Following the Covid-19 outbreak, schools were closed across Iran. Consequently, Read with Me teachers, librarians and promoters’ connection with children was cut off.
Closure of schools, libraries and cultural centers can be traumatic for children’s mental state in the long run. Families can minimize the damages by creating a healthy space at home. However, Read with Me centers are mostly in underserved areas in which children are most vulnerable. Therefore, Read with Me experts attempted finding ways to decrease such vulnerabilities. Educating families, especially mothers, through social media was the most important task Read with Me took on.
Below, you can read more about Read with Me libraries that reopened in Kermanshah as well as the Read with Me health protocols.
Rijab – Kermanshah
Rijab Read with Me Library
۳۰ May 2020
After Ramadan, we made preparations for reopening the library. We spent time weeding plants around the library, reinstalling the air conditioning, dusting surfaces and making plans and programs for the library.
Some children who live in the neighborhood came to us excitedly. After disinfecting their hands, we let them inside. They willingly helped us with our preparations.
For the next step, we disinfected returned books and also lent new books to children.
Kermanshah was unfortunately announced as a red zone today. So, we will have to be more cautious in lending books.
Javanroud – Kermanshah
Javanroud Read with Me Library
۲۷ May 2020
Today, we lent books and received the returned ones. We didn’t allow large numbers of children enter the library at the same time. So, after disinfecting their hands and wearing gloves, they took turns in choosing books.
Javanroud – Kermanshah
Zalaan Read with Me Library
۲۸ May 2020
After sessions in which we explained the new rules and regulations of borrowing books from the library within the health protocols, we have started lending books to children. If the conditions are right, we are planning to do this Saturday through Wednesday.
Today we had 30 visitors all of which were taking the necessary precautions. We had asked them to read-aloud at home, film their read-alouds and bring to us on their visit. Some of them had done so, which made us hopeful.
Another interesting thing that happened today was children’s cooperation in cleaning the library. We had announced that the library is closed on weekends. However, some children had come to help us around.
Read with Me health protocols for reopening libraries
At the end of May, Read with Me library team asked librarians to investigate their region’s conditions and make decisions for their activities regarding serving children or staying closed.
In case of reopening libraries, librarians should follow these protocols:
Limiting activities to lending books.
No read-aloud sessions and gathering with large numbers of participants.
Controlling the number of visitors and maintaining social distancing.
Not allowing children inside in case of small library space.
Using face masks and gloves as well as disinfecting hands upon arrival.
Returned books should be left aside for at least 72 hours before putting them back into the shelves.
At the end of day, librarians should disinfect reachable spaces.
Educating families and children in terms of health precautions.
Closing the library in case the virus starts spreading again in the region.