ORANGE PARK – Clay County libraries are continuing to find new ways to engage their patrons. With in-person visits drastically decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they still want to find …
ORANGE PARK – Clay County libraries are continuing to find new ways to engage their patrons. With in-person visits drastically decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they still want to find different and creative ways to encourage public participation.
One of those ways is the Take and Make program. The program allows people of all ages – but mostly children and teenagers – the opportunity to pick up kits from their local libraries and either complete them at the library or take them home to complete the project inside the kit bag.
Depending on the kit’s estimated popularity or complexity, patrons may sometimes need to register online for one before arriving at the library to pick it up.
“We stopped by; it’s Black History month, so they said they had some stuff, we could work, so we thought we’d take this [Take and Make kit],” said Carolyn Marquis, Orange Park resident who was there with her granddaughters Madison, 6, and Mila, 4, who were visiting from Maryland. “I didn’t even know they [Orange Park Library] had it.”
The Take and Make kits are available each Thursday and last until supplies are depleted. Each week they have a different theme.
“Instead of doing our story time gathering, we were trying to find alternatives,” said Julia Davis, a librarian at Orange Park Library. “The Take and make crafts was a really popular idea in libraries that we sort of adapted to fit the community. For African American history month [in February], we’re doing one based on Mae Jemison [the first Black woman to become an astronaut], so it’s a little rock ship the kids can make to sort of blast off with that.”
According to Davis, the feedback of the program has been increasingly positive. Many parents are busy, so the program gives them a chance to grab something for their children quickly. The kits are entertaining and educational.
Leah Diggs is a children’s librarian at Orange Park. She has been with the Clay County Library system for four years and at Orange Park for about two months.
“A lot of parents love the Take and Makes,” she said. “We started actually expanding it from children to doing it for teens as well, and those are really popular. We had a Harry Potter one for the teens, and that was out in like maybe half a day. It was very, very popular.”
“I just think it’s really great that they’re doing these things to celebrate history in a creative way for kids,” said Marquis. “Since a lot of them with learning online has been such a challenge.”
For more information on availability and scheduling, see library.Claycountygov.com.