Goleta Valley Library features special guests in new online program
To keep community members engaged during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Goleta Valley Library has launched a new program known as Special Guest Storytime.
“We thought it would be fun to have various members of our community read their favorite book virtually for kids,” Goleta Valley Library Director Allison Gray said.
Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte was the online program’s first special guest on May 22 after she read “Silly Sally” by Audrey Wood.
“I absolutely love the library and was thrilled that they would ask me to launch their Special Guest Storytime program,” Ms. Perotte said in a press release. “I chose one of my favorite books, ‘Silly Sally,’ by Audrey Wood. I read this book regularly to my daughters growing up, and now to my grandchildren. I am honored to now be able to read it to all of you.”
Ms. Gray told the News-Press that Ms. Perotte “set a very high bar” during the first Special Guest Storytime and that the feedback the library has received surrounding the program so far has been extremely positive.
“A book is a book, and kids love to see people reading to them — especially people they can look up to,” Ms. Gray said.
Since the library was forced to close due to COVID-19, Ms. Gray said the library has been “focusing on doing as many virtual services and programs as we can for our community members.” She told the News-Press the reason for doing so is because for a lot of people, “the library is a very social place.”
“It’s been so much fun bringing these stories to life with members of the community,” Ms. Gray said in a news release. “It’s hard not seeing all the smiling faces in the library, but I’m glad we can stay connected in other ways as we continue following the governor’s stay-at-home guidelines. My staff and I hope these readings will lift spirits through literacy and serve as a reminder that we are all in this together.”
When the News-Press asked Ms. Gray if she would like to be a special guest for the program she said, “I would love to. I used to be a children’s librarian so they will probably have to hold me back from trying.”
In addition to Ms. Perotte, other special guests the library has planned for Special Guest Storytime include personnel from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, graduate students in UCSB’s Classics Department and more.
The Goleta Valley Library plans to keep the program running even after the lockdown order is over.