Kasia Dupuis is a teacher and an artist. She’s not accustomed to being on-camera.
But with the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library closed, Dupuis, who looks after children’s programming, has gone virtual.
Using a tripod and her phone, she records and uploads online programs, including Create with Kasia, showing kids how to paint along with her step-by-step instructions, and STEAM Story Time, when she reads a story to youngsters and shows them some simple science.
Story Time is Wednesdays at 11 a.m., and when offered at the library is intended for kids aged three to five, but online, “anyone can access it.”
The art-based program is offered Mondays at 4 p.m., and is designed for all ages — she’s even finding adults enjoy it, she says.
The number of kids who watch each session has been anywhere from a dozen to about 40, she says, depending on the day and what is on offer, but each past video is available on YouTube to watch afterward. Dupuis says they’ve had about 800 viewers — Story Time, for example, can be watched by kids who enjoy it over and over again.
“People are watching them, and we’re getting really good feedback.”
She says recording the videos is fun, and “also terrifying. I’m not used to being on-camera.”
It is, however, something she’s always wanted to try, especially with an art-based program, and now that she’s given it a try, she finds it exciting.
And, as a bonus, she’s still employed — some library staff have been laid off.
“This is helping me think about programming in general, not only for online and virtual,” she says. “It shows there are different ways of providing programs for people who can’t come to the library.”
And it’s interesting to be able to connect with a wider audience, from home, she adds.
Also online is the Virtual Minecraft Club on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. and Fridays at 3 p.m., and Family Fun Fridays, at noon, offering instructional videos to follow along with some simple and fun activities.
Online learning is about the future, she says, but it’s also here now. “When this is over, and we’re back to the new normal, whatever that looks like, virtual programming will continue to have its place.”
For a schedule and more information about online library programs, visit https://www.facebook.com/