With the goal of making book selection as simple as possible for busy families and teachers, the Marshall County Public Library is now offering custom book bundles for children and teens.
Children’s Librarian Beth Kerrick said she hopes this service will put families in contact with quality children’s books they may not have access to otherwise, without the stress of finding them on their own.
“I thought about how great it would be for parents to have a place to quickly request books so they wouldn’t have to bring all of their kids into the library if they were running short on time or patience,” Kerrick said. “I have a lively family and it’s not always easy to come in and carefully choose books, especially during a pandemic when we’re trying to limit contact with everything.”
Getting a book bundle is as simple as going online to the library’s website, filling out a ‘New Custom Book Bundles’ form, and waiting to be notified that the book bundle is ready to be picked up at one of the library’s three branch locations. All children’s book bundles are hand-selected by a children’s librarian.
“Our children’s librarians are very knowledgeable about our children’s book collection and the reading habits of young children based on research from early literacy experts,” Kerrick said. “They are able to think creatively and choose books based on those expert recommendations.”
Teen Services Librarian Ashley Hayden has put together “My Teen Likes…” kits, which serve to pull together titles focusing on a particular branch of study or interest. Some of the teen book bundles include topics such as Minecraft, drawing and cooking.
“So many times I would ask parents what I could pull for their teens and I would hear, ‘Well, my teen likes anime,’ or ‘My middle schooler really likes Percy Jackson’,” Hayden said.
With minimal public contact involved with getting book bundles, especially if they are picked up using the library’s curbside service, Kerrick said this is ideal for families with health concerns or a time crunch.
“This service allows families to pick up their material without having to spend too much time inside the library,” she said. “Another really cool aspect to this service is that learners (whether home school, virtual or in person) can request books on specific topics they may be studying in school. The student can have confidence we will find the best information to meet their needs as quickly as possible.”
With school back in session, the library has also recently added the option of student book bundles, which are specifically for students in the participating teacher’s classes. This form can also be found online.
“The teacher’s name is listed on the form and the student just checks which class they are in,” Kerrick said. “Each teacher submitted a list of about 30 or so books that they would recommend to one of their students. Since the book may not be available from the school library, students can access those books through the public library by checking which class they are in.”
With only three teachers participating so far, Kerrick said they hope to get more involved
To get started in using any of the three book bundle options currently offered by the library, go to marshallcolibrary.org and look for the ‘New Custom Book Bundles’ tab at the top of the webpage. For additional questions, call the Marshall County Public Library at 270-527-9969.