Washoe Library System Receives Award for Innovative Solutions Used During COVID

Virtual Literacy Plus, a programming initiative of the Washoe County Library System, was recognized this week with a 2021 Award of Excellence from the National Association of Counties.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, state-imposed restrictions and closures led the library system to develop innovative solutions to the lack of in-person programming.

In an effort to foster an optimal learning environment, the library has expanded its regular interactive events, launching a virtual component with the goal of connecting online with preschool and K-12 age groups.

The Virtual Story Time program was developed by the Youth Services and Virtual Services teams at the Washoe County Library. The video-based distance storytelling hours combined printed motivation and pre-literacy skills with the focused vision of the library to connect people with information, ideas and experiences.

In addition, the Break with Baby and Early Reader virtual programs served children from birth to 7 years old and their caregivers. They focused on interactive activities and early literacy tips in the absence of in-person story time.

“Reaching the community with virtual programs has had a positive and lasting impact on the library’s vision of library programming,” a library system release said Friday. “Hundreds of virtual storytime videos have been viewed over 40,000 times, providing high visibility for families who have not had the opportunity to visit a library in person. “

The National Association of Counties awards are presented in 18 categories that reflect the comprehensive services provided by the counties. Categories include children and youth, library services, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, and civic engagement, among others.

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