Enjoy kids’ books virtually via new Wilmington library program

By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com

WILMINGTON — During the pandemic, one thing families have been able to do is enjoy a good book. The Wilmington Public Library wants to invite locals kids to bring that energy to a virtual book reading group.

Kiersteni Clark, the children’s librarian, started a new virtual program called “Chapter By Chapter.” It will begin on Sunday, May 3, on the library’s Children’s Library Services Facebook group.

Clark told the News Journal that a prerecorded reading of one chapter of a selected book will be posted on the group for members to enjoy.

“During the month of April, I had already been posting storytime videos and craft/activity ideas on the Wilmington Library’s Facebook page, but I felt like I could be doing more,” said Clark.

Toward the end of April, Clark began researching what other libraries have been doing virtually for their patrons during the pandemic; she came across the idea of a virtual chapter book read aloud.

“Many librarians indicated that they had gotten a good response from their patrons by doing this, so I thought it would be good for our library to try,” she said.

The first book will be “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, voters’ choice among seven potential books in the group.

The group’s description says, “(the) Goal of this group is to help families stay connected with Children’s Programs at the Library and for the library to be better connected to families.”

Clark also hopes to continue to create a love of books and learning.

“It has been my experience that children of all ages enjoy being read to, whether it is a picture book or a chapter book,” Clark said. “If I can help one child learn to love reading and become a lifelong learner — by overcoming my fear and embarrassment of recording myself and putting it on Facebook — then it will be totally worth it,” she said.

To join, all one has to do is request to join the Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/wilmingtonchildrenslibraryservices .


By John Hamilton