Kasson Public Library supports local readers
Students from kindergarten to high school have lost the ability to go to school and see their friends, but something they can still do is read and now thanks to the Kasson Public Library (KPL) they’re able to do even more reading.
The KPL staff did that by distributing free books at one of the five Kasson-Mantorville school meal pick-up sites each day last week.
KPL Director Pat Shaffer-Gottschalk said the library gave away books to help the students out during this tough time.
“They’re in a tough place with no school and being isolated from friends so we talked to the school system about collaborating with them and they thought it would be a grand idea,” she said.
However, the KPL staff also had to maintain social distance so once they knew what the grades the students were in, they placed bags of grade-appropriate books on the end of hockey stick and used the hockey stick as their delivery system.
In addition, each KPL staff member wore masks the whole time they were at those meal pick-up sites.
Regardless of the safety measures they had to take, Shaffer-Gottschalk said, “It’s worth all that just to be able to connect with them and bring smiles to the kids’ faces,” she said. “If we can be of any help during these difficult times, that is what we’d hope to accomplish.”
By the end of the week, she said the KPL staff gave away well over 300 free books.
She said the students and their parents appreciated the free books.
“It’s been great, they’ve thanked us and said it’s good to see us again,” she said.
Shaffer-Gottschalk said it’s also been good for her and the KPL staff to see the kids again.
“My heart was truly lifted to see so many of the kids we’ve been missing,” she said. “Everybody else thought it was a lot of fun too.”
She said this delivery of free books is a precursor to KPL’s summer book program.
This summer, they’re placing an emphasis on getting books to kids. One way the KPL staff will do that, she said, is by driving around the city in a dark blue Volkswagen bug, called the Book Bug, throughout June and July. In addition to books, kids will be able to get prizes and activity sheets from the Book Bug.
Shaffer-Gottschalk said the K-M community will be able to see where the Book Bug will be each day by going to the library’s website which will link to the Book Bug’s own webpage which will go active on Monday, June 1.
All students’ literacy, she said, can benefit from visiting the Book Bug or the library throughout the summer.
“When they’re not in school, I think it’s so important that they’re mind’s stay engaged and their imagination is sparked,” she said.
The Kasson Public library is set to open today, Thursday, May 21.
However, she said there will be a few safety precautions to keep its patrons and staff healthy. “It’ll be a new normal for awhile. We’ll have to wear masks and limit the number of people in the library, but at least the doors will be open again.”