SELINSGROVE — The Rudy Gelnett Trust has provided $15,000 to the Snyder County Libraries for recording and computer equipment to expand virtual programs, including a virtual Festival of Trees celebration.
Children’s programming coordinator Lubow Frey said staff has been using their own cell phones and home computers to record programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s been a lot of trial and error,” she said.
Still, the online children’s programs have been very popular, Libraries Executive Director Pam Ross said.
Virtual programs reached hundreds of children this summer, with the online reading program being the most popular with 808 views and more than 50 hours of videos watched on YouTube in the month of May, said Mitch Alday, programming and marketing coordinator.
The numbers remained high in June and July, with 635 and 584 views, respectively, Alday said.
The new equipment purchased with the Gelnett funds will make it easier to provide virtual programs and enable the library to reach more people, said Ross.
The recording studio, complete with a green screen, has been set up in the lower level of the Gelnett Memorial Library in Selinsgrove and has been used to videotape staff and volunteers reading books connected with about 15 decorated trees and wreaths submitted for the Festival of Trees organized by library staff.
The event is an offshoot of the annual Tree Fest, which due to the pandemic is not being organized this year by the Friends of the Library.
Since the books can not be set out with each of the trees for the public to read due to COVID-19 restrictions, Ross said, the decision was made to videotape the books being read aloud and post online the videos with photographs of the trees.
To view the online Festival of Trees, visit www.snydercountylibraries.org and for a small donation vote for a favorite tree.
The public is also invited to view the trees and wreaths in person at the library in Selinsgrove through the month.
A few extra decorated trees not showcased at the library are included online.