.

“I love talking to people about all the different materials and services we provide. I love this week to bring awareness to what your local public library can offer you.”

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