Virtual story time via Facebook Live is available for kids cooped up at home, thanks to the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library.

Board President Sheila DeChantal said she decided to start the effort as a way to reach out to kids and parents who are stuck in their houses during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s kind of rethinking how we do things and how, instead of being at a standstill in this time when one is suddenly isolated or distanced from their programs and their friends and their relationships, how can we reach out?” DeChantal said during a phone interview Monday, March 23, adding she wanted something fun for kids to do while the library’s programs are all canceled for the time being.

The program started Monday and features authors and other community members reading a children’s book in a Facebook Live video. Stories happen twice a day, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

On Monday morning, DeChantal got about 30 live viewers for her first video, in which she read “Mousie, I Will Read to You” and “The Night Library.” As of Wednesday afternoon, the video had 658 total views.

Those who can’t tune in at the time of the readings can visit the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library Facebook page later, where all the videos will remain. Books are aimed at kids around the ages of 5-10.

DeChantal said she plans to keep going through at least April 11, depending on response and volunteer readers.

A list of readers and books is available at https://bit.ly/3dwVfsy.

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THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa.