COVID-19 Resources

Share Your Grab and Go Self Directed and Hybrid Library Programming Ideas | Children & Families, Teens and Adults

We’ve created a Google spreadsheet and ask you to share your best grab and go programming ideas:

COVID Diaries Summer Programming Ideas & Resources

California COVID Diaries is a statewide community history project that encourages Californians of all ages to share their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic through creative expression. COVID Diaries can take many forms – an essay, a story or letter, a poem, a song, a photo or drawing, a painting, sculpture, a short film, a blog or social media post. The possibilities are limitless!

The Summer @ Your Library Program Committee has compiled programming ideas and resources gathered from library staff across California to assist libraries in using their summer reading and learning programs as creative outlets that provide an outlet for their community members’ experiences during this unique moment in time: COVID Diary Resources

California Online Programming Ideas Database

The State Library is collecting and making available programming ideas for public library staff to use while library buildings are closed and programming must be virtual and/or distance-friendly. To access the database and/or to contibute ideas please visit:

2020 iREAD® Resource Guide Home Edition and Presentation:

Each year, librarians across the United States work together to create the iREAD® Summer Reading Program. Based on the theme, librarians write the programs, craft projects, and bibliographies that make up this Resource Guide. Libraries are working hard to make plans to adapt in case the COVID-19 protocols remain in place through part of summer 2020. iREAD is pleased to make available this free, abridged version of the 2020 Resource Guide for families to use while at home.

“Digging Deeper” In a Changing Summer Landscape – 2020 Summer Programs
Wondering how to adapt your summer programs to this new environment? Ashley Stewart, Library Director of the Caseyville Public Library in Illinois and Lindsey Herron, Library Director of the Wood River Public Library in Illinois–both iREAD Committee members–presented a webinar on April 10th with detailed suggestions on how to conduct a summer reading program remotely, including serving those with broadband and those without. Download the full presentation.

Virtual Programming Best Practices from Millersville Public Library, Millersville, TN.

ACL’s California Virtual Performers Database

Due to the unexpected library closures related to COVID-19, many libraries are reevaluating how to best serve their communities including how to host virtual programming and support summer reading programs. To offer support in these uncertain times, the ACL Performers’ Showcase has developed a resource to better connect libraries and the community of performers who entertain in libraries every summer:

COVID-19 Summer Reading Networking Conversation Notes

The Summer @ Your Library project staff and California State Library are hosting facilitated COVID-19 Summer Reading Networking Conversations for all library staff working on summer reading and summer program planning. Notes from these sessions can be found here:

April 7, 2020: Summer Networking Conversation #1 (COVID-19)
April 27, 2020: Summer Networking Conversation #2 (COVID-19)
April 28, 2020: Summer Networking Conversation #2 (COVID-19)
May 14, 2020: Summer Networking Conversation #3 (COVID-19)
June 2, 2020: Summer Networking Conversation #4 (COVID-19)
June 30, 2020: June 30, 2020 Summer Networking Conversation #5 (COVID-19)
July 21, 2020: July 21, 2020 Summer Networking Conversation #6 (COVID-19)
September 23, 2020: Summer-Reading-Networking-Calls-September-23-2020-Notes
February 11, 2021: Summer-Reading-Networking-Calls-February-11-2021-Notes
March 18, 2021: Summer Networking Conversation #9 (COVID-19)

Register for upcoming conversations here:

COVID-19 Summer Reading Networking Conversation Shared Resources and Ideas

During the COVID-19 Summer Reading Networking Conversations, library staff share resources and ideas. Please see below:

Distance-Friendly Programming and Outreach

Arts & S.T.E.M
Craft and engineering projects on Facebook or library website (being sure to feature projects that require items most people have on hand.) Mail out project kits to families or make them available for pick-up at library or other community locations.

Community Building (Virtual)
Discord. You can create a server and set permissions, use screen sharing to play games together (D&D, browser games, etc.) or set up a digital homework club:
Online board games:
Digital hangouts:

Event & Program Listings (Virtual )

Brooklyn Public Library’s Virtual Events Calendar:
Virtual library programming events & resource from RAILS (Illinois):
Things to Keep Busy at Home for All Ages:

Teens of L.A. Film Fest: Los Angeles Public Library invites young filmmakers to show their talent, enthusiasm and creative spirit: 

Get Moving
“Hula Moves” on social media. Teach a hula move once a week we that people can practice at home.

Hunts & Escapes
Virtual scavenger hunts:
Ask people to put a bear in their window, then email the library their address and create a map (just dots on Google Maps) and kids/families can then go on a “hunt” (emphasizing that it should be a hunt that is limited to locations on patrons’ essential exercise walking routes.)
The Bummer Game:
Sample Hogwarts Digital Escape Room (from Peters Township Public LIbrary):

Virtual sign ups AND paper sign ups for those who don’t have Internet access (drop off reading logs at essential businesses).
Mailing out logs to every child w/ a library card (or using mailing lists from the schools).

Virtual performers
Have children send a “Flat Stanley” of themselves can be set up as part of an audience so they can feel like they’re a part of a virtual performance when streaming live from the library

Giving to charities instead of giving prizes.

Skill Building
Have staff that have hobbies or skills? Encourage posting!
Word of the Day! “Japanese Word of the Day”, “Farsi Word of the Day”, etc.
Super Simple Español YouTube:

Storytime & Song
Fair Use for Online story times:
Nathalia’s free bilingual virtual storytimes:
Storytime@home guides:
Interactive Zoom storytimes from a professor at University of Washington’s iSchool: Reading
Preschool songs that promote learning:
A bilingual resource for songs on Spotify:

Teen Volunteer Opportunities
Teen book reviewers as a virtual volunteer opportunity

Writing & Storytelling
Choose Your Own Adventure games:
Storium. A creative writing game:
Covid-19 Time Capsule printables: