An Onondaga County Library Changes Halloween Plans An Onondaga County Library Changes Halloween Plans Because of COVID-19

How one local library has been forced to pivot because of COVID-19

JAKE GOURWITZ: This Halloween, there’s still story time and crafts at the Community Library of Dewitt and Jamesville. This year, on zoom. Children’s Librarian Jenny Burke says the library is prepared.

JENNY BURKE: We’re providing all of the supples for crafts and we have some Halloween party favors and we have a bag of candy that we are giving to the people that registered.

GOURWITZ: Instead of trick-or-treating throughout the library, children will receive Halloween treats via drive-thru.

BURKE: We’ve prepared these goody bags and people can drive in to our parking lot and we will pass them out.

GOURWITZ: The library has been closed for about seven months, so Burke rarely sees anybody.

BURKE: It’s a way for me to connect with our patrons who I haven’t seen in seven months. I only see them on screen.

GOURWITZ: The zoom party will be at 4 PM tomorrow while the drive-thru will take place Saturday morning from 10:30 to 12:30.


Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Community Library of Dewitt and Jamesville has been forced to change its Halloween plans because of COVID-19. Traditionally, the library hosts a party where kids come in costumes, do arts and crafts, trick-or-treat and read stories.

This year’s activities will be no different. The location, however, will be. Celebrations in the coronavirus era are set to take place over Zoom and via drive-thru.

The Zoom party is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Oct. 30. Families that signed up were able to pick up party supplies from the library the day before. Jenny Burke, a children’s librarian, said the library is ready to host virtually.

“We’re providing all of the supplies for crafts,” Burke said. “We have some Halloween party favors, and we have a bag of candy that we are giving to the people that registered.”

While the library isn’t open to the public, Burke and fellow staff members put together goody bags for a drive-thru giveaway on Halloween.

“The idea is for a quick stop to get a Halloween treat, so they’re still able to trick or treat and enjoy the holiday,” Burke said.

From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Halloween, families will be able to drive around the library’s parking lot and participate.

With the library closed for nearly seven months, Burke hasn’t seen her normal guests.

“When we do our pickup, the patrons come into the front door, but we don’t actually interact with them,” Burke said.

She is looking forward to seeing the kids and their families even if it is in a socially distant, drive-thru setting.

“Especially because we’ve just been in this virtual landscape … it’s a way for me to connect with our patrons who I haven’t seen,” Burke said. “I only see them on screen.”

Every Thursday at 10:30 a.m., Burke hosts story time on Facebook live.

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