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Youth Services Librarian Deborah VanDetta prepares to host online storytime for young readers.

Staff at the Estacada Public Library soon will begin sharing stories online.

"I really miss our storytime kids," said Estacada Youth Services Librarian Deborah VanDetta, discussing the library's closure to facilitate social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

"We wanted to keep up our programming in some way. It's a way to keep doing early literacy with our community and a chance for people to interact," she said.

VanDetta is hosting online storytimes through Zoom at 11 a.m. Wednesdays. The first event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 6, and the virtual gatherings are targeted at children age 5 and younger.

The Estacada library offers a variety of storytimes, including ones focused on music and movement, preschool learners and the alphabet. VanDetta plans to combine elements of each into the online gatherings.

"There will be familiar elements for anyone who attends," she said, noting that along with stories, activities will include singing, guessing games and movement activities.

Families who wish to participate in virtual storytime should sign up by Tuesday, May 5.

VanDetta is looking forward to connecting virtually with participants.

"(I'm most excited about) seeing the kids' faces again. I really miss that. It's not 100% the same, but it's as close as we can get, and we'll take it," she said.


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