The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many changes at Carlisle Elementary School in Delaware, but Library Media Specialist Carrie Abahazi isn’t letting it stop her from getting students books to read.
Abahazi said one of her challenges during the pandemic is keeping students engaged with books without being able to have them look through the school’s library.
“The main challenge was finding a way to keep kids excited about reading while following the safety guidelines and procedures I’ve been given,” Abahazi said. “I had to find a way to still get books into kids’ hands, while limiting exposure, since there is a four-day quarantine policy for any touched or returned books.”
Abahazi said the solution is that now the library comes to the students in the form of Bookhub, a cart Abahazi uses to deliver books to students while also keeping them safe.
“I loved the idea of ‘Bookhub’ — like Grubhub, except for books!” Abahazi said in an email Friday. “Instead of classes coming to the library for their 40-minute library special, I take my lessons and books to them on my Bookhub cart. I bring a variety of books with me, specific to that grade level, for students to check out.”
The idea for the delivery service came from a social media group for librarians called the Future Ready Librarians, and Abahazi said students can also use a Google form on Canvas to request specific books.
“A positive that has come out of this pandemic is that I’ve been forced to ‘think outside the box,’ and I’ve been so impressed and proud of how adaptable the kids have been,” Abahazi said.
Bookhub made its first deliveries last week after both cohorts of students returned to the school. Abahazi said she hopes it becomes something students look forward to.
“My goal for Bookhub is to make reading fun in a new way,” she said. “I want kids to be excited for me to “deliver” their book orders.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.