Library Contributes To ALA Book Project “Pivoting During The Pandemic”

In the summer of 2020, Bienville Parish Library’s public relations officer, Suzanne DeKeyzer James was asked to contribute to a new book project from ALA Editions. Pivoting during the Pandemic: Ideas for Serving Your Community Anytime, Anywhere.

“Originally, I had submitted an article in August of 2020 to , telling our story of ‘Reimagining Our Summer Reading Program During COVID’,” James says. “As it turned out, this was a good fit for a new book Kathleen Hughes and Jamie Santoro were working on that would be due out in April 2021.”

With a quickly approaching deadline, “Storytime In the Summer of COVID” came together to tell the story of Cheryl Hough, the Bienville Parish Library Children’s Librarian, as she took the Summer Reading Program of 2020 virtual. Storytime readings with music and special effects, as well as craft projects for children who were at home during the state lockdown, became a central part of the Summer Reading Program. “We placed the picture book front and center,” James says, “And that was one of our several devices that made our storytime sessions unique from what everyone else was doing.”

On February 12, 2021, the Tennessee Library Association (TLA) organizers surprised Hughes and Santoro and invited them to participate as keynote speakers at their April 7, 2021 virtual library conference. The TLA planners were intrigued by the contributions to Pivoting During the Pandemic and the Bienville Parish Library was once again invited to participate by sharing a short video on their topic chapter. “We retold our story in a quick 5-minute video, using all the techniques and technology we used for our storytime sessions!” says James. “The significance of these efforts was the exceptional fun for everyone involved, and the children’s appreciation and enjoyment of our efforts!”

About the Authors and Contributors
Kathleen Hughes, Manager of Publications, for PLA is responsible for Public Libraries magazine; she serves as its editor and also manages PLA’s publications program. Jamie Santoro is a Senior Acquisitions Editor at ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman. Her areas of focus are public libraries and school libraries. The Public Library Association (PLA) is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.

The contributors of “Pivoting during the Pandemic” offer real-life examples of what it means to be a 24/7 library. This collection from the Public Library Association (PLA) and ALA Editions share how several libraries transitioned to virtual and socially-distanced services. No matter your library’s current situation or outlook for the future, you’ll be inspired to adapt their ideas to suit the needs of your own organization.

Ordering “Pivoting during the Pandemic: Ideas for Serving Your Community Anytime, Anywhere”
For speediest service, order direct from the ALA Store. The ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used by library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance instruction, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a variety of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman at

About the Bienville Parish Library
The Bienville Parish Library is a public library that has been serving the people of Bienville Parish in Louisiana since 1964. The Main Library, located in Arcadia, is home to the system’s Administrative Offices, Technical & Computer Services, Interlibrary Loan, Children’s Services, and Outreach Services. It also houses the system’s Genealogy Collection. Additionally, the library also operates full-time branches in Ringgold and Saline, and a part-time branch in Castor. The Bienville Parish Library will open the Gibsland Branch in the fall of 2021, and it will provide needed services in the historic downtown and surrounding rural communities.

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