The work of Collingwood’s children’s librarian is a whole lot quieter these days.
The Collingwood Public Library has been closed to the public last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but staff have been using the facility to maintain some of their programs from a safe distance.
Ashley Kulchycki, supervisor of children and teen services, continues to deliver storytime, singing, and crafts to the kids of Collingwood, but the room is empty and she’s on camera.
Every day, she is posting a video to the Collingwood Public Library Facebook page to keep up regular children’s programs as best she can.
Her first video features a few of the library’s popular action songs. For another video, Kulchycki reads some children’s books like story time but without a gaggle of children.
“The amazing thing about being a children’s librarian is seeing kids literally grow up before your eyes,” she said. “I have had kids attend Baby and Me, then Toddler Tales and Story Time before starting Kindergarten. The library and story times become a regular part of a child’s routine - and their caregiver’s too.”
For Kulchycki, the videos are her best effort to keep sharing resources and offer some kind of routine during a confusing time.
“We hope that seeing a familiar face read a story or sing a song can become the positive part of each day,” she said.
Soon the library will also be posting videos of the Magic of Children in the Art exhibit, which features art from local kids. Since the library has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families haven’t had a chance to come find their child’s artwork in the exhibit.
Kulchycki is overwhelmed at the response the videos are getting so far.
The original video of her performing and singing action songs has more than 1,000 views and has been shared more than 20 times. She expected it would be watched by the regular families who attend the program, which would mean 50-80 views.
“This has far surpassed my expectations,” she said.
If you’ve got a song request, you can email it to [email protected]. The books she is reading in the videos are chosen based on author permissions.
To watch the videos, visit the Collingwood Public Library Facebook page.