One of the most important relationships Orange County Library System has is with Orange County Public Schools. We strive to ensure that every school in the county has a library staff liaison who provides them with information about library events and services, and we collaborate with OCPS on a variety of initiatives, like virtual field trips, virtual library services and providing library card sign-up applications to students.
To help teachers make the most of our relationship with schools, we host a special event for educators every summer to help them learn how the library can aid them in the classroom and beyond. We call it Library U, and it offers presentations, experiences and demonstrations that shed light on what the library has to offer educators and students. Some teachers who visit for the event are amazed by all of the things the library has to offer that they don’t know about, like live online tutoring for students, language learning and databases that can help kids do research or write papers.
This year’s Library U takes place on Thursday, June 9 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Elementary, middle and high school teachers and media specialists can participate. Topics that will be covered this year include a hands-on experience in the library’s Melrose Center; virtual library cards and the tools they unlock for students who have access to them; and virtual field trips and how they enhance the classroom experience. Just like all of our events, Library U is free. Registration is required and closes June 7.
Another thing we do every summer is host our annual Summer Reading Program. This year’s program launches on June 4, and after two years of virtual-only events and programs, we’re looking forward to bringing back in-person experiences at all locations. We’ll host some of our most popular performers, like OrisiRisi African Folklore, Gatorland’s gator wranglers, Yehaa Bob and Jiggleman, as well as some newer experiences, like Curbside Circus, which wowed audiences with outdoor performances at select branch locations last year.
We’ve also got a challenge for you – help us reach our Summer Reading Program community reading goal of 2 million minutes. If we had 3,334 people read at least 600 minutes this summer, we could easily reach that goal. To participate, sign up for the Beanstack app and create an account with your library card so you can log your reading time online. Last year, we set a community reading goal of 1 million minutes, and we far exceeded it with more than 1.8 million minutes read and logged by the community. Let’s make sure we get to 2 million in 2022!