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Local librarians host book giveaways, take-and-make craft activities during the summer months

COURTESY PHOTO - Estacada librarian Deborah VanDetta distributes free children's books at the opening day of the Estacada Farmers Market.

A closure of their building hasn't prevented staff at the Estacada library from giving more than 80 free books to local youths.

Through a $1,500 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the Estacada Public Library was able to purchase books to distribute to children at no cost. Estacada Youth Services Librarian Deborah VanDetta has connected young readers with 86 stories during socially distanced events. She's been at the Estacada Area Food Bank and the Estacada Farmers Market to facilitate the giveaways and will do so again on July 29, Aug. 5 and Aug. 12 at the food bank.

"I like being able to do that reading advisory for kids," she said. "It's so important for kids to have excitement about reading. That choice (of books) is essential."

Along with book giveaways, the library has facilitated take-and-make craft projects for younger community members. Past activities have included felted gnomes and paper gnomes.

In addition, VanDetta has been hosting online storytimes, though they have not been widely attended.

"Everyone has to choose how much screen time they're comfortable with," she said, adding that she's potentially planning to create storytime kits for families to pick up this fall, which would consist of items like books, games and storytelling prompts. "Having something more tangible to work with would be good for families."

Though the library's building is closed, staff are facilitating no-contact pickups for items placed on hold. Titles can be reserved through the library's catalog at lincc.org or by calling 503-630-8273. Pick up times are available from 10 a.m. to noon and 2-4 p.m. and can be scheduled by calling the library.

"We want all of our patrons to still be able to use the library," VanDetta said.


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