Librarian Claudia Haines prepares to read stories on the air at local radio station KBBI in Homer, Alaska. (AP)

Librarian Claudia Haines prepares to read stories on the air at local radio station KBBI in Homer, Alaska. (AP)

Four-year-old Polly Fraley listens to stories read on the radio. The library teamed up with the station to continue its popular story hour for preschoolers. (AP)

Four-year-old Polly Fraley listens to stories read on the radio. The library teamed up with the station to continue its popular story hour for preschoolers. (AP)

Story hours at libraries are often popular, but the radio is a way to connect with the kids even amid the virus concerns.

Story hours at libraries are often popular, but the radio is a way to connect with the kids even amid the virus concerns.

Radio Story Hour

Posted: July 1, 2020

The library is closed. The internet cuts in and out. How do kids in Alaska stay connected and entertained during the coronavirus pandemic? They listen to the radio!

Public library workers in the small town of Homer, Alaska, team up with local radio station KBBI. They bring story hour to preschoolers at home. Librarian Claudia Haines reads children’s books on the air on Thursday mornings. She chooses books older kids and adults will like too. The show has dance breaks to help kids burn off extra energy. Kids can call in and talk to Ms. Haines on the air. She wants them to know: We’re apart while the library is closed. But we’re still here together in our community.

Do you remember reading about when God created the first man, Adam? He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) Next, He created Eve to help Adam. God made people for togetherness. We need it—even in pandemic time. So we get creative! In the large, frigid state of Alaska, people tend to live far apart. Roads are limited. Radio stations help. They have made Alaskans feel connected for decades.

Almost all library buildings in the United States are closed right now. But library workers adapt. They expand online services like streaming media and e-books. And some libraries find other ways to help out. A library in California uses its 3-D printers to make face shields for hospitals. A Missouri library partners with a diaper bank. Parents in need use the library’s makeshift emergency diaper drive-through.

Cassy Quinlan is an Alaska mom who listens to KBBI with her kids. She says the pandemic is bringing people back to simplicity: “You know, the basics—radio, reading, doing a puzzle.”

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. — Proverbs 27:17