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The San Marcos Public Library has found ways to move many of their programs and resources to the internet in order to keep serving the community throughout the pandemic . Daily Record file photo

Library plans programming through pandemic

Summer Reading, Porch Pickup & digital programs continue
Sunday, June 7, 2020

The San Marcos Public Library has been working to find ways to revamp and rethink important summer programs — like the Summer Reading Program, puppet shows, storytimes and career resources — to make them available to the community in the wake of COVID-19.

But Programming and Outreach Librarian Pamela Carlile wants to assure local families, the Summer Reading Program has not been canceled.

“The library is very excited to provide the San Marcos community with a safe, fun, and educational program to participate in this summer. The Summer Reading Program has always been important to help prevent the ‘summer slide,’ where children often slide backwards in reading and math skills over the summer,” Carlile said. “This summer is even more important as many families are stuck at home due to COVID-19 and are looking for engagement opportunities. Reading books provides that engagement, as well as a sense of comfort and escape, which is exactly what we all need in a time like this.”

Instead of paper reading logs this year, participants can easily keep track of the number of minutes they read with the Reader Zone app, available on smartphones, tablets and computers. Just like every other summer, they’ll be entered for a chance to win a prize for every four hours that they read.

If participants prefer a more low-tech option this summer, then they can check out one of the library’s high-fun game boards. Participants just need to complete five challenges to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line for a chance to win a prize. If they’re feeling really ambitious, they can download Reader Zone and a game board to double the chances of winning prizes.

Kids, teens, adults, and even the youngest story-listeners can join in. The library’s Summer Reading Program runs from June 5 through Aug. 14. Instructions for getting started with Reader Zone, as well as downloadable game boards can be found on the library’s website.

The library is also inviting teens ages 12-17 to sign up to be Star Teens this summer, where they can have the opportunity to earn volunteer hours. Instead of working in the library, there are a number of activities that teens can do from home to help the library. For more information about Star Teen opportunities email Carlile at

To help young makers stay creative, the library is offering weekly “Take & Make” craft kits. These kits include supplies and instructions to make unique and appealing crafts at home.

The library is also offering online storytimes, puppet shows and more, throughout the summer. For more information or to view scheduled events via Facebook. Carlile also encourages library storytime patrons to follow the library’s new YouTube channel.

Childrens Librarian Ashley Schimelman hosts regularly streamed puppet shows and storytimes for children. Photo courtesy of the San Marcos Public Library

For adults, the San Marcos Public Library has a Virtual Book Club. Join the Virtual Book Club on Facebook where readers can share current reads, leave book reviews, ask book related questions, give recommendations, post pictures of read piles and so much more.

For those looking for work or looking for a different career, the library has a resource page on Facebook, where staff help the community find new employment and the resources needed for career growth and change. This group is for job postings in and around San Marcos, as well as professional development opportunities, certification courses and other relevant resources.

Workforce Development Librarian Deborah Carter said unemployment is at an all-time high right now and many people are in the limbo of waiting to get their pre-COVID-19 jobs back or are uncertain if the hours they need to survive will be there after the unemployment stimulus runs out this summer, but she said the library has been curating resources and services to help navigate the uncertain employment market.

“The San Marcos Public Library is one of the main places people go when they need resources related to getting a new job, and during Covid 19, we are still providing an abundance of employment services,” Carter said. “From personal, expert assistance and live webinars to help with resume writing to a special collection of books geared specifically for job seekers and career changes, the library is looking out for the workforce needs of our community.”

Front Porch Pickup service will continue into the summer. Books, DVDs and other items from the library collection can be picked up during designated hours. The library information desk is also open daily to answer questions by telephone or email.

Those with a library card also have access to free eBooks and downloadable audiobooks, as well as electronic access to newspapers and magazines. Students enrolled in SMCISD have been issued digital cards and can access electronic materials with their student ID number.

For questions about San Marcos Public Library resources, programs or Front Porch Pickup service, call 512-393-8200.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666