Youth Services Librarian Stephanie Thoreson of the Vernon library and other staff members at the branch and members of the ORL’s youth Team deliver live virtual Story Times throughout the week. (Contributed)

Youth Services Librarian Stephanie Thoreson of the Vernon library and other staff members at the branch and members of the ORL’s youth Team deliver live virtual Story Times throughout the week. (Contributed)

Virtual treasure trove of stories at Okanagan libraries

Children librarians in Vernon, Kelowna and Salmon Arm take turns for Story Time

Peter Critchley

Okanagan Regional Library

Children and parents do not need to even leave the house to attend Vernon library’s Story Time.

The local branch, as well as the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) in general, is continuing to offer live virtual storytimes on Zoom.

“I always include at least one book to make them laugh, one to make them feel empathy and one that encourages participation,” youth services librarian Stephanie Thoreson said.

“The interactive nature of our Story Times gives kids a sense of community and confidence that prepares them for kindergarten. I ask questions and get both their minds and bodies moving. Children learn through play. Making books fun is essential to developing that part of their brains.”

The staff at the Vernon library are the storytellers at 11 a.m. Mondays, Thursdays and alternating Saturdays.

Children librarians at Kelowna and Salmon Arm perform the other days of the week as part of the ORL’s youth team. And now the staff at Vernon are preparing a special Halloween storytime at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29.

Thoreson said storytime teaches six important literacy skills — children develop vocabularies by hearing words in the context of the pictures and develop a positive association with books. They also learn the alphabet, colours and counting, understand how to turn pages and associate the symbols on a page with sounds and develop narrative skills through hearing the stories and being able to answer questions about them. Phonological awareness is encouraged with our choice of books with rhymes, alliteration and rhythm.

And when Thoreson is not busy telling great stories she likes to create personalized book lists for kids and teens, one of her favourite parts of the job.

A form can be accessed on the library website and you can request five to 10 book suggestions based on your child’s interests and reading level.

For more information about Story Time, visit https://www.orl.bc.ca/kids-teens/kids/story-time.

READ MORE: Visit the Vernon library without leaving home

READ MORE: North Okanagan Literacy rasies readers


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