This summer, even if you’re more often reading on your couch than in the hush of our region’s libraries, there’s still a bevy of engaging library summer programs you can access from afar. Both the Cleveland Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library systems are hosting a range of virtual programs, many with community partners, that allow patrons to educate their children, engage with national authors and support their socially distanced community.
“The one thing we recognized is that people need the library,” says Bill Kelly, CCPL’s adult programming manager. “They need information, they need entertainment.” One silver lining to come from the switch to digital? Both CPL and CCPL report an overall increase in program participation. Here are three summer programs brightening days beyond the page.
“Beyond the Book Jacket” at the Cuyahoga County Public Library
Hosted on Facebook Live,“Beyond the Book Jacket” dives into authors’ processes. Patrons have hit the beach (read) during a joint call with New York Times bestselling romance writers Elin Hilderbrand, Mary Kay Andrews and Susan Mallery, and heard from the sister duo using the pen name Liv Constantine to write mysteries. Tune in July 8 to get writing tips from Camilla Lackberg, author of psychological thriller The Golden Cage. Viewers can also submit questions for the writers via the comment section. “We’re able to connect with authors anywhere in the world,” says Kelly. facebook.com/cuyahogalib
“Make a Change” at the Cleveland Public Library
With the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, CPL offers kids weekly democracy-themed art classes through July 25 on Facebook Live. Artists lead lessons, from creating collages inspired by kids’ communities to making buttons supporting a cause. Part of CPL’s Summer Lit League, the program ships supplies to branches for participants to pick up. “People feel powerless to control what’s happening politically, but also in their community, because of the pandemic,” says Aaron Mason, CPL director of community engagement. “This gives kids a voice and allows them to interact with people inside and outside their neighborhood.” cpl.org
“Neighborhood Voices” at the Cleveland Public Library
With Literary Cleveland, CPL hosts these virtual writing workshops through July 31, encouraging residents to write about their neighborhoods and consider what “Cleveland” means to them. The resulting stories, essays and poems will be collected in a digital anthology arriving in September. Cleveland residents are grouped into workshops based on which city region they live in, and tackle prompts on treasured objects, favorite memories, street secrets and more. “It will be a great community-building project, but it will also demonstrate how much in common we all really have,” says Mason. cpl.org