By Emily Roth, Children’s Services Librarian

The La Grange Public Library takes pride in being a place that offers something for everyone and where everyone is welcome. During the pandemic, creating a safe space looks remarkably different than it did in the past. Even though it’s not safe to physically gather for extended periods of time in our building, our primary goal is to find new ways to provide exceptional service and support you.

Children’s Services staff have been working hard to continue meeting the needs of the youngest members of the community. Although we miss the days of crowded storytimes and after-school programs, we are proud of the innovative new programs and services we are offering during the pandemic. Here are a few exciting things we have been doing to meet the changing needs of our community:

Winter Reading Program: #OwnVoices

Our 2021 winter reading program is digital and participating is simple. For each book you log and challenge you complete in our online portal, you have a chance to win great prizes from local businesses! This year’s theme is #OwnVoices, and we encourage readers of all ages to broaden their perspective by reading books where the author shares the under-represented or marginalized identity of a main character. Winter reading runs from January 4 to February 28. Learn more and sign up now!

Custom Book Bundles and Discovery Bundles

Our Children’s Services team are experts at helping kids find the perfect book. If you’re not sure what to read next, let us surprise you with a custom book bundle based on your interests! Each custom book bundle is thoughtfully selected, so requests may take a couple days to process. Request one now.

We are also offering Discovery Bundles, pre-made bundles of books and audiovisual materials with a variety of themes, for kids of all ages. If you’re interested, give us a call to see what themes we currently have available, or stop by the children’s room during your Library appointment.

Virtual Events and Take & Make Crafts

Registration is now open for virtual programs through February! We are offering a range of options that children can attend live on Zoom, including crafting and STEAM programs, as well as Tiny Toes Music and Zumba Kids for those who like to sing and dance! Check out the calendar on our website.

Did you know the skills you and your child practice during storytime, like singing and fingerplays, offer numerous benefits that help with early language development and literacy skills? Our team has been making new storytime videos each week for preschoolers. The videos are available to watch on your own time on our YouTube channel with a private link. Contact us to start receiving storytime videos. We hope you will join in on the fun!

If you need a break from screens, try a Take & Make Craft! We offer a simple craft kit for pick-up every week, while supplies last. Give us a call or check the Library’s Facebook page to see our latest offering. Crafts can be picked up curbside or in person during your appointment. When you’re done, send us a picture of your creation!

Toy Lending Library

We started our Toy Lending Library over the summer by making our board games available for checkout. This collection was generously donated by the Friends of the Library in partnership with Fair Game of La Grange. We have a variety of fun games for kids of all ages including Unicorn Glitterluck and Ice Cool. The best way to see which games are available is to check our online catalog.

We’re excited to announce that we will soon be able to offer a variety of toys for checkout in addition to our board games! This will include bags of assorted toys for preschoolers, as well as toys aimed at older kids. Keep an eye on our website and social media for an announcement in the coming weeks

The Future

As we progress into 2021 and, possibly, begin to return to the life we knew before, the La Grange Public Library will continue to adapt and evolve. No matter what is happening, our objective is to be a pillar of the community, and we strive to emerge from the pandemic even stronger and more connected than before.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions for programs or services, please email or call 708-215-3210. And visit our website to learn about resources for all ages. You can also sign up for our e-newsletter in the footer of our homepage to get regular Library updates. We look forward to serving you!

The La Grange Public Library is a proud member of the La Grange Business Association and an active member of the local community.