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Senior library assistant Alyssa LaRule hosts a Virtual Teen Tuesday. The Derby Public Library has successfully shifted all of its programming to an online and social-distanced format.

Whether young or old, the Derby Public Library has something for everyone this summer – and nearly all of it is offered virtually.

Preschool, elementary and middle school

For youngsters, the library offers virtual preschool story times where a story is read on the library’s Facebook page each Wednesday at 10 a.m. on Facebook Live.

For kids ages 2 to 6, the library does a StoryWalk where the pages of a book are split up and spaced at least six feet apart each Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.

“Kids can walk on the sidewalk, read a story, and enjoy the outdoors,” senior library assistant Alyssa LaRue said.

For kids in kindergarten through fifth grade, there’s a weekly craft kit available, which can be picked up at the library’s front desk or through the drive-thru.

For kids up to fifth grade, the library offers a STEM workshop called Adventures Plus. The workshop lets kids do fun at-home science experiments. Kits can be picked up on Monday through the library’s drive-thru. Experiments are performed on the library’s Facebook each Thursday at 2 p.m.

The library also offers its tween book club read-along virtually. A chapter is read each day Monday through Friday on the library’s Facebook page.


There are a multitude of programs available for teens, which LaRue is in charge of. The staple program is Teen Tuesday. Each Tuesday at 4 p.m., the library starts a Facebook Live and walks kids through a craft, puts on a book talk, and then does some trivia and games with prizes.

Another big teen summer program is a filmmaking program called Movie Craft, which has already started, LaRue said.

“We’re knee deep in that right now,” LaRue said.

Usually, LaRue would take 30 teens, hole up in the community room, and teach them how to make a short film in seven weeks. That’s been transitioned into an online format.

“They’re using their phone, a camera if they have one, or if they need equipment help they can come see me one-on-one,” LaRue said.

LaRue is filming lessons and sending lectures and Youtube videos to the teens. The program is currently in the writing phase.

The plan is to hold a virtual premiere at the end of the month, LaRue said.

LaRue is also doing a month-long murder mystery. Participants are sent a clue each day. After all the clues are out, they will be asked to determine who did the crime. It’s like a subscription box with a fairy tale theme, LaRue said. Participants who correctly identify the murderer will receive a prize.

LaRue also offers writing prompts, and is putting on an art show based around the library’s fairy tale summer program. Art pieces can be sent directly to LaRue. Depending on how many are turned in, they may be posted in the library or shown off in a virtual art show.


The library also has some fun for adults. LaRue, who has her yoga certification, has started live streaming yoga classes. Those have been a hit, LaRue said.

“I’ve had people watching that aren’t even in Kansas,” LaRue said.

The library has also started doing adult trivia nights.

“We turn on Facebook Live on my phone and just ask people questions,” LaRue said. “There are no teams, no sign ups, people just give answers in the comments, but it’s been insane. I think at the end of it all we had like 600-something comments.”

The library did two trivia nights in June. Because they were so popular, they’re planning to do another on July 10 at 7 p.m., and may continue the trivia nights beyond that.

Summer reading program

There’s also the staple summer reading program, which can be registered for on the library’s website ( Participants are required to read at least 12 hours to complete the program. The program’s grand prizes include a portable kids bookshelf and a $200 gift certificate to a bookstore (kids 3 years old or younger), a Nintendo Switch and games (kids 4 years old to entering 5th grade), and a pair of Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones and a wireless Bluetooth speaker (kids entering 6th grade up to 12th graders). Everyone who reads at least 12 hours is entered into the grand prize drawings. Each participant also receives two free games of bowling from Derby Bowl.