Buchanan District Library installs second story walk of the season

BUCHANAN — With social distancing precautions and COVID-19 mandates still in place in Michigan, libraries remain closed to the public. Some online programming has continued, but perusing the stacks to select the perfect story has not been an option for months now.

Despite this, the Buchanan District Library has a way to reach the community with stories without the internet: their story walks.

Tuesday, the library’s story walk around the Buchanan Common was installed. The story walk invites visitors to take a short walk around the Buchanan Common, located directly south of Front Street between Days Avenue and Roe Street, to read a children’s book one page at a time. The book “Skunk’s Spring Surprise” by Lesléa Newman and Valeri Gorbachev is currently the story on display.

This is the second story walk installed currently in the community, as another story is posted in the windows of the library itself and other downtown businesses.

“We try to choose something topical,” said Library Director Meg Paulette. “We try to choose something that will be enjoyable for our patrons, be on topic and have the right number of pages to fit into our story walk.”

The story walk debuting in spring is one of the library’s offerings that has not been altered by the COVID-19 mandates.
“I think it is the only thing that I can think of that we would normally be doing,” Paulette said.

The library has been continuing to work on offering programming through their social media page, including “Storytime Online” videos and “Doodling with Deb” on Zoom. A “Harry Potter Trivia and Talk” Zoom session is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 8.

“I think, most importantly, we have come up with a lot of online programming now, which is great,” Paulette said. “We are missing all of our patrons who don’t have internet access.”

For patrons who do not have internet, Paulette has been discussing options for more community offerings including a potential Dial-A-Story phoneline or a collaboration with a local AM radio station.

“We aren’t there yet, but the story walk is something that anybody can enjoy without having any technological barriers,” Paulette said. “It is something that has definitely caught on in a lot of communities. We are lucky to have the Common right behind us.”