Libraries get wild this summer

Librarian Jocelyn Covert with Geronimo Stilton, one of the many characters who joins her in library activities this summer. Photo: Halifax Public Libraries

I recently sat down with youth librarian Jocelyn Covert to talk about the lineup for Bedford Days and Bedford Public Library programming in our community this summer. You’ll see us popping up in some unexpected places.
Jocelyn’s background in theatre serves her well in her work with youth. Her energy and fantastic storytelling skills are evident. She is always looking to create magical experiences for kids that will set them up for a lifetime of stories and curiosity.
The TD Summer Reading Club starts June 28. This year the theme is “Wild!” and we will be getting wild at our outdoor summer reading kickoff party June 28. There will be special performers, giant outdoor games, free books, and lots of cake and other treats.
“Our summer reading program is about reading for enjoyment and pleasure,” Covert says. “The kickoff is a way for us to convey that excitement and enthusiasm about reading. Children and parents come and start a summer of reading with us.” The event has truly become a shared community celebration, with many local business and recreation partners contributing.
Our summer traditions continue with Halloween in June festivities on June 30. We’ll be adding some fun new programs, including a Family Fort Night, Harry Potter programming, and a fireman story time.
Beyond programming in our branch, there will be lots of opportunities to see us in the community. We will be showing off our new community kit, featuring a portable puppet stage, new puppets, plenty of new stories, and super-sized board games. We are also excited about a new be fit-kit full of skipping ropes, juggling scarves, bean bags, Nerf toys, and more that can be checked out to you and enjoyed outside. Also, we are happy to offer book bins to local recreation groups every summer.
Jocelyn’s focus lately has been on access for all. She is always thinking about how to make learning fun and comfortable for everyone, whether it’s access to our programs for youth who can’t make it to the library, or programming and toys that appeal to kids with differing abilities.
She invites you to get in touch with us if you would like us to participate in your community event. With our very well equipped community kit, Jocelyn says there is the “opportunity to do story times and puppet shows anywhere.” We aim to reach all corners of our community, from West Bedford to Waverley.
Another area of interest for our youth librarians is reaching newcomer families who may need language support. Our new multilingual tool, the Mantra Lingua PENPal, a fantastic audio-visual tool that you can use to read with your child in multiple languages, is now available in Halifax Public Libraries branches. Furthermore, our puppet shows, with humour, action, and dramatic voices, are great entertainment for the whole family, no matter your level of English.
We’re excited to meet you out in the community this summer! Let’s tell some stories, try some new things, and get “Wild!”

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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