By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
This summer has been one of the most difficult for local parents in decades. The shutdown of pools, ponds, playgrounds, and other fun outdoor activities have made parents dependent on screen time to keep their kids busy. The closure of the Dover Town Library (DTL) has hit the community particularly hard, with a lack of the regular creative programs librarians normally plan during the summer months. But as they always seem to, DTL librarians have found a way to bring crafting to kids that they can do safely in their house.
On Wednesday, September 9, parents were invited to pick up their monthly grab and go crafts, perfect for keeping their kids busy at home for a few hours without having to use a computer. “Because the library is closed, we’ve had to do all virtual programming. We know that doesn’t work for every family, so we’re trying to think of some things we can provide that are not on a screen so we’ve been doing the storywalk around the library and then we started doing the grab and go crafts. They’ve been extremely popular. So I think it’s really hitting the chord with people,” says Children’s Librarian Nancy Tegeler.
Library staff assembles each craft kit, including all the necessary pieces, except for items like glue and tape. There are typically three different crafts from which to choose on each grab and go day. The most recent crafts included a snake, a jellyfish and octopus, and pipe cleaner person. Each craft comes with additional bubbles, bookmarks, and even mints and lollipops that are normally found inside the library to make the kids feel like they are really back in the DTL. “It’s been fun for us and it’s been really well received, so we’re going to keep doing it once a month,” explains Tegeler.
None of the librarians have seen any of the creations, but the popularity of the grab and go craft is apparent. “We’re just assuming families are enjoying it because they come back every month and get the new craft,” says Tegeler. By the end of Wednesday, most of the craft bags had been taken by children excited to bring a little piece of the library home with them.
It will be a while before librarians can host their usual crafting programs in person. Until then, parents and kids can rely on the DTL's numerous Zoom programs and creative craft kits to keep them busy.