I have a love/hate relationship with August. I hate August because it sometimes feels useless. August is long and hot and dreary. Summer reading is wrapping up or is over already, but it is too soon to start thinking about next year. Patrons seem to be far too preoccupied with tying up their own summers and getting ready for back-to-school to participate in programming. Most autumn activities and programming don’t kick into high gear until after Labor Day. And, there are no universally recognized holidays in August to offer staff a mental break from their routines.
As a youth services programmer this year has been tough. Severe restrictions on space ensured an inability to fully engage and collaborate in person throughout the pandemic. This restricted access made it difficult to feel connected to the community my library sought to serve. In order to help bridge this gap, the Robert R. Jones Public Library has collaborated with the Village of Coal Valley’s Parks Department to provide Coal Valley's youth a fun-filled summer of possibilities through a revamped 2021 Day-Camp program.