Spring is in the air at the Ericson Public Library in Boone. There is not only a wide selection of events and programs for kids, teens and adults, but the library is also trying to do its part in filling the gap in the community’s access to technology.
The library has recently begun offering Wi-Fi hotspots and eReaders for checkout. You can have the hotspot for one week at a time with the option of two renewals, while eReaders can be taken for two weeks plus two renewals.
“We’re really trying to provide more digital equity in the community, so we came up with this initiative,” said Library Director Jamie Williams. “In Boone, 19% of households don’t have broadband access. The Wi-Fi hotspots and eReaders were on our long-range plan that we came up with in 2019. We were supposed to add them around the time COVID started. Hotspots would have begun circulating in spring 2020 and eReaders in fall of 2020.”
Williams said those impacted the most by the lack of access to technology tend to live in rural areas or be in low-income households. She said during the COVID-19 shutdown, staff observed people sitting out in the library’s parking lot connecting to its Wi-Fi.
“Seeing patterns do not have that access was eye-opening — especially when a lot of those people needed connection to the Internet for virtual learning, telework and health care,” she added.
The Friends of the Library funded the hotspots while the eReaders were donated by Boone Bank & Trust.
“The bank had old iPads they donated to us. It was a perfect opportunity. The iPads are locked down just specifically for Libby, by OverDrive for downloading books and other materials,” Williams said. “It’s a nice offering for patterns with vision issues and this provides more large print options.”
Ericson Public Library plans a variety of events
Kids’ storytime is held every Wednesday and Thursday at 10 am For the week of March 28, kids can make a toucan craft using tissue paper, stickers and feathers. This month’s Grab & Go kit is a rainbow craft for youth for making a rainbow wall hanging, while supplies last.
The tweens and teens zen zone allows youth a chance to hangout, study and enjoy some snacks. It’s for students in grades 6-12 the third Wednesday of each month from 3 pm to 5 pm The Pokeman Club meets the third Thursday of each month to play the Pokemon Trading Card Game, do fun Pokemon-themed arts, crafts or activities, have snacks and hangout with friends from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm Check out the Anime Manga Club the fourth Wednesday of every month from 3:30 pm to 5 pm
Available for adults via Zoom is the 3rd Thursday at Hoover’s Presidential Library & Museum historical presentation. Topics vary each month. Fresh Conversations nutrition information will be held March 28 at 10 am (registration required). The topic for March will focus on carbohydrates and feature a recipe for stuffed pasta shells.
Adult quilling returns March 29 for a Zoom program led by Emily Mallory of Emily’s Papercrafts. Pick up your supplies at the library, as well as a free quilling tool. Hop onto Zoom at 6:30 pm that night for instructions. Participants will be crafting a spring image onto a wooden magnet.
Teen and adult meditation and yoga is offered via Zoom Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 am
Williams said she is especially excited that Ronda Kelley, a teen programs librarian, has launched a teen subscription service that ties into an upcoming author presentation.
The teen novel-tea subscription box is a limited number of free monthly teen book subscription boxes for those in grades 6-12. Teens are asked to commit to submitting a book review and question for the author for the book discussion. The box includes the book, snack, loose-leaf tea and a surprise item. Sign up now. Author Laura Taylor Namey will discuss her novel “A Cuban Girls Guide To Tea and Tomorrow” from 7 pm to 8 pm on March 23 via Zoom. Registration is required.
In April, the library will be installing a storywalk in McHose Park. The project is funded through the United Way and the Friends of the Library. It will include 22 aluminum posts. Volunteers are needed.
The library’s summer reading carnival will take place in person this year, offering children and families free activities. It is scheduled for June 13 from 4 pm to 7 pm
For more information, the library may be contacted at 515-432-3727. Williams may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For the latest updates visit the Ericson Public Library’s Facebook page and website www.boone.lib.ia.us.