Explore More Illinois program offers discounts on cultural attractions for library cardholders

Hoopeston Public Library is now offering cardholders free or discounted passes to museums, science centers, and many more attractions through Explore More Illinois.

Explore More Illinois is a cultural pass program that allows Illinois public library cardholders to get offers from museums, park districts, historical societies, performing and visual arts centers, and other attractions. Explore More Illinois is free and can be accessed 24/7 from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Reservations must be made online.

Go to the LINKS section of the HPL website (hooplib.org) where you can link to the online reservation page: https://exploremore.quipugroup.net/?Hoopeston.

Adults age 18 years and older can login using their library card number and pin to place reservations by attraction and specific dates. While each attraction’s requirements may differ slightly, with a library card and the museum reservation pass, patrons will receive free admission or discounts.

This program was developed through the RAILS library system and area libraries. Many more attractions are being added to this program as well as more participating libraries.

Getting Back to Normal

As Covid-19 restrictions are lifting, HPL is opening up more services for our patrons. Reading areas, some play areas, Ipads and computers are now open in the Children’s Room. High-touch public areas in the library are being sanitized daily. Patrons are still requested to mask, social distance and make sure to wash hands and use hand sanitizer, which is available throughout the building.

Summer Reading Program to kick of with free outdoor family concert

Summer Reading activities will be back this June for kids, teens and adults. While the program will run a little differently than in the past in order to comply with Covid protocols, there will be reading challenges and giveaways for the whole family.

The fun kicks off with a free concert for all ages at 2 p.m., Tuesday, June 8, featuring Leonardo, a Chicago-based guitarist and singer who delighted library patrons in 2019 with his high energy, interactive show that emphasizes the benefits of reading.

The concert will be held outside on the library lawn. State and federal guidelines for masks and social distancing will be followed.

Beginning June 10 and running through June 24, Kellie Blanden, community educator from WILL-TV/PBS/Channel 12 at the University of Illinois, will be presenting two weekly programs for kids from 4-8 and from 9-12.

Plans are also in the works to offer summer pro-grams and craft projects for middle school ages 13-15 during June.

During June and July, kids, teens and adults will have the opportunity to read book and win prizes. Adult take-home craft projects will also continue through June and July.

Be watching Facebook, email and local media for more details on other activities planned for Summer Reading coming later in May as we celebrate the theme, “Reading Colors Your World.”

Holiday Reminder

HPL will be closed on Monday, May 31, in observance of Memorial Day.

Library Week winners named

Dee Mayberry was the winner in our “Guess how many masks in the jar” contest held during National Library Week in April. She received a $10 gift card from 112 Wine & Coffee Shoppe in Hoopeston.

Kathy Cristy was the winner of the single serve coffee maker as part of our “Coffee’s On Us” giveaway on Thursday of National Library Week.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by during National Library Week and took advantage of our fun activities for kids and adults.

Local students to get a “virtual” library tour this year

Traditionally during May, things get lively around the library as local grade school and preschool classes enjoy tours of the Children’s Room and some activities with Children’s Library Coordinator Janell Sechriest.

Last year at this time, HPL was closed and the schools were all in remote learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And while schools are back in session, in-person group visits aren’t happening quite yet.

But students at area grade schools and preschools will get their own personalized “virtual” library tour brought to their classrooms via the Internet. Sechriest and JoAnn Charbonneau, who handles library publicity and programming, are working together on a video library tour which will be distributed to teachers in May. The approximately 20-minute “Mr. Rogers Neigh-borhood” style video will include an introduction to the Children’s Room and a story time.

“Because of Covid restrictions, the classes can’t visit the library right now,” Sechriest said. “But we’re excited to be able to bring the library to the classrooms.”

Since last fall, Sechriest has also been conducting weekly story and craft videos on Facebook for pre-school and early grade students, and twice-monthly science shows for older students with experiments kids can do at home.

Library meeting space now available

The library’s lower level meeting room is available once again for local groups or organizations, with the following added restrictions to comply with State of Illinois Covid-19 protocols:

- Room limit is 25 people.

- Social distancing guidelines must be followed and masks worn while in the building.

- No food or drinks can be served.

The meeting room is only available during library operating hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 12-8 p.m. Tuesdays; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays.

Room rental for businesses or private parties is $25. There is no charge for not-for-profit organizations or agencies.

The person renting the room must be 18 years of age or older. Contact Tricia Freeland, library director, at 217-283-6711, for more details.

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