Virtual Programming & Outreach

How can we offer virtual programs and services to our communities? STLS staff have collected ideas and best practices for your consideration, below.

Planning for Summer

STLS Youth Services Consultant, Lorie Brown, has compiled a list of ideas for Summer Learning!
View the list, here:
This list will be updated regularly.

Ideas for Curbside Services

Compilation of Programming and Reader’s Advisory Ideas for Curbside Services:

Curbside Services can provide services to community members who are not connected as well as to those who are connected. Visit the link above for ideas from Lorie!

Virtual Storytimes

From the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a Virtual Storytime Services Resource Guide:

Storyline Online -The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. [These readings can be played/scheduled by YOU.] Each reading is accompanied by an activity guide. Invite your community to join you on Facebook at a particular time. Listen to the book, read by a celebrity. Then, use the activity guide to encourage kids to do an activity – led by you, their local librarian, as a group.

List of authors/publishers that have given permission to use their works in live streaming. 
(See below for a more up-to-date list posted on 7/24/2020.)

HarperCollins has updated their permissions through September 9, 2020. You may stream via digital platform or post in a closed educational platform.  If a closed platform is unavailable, you can upload to YouTube as long as it is “unlisted.” There are a couple more things you need to do, and you can find them here:

​Also extended:

Harper Kids has a YouTube channel with some of their great books ready to be shown ANY time: (copy and paste link into browser)

Use this as a springboard for an online program similar to using the stories on Storyline Online (see above.) 

Let’s Keep Reading – An evolving Google Doc of authors and illustrators who are hosting livestream events [Promote these events in advance. Encourage patrons to access via your Facebook and/or links.]

FREE eBooks About Coronavirus / COVID-19

Check out this collection of free eBooks in multiple languages for children about the Coronavirus / COVID-19:

Video Editing

Video Basics 101 (with Cherilyn Wise from the Cuba Circulating Library):

Slides for Video Basics 101:

Check out this great webinar on video creation:

From the same creator:

How to Edit a video on iPhone:

How to upload to Facebook:

How to upload to Instagram:

How to upload to YouTube:


As you are creating videos to share with your patrons, consider addressing accessibility by adding closed captioning. Tips for various platforms are included below:




Copyright Considerations

Please check out these resources for IMPORTANT information about copyright issues related to hosting virtual storytimes:

“Tackling Copyright Concerns When Taking Storytime Online” 

ALA LibGuide: Copyright for Libraries

Livestream Storytime from the Public Library

Know & Go: Spotlight on Virtual Storytimes – Amigos Library Services – register for free to view the recording of this event which happened in the past.

We know libraries have questions about copyright use as they move to virtual programming. On March 24th, ALA’s Public Programs Office published this article about copyright use which can be read here:

Online Courses for Youth

Direct parents and caregivers to Day by Day New York, a website with a new book for parent and child to read together and other activities to develop early literacy skills: talk, sing, read, write, and play. 

Don’t forget to check out KidLit TV for podcasts, read alouds, activities, book trailers, and so much more! 

Support caregivers who are looking to provide educational opportunities for out-of-school children.
Check out the following resources:

  • Khan Academy provides free courses for preK ages through adults. Suggested daily homeschool schedules are provided, as well as a “Parent Quick Start Guide.”
  • Scholastic is providing online courses that include tiered lessons for preK through sixth grade.
  • Gale (under “Enhance Instruction”) provides free access to interdisciplinary, curriculum-aligned resources for elementary through college students.
  • BrainPOP is offering free family access to its distance learning resources for grades K-12.

Other Resources

This is the perfect time to begin that genealogical research you’ve been meaning to do! This Genealogy Research guide from NYPL can help you get started.

Host a book club on Facebook. Montour Falls has quite a few, if you’re looking for ideas to get started! Worried that not everyone can get the same title? Start a thematic/genre book club where everyone reads a different title and shares their takeaways.

OverDrive is a great resource to ensure that patrons can find new reading material in order to participate.

Urge patrons to take their census while they are home! It can be completed online at or by phone at 1-844-330-2020.

Other free resources:

EBSCO’s Health Resources

OCLC Libraries Serving During Pandemic

ProQuest Supporting Libraries with E-Book Access

LibraryThing is Now Free to All


About GoNoodle

GoNoodle gets kids moving to be their smartest, strongest, bravest, silliest, bestest selves. GoNoodle is among the fastest adopted online resources used by elementary teachers; connecting movement, mindfulness and learning for their students. Delivering measurable gains in academics and health, GoNoodle’s 100’s of short interactive videos and games get kids moving throughout the school day, keeping them energized and focused, while introducing curricular topics, practicing mindfulness or just getting the wiggles out. Over 2 million families use GoNoodle at home, turning screen time into active time, either through, apps for the iPhone and Apple TV and through the GoNoodle YouTube channel. Learn more at

Top Ways to Reach Out and Connect with your Community

  • • Call your homebound or less mobile patrons to check in on them.
  • • Change your answering machine message to reflect closure hours, and include a time when patrons can call back to have “distant office hours” with a librarian over the phone. 
  • • If you are handling materials, please:
    • ○ Wear gloves
    • ○ Clean/disinfect materials going OUT and coming IN.
      • *Ideally, you should not be moving materials in/out of the library at this time, per recommendations from STLS.
  • • Use social media to communicate with your community.
    • Use Facebook’s “pin” feature to keep a post pinned to the top of your library’s Facebook page with all of the most important information: closure dates, wifi information, services and programs offered virtually.
    • ○ Plan to post, at least, once per day. Use Facebook’s scheduling function to make posting every day hassle free!
    • ○ Host programs via Facebook Live such as book clubs or build a program around an author reading their stories. 
    • ○ Feature an author or a genre on a post or two. 
    • ○ Connect patrons with free online educational opportunities for out-of-school children.
  • Leave your wifi on and publicize the wifi password on your library website, social media, and on signs posted to library doors & windows in order to allow patrons to access the internet from your parking lot.
    • ○ Put a reminder on a library window or door for patrons to take the CENSUS while they are connected to the internet!

It is ok to post your wifi network name and password to social media! 

Search the Catalog

STARCat Logo

Upcoming Events

STLS Events Calendar

See the full calendar, here.