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The Athens-Clarke County Library will livestream story times Monday through Friday. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

All branches of the Athens Regional Library System will livestream children’s storytimes on Facebook, according to a March 24 press release.

All livestreams will begin at 10:30 a.m. and last around 30 minutes, Oconee County Library's Children's Specialist Rebecca Ballard said. The livestreams will appear on each branch’s respective Facebook page, according to the release.

Library system staff from around the region will take turns leading the online programming and choose a different theme for each livestream, Ballard said.

The idea was developed over a virtual conference call between all children’s specialists in the region, Ballard said. The team was trying to organize supplemental programming in light of the library system’s closure on March 15 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The first livestream occurred shortly thereafter on March 23, hosted by Children's Library Assistant Erika Sampson.

“I’ve had a lot of parents say to me that it’s a relief for their children to see a familiar face and they get to sing the songs they normally do, they get to see me and I’m talking to the kids because they’re right there,” Ballard said.

The livestreams will occur every Monday through Friday. The library system is currently trying to organize weekend programming, Ballard said.

“It’s like we’re bringing back a little more normalcy to their lives. And fun. We need a little fun right now,” Ballard said.

The library system plans to reopen on March 29, according to the March 13 press release announcing the closure.

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