Library, TV network, encourage outdoor play
This Saturday Great Bend Public Library will take part in Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play. Great Bend Children’s Librarian Eric Coulbourne noted, "This is an annual event designed by Nickelodeon to encourage kids and parents to turn off the television and play, especially outdoors." Nickelodeon programming will halt from noon to 3 p.m., local time, on Saturday, Sept. 24. Its networks and websites will all go dark as a signal to kids and families to get up and get active.
The computers in the children’s section of the library will also be shut down Saturday afternoon, Coulbourne said. Weather permitting, children will head outdoors to play games such as tag and Red Light, Green Light.
"I think it’s good to set aside a day to focus on (physical activity)," Coulbourne said. "Not a lot of kids do that any more."
After the game time, children will come inside the library for a healthy snack. They will be making their own trail mix.
Great Bend Public Library has replaced its Dial-A-Story services with an online storyteller, Children’s Librarian Eric Coulbourne said.
The new service, called TumbleBooks, is an audio/visual reading experience. Children can view an e-book and listen as the books read to them.
"Dial-A-Story was where you called and heard a story over the phone," Coulbourne said. The company provided classic stories on cassettes, which were recorded onto a digital playback system. The same story would play each time someone called, until the librarian changed the recording. TumbleBooks offers a choice of books for various reading levels, up to sixth grade. There are read-alongs, storybooks, non-fiction books, language learning tools, and puzzles and games. There are also stories in Spanish, and some that are shown in both English and Spanish.
"We had been experiencing dwindling numbers," Coulbourne said of patrons who used Dial-A-Story. Then, a recent upgrade of the library’s phone lines created compatibility issues with the equipment. The dial-up storyteller was dropped in August to be replaced by TumbleBooks. "We already have more people."
TumbleBooks can be found on the GBPL website, greatbendpl.info. "Right now it’s on the main front page," Coulbourne said. Later, patrons will find it by clicking on the "services" tab, and then the "children’s tab." Great Bend Public Library pays the subscription free so its patrons can use the service in the library or from home.
Story times resume
Children can also hear stories read to them by a real person at the library’s weekly Story Time sessions. The library has started its fall Story Time sessions for young children, and Lap Sit Story Time for infants.
Story Time is for children 18 months and older. It is offered from 10:15 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. Activities include stories, songs and crafts.
Lap Sit Story Time is for children from birth to 18 months old and their parents. Programs are at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays, which is before the library opens. Parents may enter through the east doors starting at 8:50 a.m.