Nampa Public Library and Amazon celebrate Read Across America Day with Makerspace donation, Dr. Seuss activities, and announce partnership as library prepares to open doors to public on March 15
Today, the Nampa Public Library and Amazon announced a new partnership as the library prepares to reopen to the public on March 15 for the first time since last fall. This announcement commemorates today’s National Read Across America Day [nea.org], an annual National Education Association event which helps encourage children to read.
“On March 15, we will welcome the public back to the library for the first time in several months,” said Claire Connley, Director of the Nampa Public Library. Connley said that late last fall the library opened for a few weeks with limited hours and services, averaging only about 50 visitors a day. The library closed its doors again in November due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the area.
“A library is best experienced in-person,” she said. “We’re counting down the days as we make final preparations to welcome the community again.”
During the pandemic, the library offered certain programs and services like the new holds pick up window, which enabled community members to continue checking out titles. However, as Connley notes, “a library is a place of discovery where people come to browse and explore new books, to read and study, or to work on STEM and robotics activities in our new Collaboration Corner. Our library is central to the community and being able to reopen is a sign of hope, a sense of normalcy in some way.”
The Collaboration Corner (makerspace) is a large, second floor room where visitors have access to all-things science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and educational resources like 3-D printers and robotics kits.
Amazon today announced a $7,500 grant to help the library expand this popular STEM program.
“We’re grateful for the partnership we are building with Amazon and for their generous STEM grant,” said Connley. “We will purchase items to help enrich the library experience and encourage future generations of innovators right here in Nampa.”
National Read Across America Day is also the birthday of celebrated children’s author Dr. Seuss. To recognize this special occasion, the Nampa Public Library has announced a writing and drawing contest for all ages. Artists in four age categories are encouraged to submit entries of Dr. Seuss-like artwork and writing depicting their favorite Dr. Seuss story, character, or theme. Four winners, one per age category, will be announced on March 15 at a ribbon cutting ceremony with Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling, Nampa City Councilmember Victor Rodriquez, Library Foundation Chair Debra Holm, the Nampa Public Library, and Amazon. Winners will receive Kindles or kid’s edition Fire tablets, also donated by Amazon.
“We’re grateful to the Nampa Public Library for all the programs and services they provide to the community, and we appreciate what they’ve done to remain accessible as much as possible during these unprecedented times,” said Tim McIntosh, General Manager of Amazon’s new Nampa fulfillment center. The library is featuring McIntosh reading one of his favorite Dr. Seuss books online [youtu.be], complete with a Cat in the Hat hat – and a mask. “We’re also pleased to see all the planning and preparation the library is doing to help ensure a successful, safe experience for visitors and staff.”
“As we prepare for March 15, we’ve taken all precautions into account to open safely,” added Connley. “Library staff has worked very hard to help ensure we’re following all COVID-19 safety measures and that we do our part to help keep visitors and staff healthy and safe.”
Connley says that while the pandemic has changed the overall experience at the library, the public will still be able to enjoy physically distanced reading activities, quiet study nooks, and access to computer stations – all of which will be very familiar to patrons.
For more information about the Nampa Public Library Dr. Seuss contest, please visit https://nampalibrary.org/drseuss.