Kent, OH

Kent Free Library commits to provide youth, adult programs throughout the year despite pandemic

Paul Krasinic

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KENT, OH — The Portage Library Consortium's public library in Kent has a mission to support the educational, recreational, informational, and cultural needs of the Kent community and citizens.

Up to this date, Kent Free Library continues to hold programs for all ages to fulfill its mission. For children or youth, the library offers cooking activities, STEM projects, messy crafts (that kids may not be able to do at home), weekly storytimes for babies through preschoolers, and book groups for older children.

To encourage children to visit the library, the library also often organizes outreach programs at daycares and local schools.

The Youth Services manager, Shelley Hall said, “In the library, we do a lot of programs in the early years for literacy and to instill a love of reading and a love for the library at a young age so that they continue to come into the library as they get older.”

Adults can participate in an adult book club at Kent Free Library, where they can read the same book and discuss it in depth. Each month, a different theme is chosen, and the library organizes activities and invites guest speakers to have discussions on issues related to the theme.

Prior to the global pandemic, the Kent Free Library was able to host up to 20 youth programs every week. Meanwhile, during COVID-19, the number of virtual sessions each week was reduced to 12 per week, with the same concept as face-to-face sessions.

Since restrictions were in place due to the pandemic, Kristen Pool, the Adult Services manager, stated that all programs were conducted in virtual platforms, enabling the library to search for speakers who might not have time to come to the library.

"Now that restrictions are lowering, programming is going back to in person. Our patrons have been very eager to return and we're happy to do that for them. Going into fall, all of our programs will be back to in person,” said Pool.

The Kent Free Library serves various types of populations from multiform surrounding communities. To learn more about the library, please visit https://kentfreelibrary.org/.

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