Hoover Library getting creative with holiday programming for children during pandemic

Hoover Public Library offers pandemic safe children's holiday programming

HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - During December the children’s section of the Hoover Library is usually full of crafts, laughs, and visits from Santa.

It’s much quieter this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the librarians are working hard to make sure those traditions are still alive and accessible.

“We just want our patrons, particularly those families with children, to know that we are here for them, we are still offering services and we are just trying to be creative in terms of ways to get those services to families,” says Children’s Librarian Anna Beth Reece.

They have created Christmas and Hanukkah craft kits to be done at home, and every week they unveil a new take home STEAM activity.

They also found a way to bring back their letters for Santa program, with the mailbox now placed outside the library.

“One of the biggest things we have done this year, in collaboration with those at the North Pole, is have letters to Santa,” says Reece. “We have a drop box outside of our library where you can come and drop off your Santa letter or fill one out while you are here.”

Letters must be mailed by Wednesday, December 16 to get a response from Santa by Christmas. There’s a new option this year, too if you don’t want to mail a letter, you can email Santa at letterstosanta.hpl@gmail.com.

There is also a slew of online content available through the hoover library’s children’s department facebook page and youtube channel, from holiday fitness fun like Grinch yoga and Christmas cardio, to fireside story times with Santa.

“I know it is not the optimal way to be receiving your library programming. We get that and we are feeling that too, but we are just glad to have ways to engaged with our patrons and they can feel like we are with them this Christmas. We are still here guys,” says Reece.

The library is open for limited services, and curbside pickup options are available.

“Given the nature of the library there are a lot of things you are encouraged to touch but we have especially in the children’s department we have scaled back and some areas are closed. But our collection is very available for you to come and browse, all we are asking is you have your masks on and keep your visits to a shorter time than pre-covid,” says Reece.

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