Brooks Memorial Library now brings books, lunches to kids

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It would score you 84 points as the first play of the game at Scrabble Night, which is one of the many activities offered during normal times at Brooks Memorial Library.

Movie matinees for kids, an evening of singing, life-sized Candy Land, music and puppets, poetry reading, and craft time are among the other special events usually held at 224 Main Street in Brattleboro.

"Kids and parents come here to craft or for science experiments, teens hang out here after school, and some just come by to say 'hi' and savor some human interaction," said library director Starr Latronica. "All of that in-person service stopped in mid-March and we have been closed to the public ever since."

The pandemic forced the library's schedule to change drastically, with "Virtual LEGO-palooza" and "Family Yoga on Zoom" being some of the things offered during the closure.

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"We still answer reference questions and provide as many services as possible without being able to be face-to-face with folks," the library director said. "People can check out materials and pick them up at the front door. They can request special titles or just ask us for good books on a subject or for an age range."

It has allowed area kids to enjoy the rhymes of Dr. Seuss along with Beverly Cleary's ordinary characters while in quarantine.

Brooks Memorial Library is also providing home delivery and offering free lunch to go for ages 18 and under.

"We are working on expanding our summer learning program, which is a huge project for public libraries. It involves months of planning and then months of activities, programming and interaction," said Latronica. "Our youth services staff has found creative and innovative ways to structure learning opportunities from art projects to science experiments to family activities, to keep kids engaged and prevent the summer slide."

Families are encouraged to break out the popular Hasbro word game in order to stay sharp for when Scrabble Nights return to the library's Glass Room.


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