Alva Review-Courier -

Summer Reading continues through July at Alva Public Library


Marione Martin

Weekly Summer reading take-home packets feature stories, stickers, activities and website ideas. The Alva Public Library will distribute these weekly through July.

If you can't bring the kids into the library, then the library will reach out to them. Although the Alva Public Library is still closed to those under 16 unless accompanied by a parent, the staff is still doing the Summer Reading Program.

Each week the staff puts together take-home packets for different age ranges. Parents may stop by to get a packet for each of their children. Director Sandra Ott showed Alva Library Board members a typical packet during the July 6 meeting. This one focused on The Tortoise and the Hare fable. Sheets inside contained the story, an explanation of how to tell a tortoise from a turtle, a word search puzzle, and a large paper turtle with colorful mosaic stickers to decorate its shell.

Special Presentations

Summer reading programs usually feature special speakers and presentations. Two of those programs will be available this month on the library's Facebook page. July 13-16, the Mad Science Group will present three sessions filled with science, magic and a fire-breathing dragon.

The second program will be a Facebook live interactive program. Monty Harper is a songwriter and performer based in Stillwater. His songs have inspired, challenged and entertained kids and families since 1989. Harper wants to interact with children watching, asking questions with parents typing in the responses, etc. The live performances will be on July 27. The program at 10:30 a.m. is for Little Explorers up to second grade. The second live performance will be at 1 p.m. for third grade and up. If you can't access the programs at the specified time, the recorded programs will be available on the library's Facebook page later in the day.

Ott said the library has had a pretty good response on the activity bags for younger kids, but older students' bags have had less demand. At the end of July, the library will decide if there's enough demand to continue distributing the activity packets into August.

Other Activities

Watch the library's Facebook page for other activity kits for older kids this summer. Planned activities include rock painting kits, McGyver project kits, sidewalk chalk and embroidery thread bracelets. Students will be encouraged to take pictures of their finished projects to post on the library's Facebook page.

Amy Ryerson plans to provide lessons on how to pay card games online with the library providing decks of cards that parents may pick up.

The library had a donation of quite a few soft cover books for children. Since they don't keep those on the shelf for lending, they plan to choose age appropriate ones to include in the summer reading packets.

No Fines, Curb Service Still Available

The Alva Public Library is no longer charging fines on overdue books. After a reasonable time, patrons with overdue books will not be able to check out more until they return those that are overdue.

With the lifting of pandemic restrictions, the library is seeing an increase in numbers of checkouts. Adult checkouts increased from 190 in May to 499 in June.

Juvenile checkouts continue to lag. Library staff members attribute this to caution on the part of parents who are probably relying on children's books they have at home. The number of e-book checkouts has decreased from 531 in May to 425 in June.

The library is currently allowing only those age 16 and over in the library. A child may enter is accompanied by an adult. However, there is no browsing allowed among the stacks. Library staff will go to the shelves and pull the requested books. Visitors are still limited to the area around the library counter.

Ott said she's continuing to monitor advice from the state libraries as well as local conditions. Sometime in the future, they may loosen restrictions to allow adults access to books on the main floor level. They are planning for sanitizing stations and are considering requiring browsers to wear masks.

Web Page

The library now has a web page under the City of Alva website. Ott said they are continuing to add to this. They have started building pages like the genealogy section. Look for the page under

Library Business

Like the rest of the city's departments, the library is operating on a tight budget this year. And like the other departments, no off-site training is included in this year's budget. Ott said the staff is looking a possible grants to help with this expense, and there are a number of good professional training programs available for free online.

The library has sent in paperwork to apply for some funding to spend on pandemic related items. If approved, this will provide money for things like sanitizing stations and personal protective equipment.

Some printers and a copier are at the end of life. Ott said she located one unit that had been ordered for a local business but then not purchased. Originally she thought she'd need $6,000 to buy replacements. However, this one printer-copier was offered at a cut rate of just over $2,000. Some people in the community have offered donations to help the library, and she will look to the Friends of the Library to help if needed. One advantage is that every computer in the building can connect to this new wireless printer.


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