Williston Community Library Director Andrea Placher said, “We’re really sad to not have the kids here with us in the library, but this is a way that we can still provide services in a very innovative way.”
Due to COVID-19, the Williston Community Library hasn’t physically been open since March forcing them to adapt, and something new they’re doing to keep the community engaged is a Downtown Story Walk.
“Basically what it is, is it’s a book cut up into different pages and each business that wants to participate gets a page of the story. It also provides some information for summer reading to get people to know that, ‘Hey you know this is sponsored by the library,'” Placher said, “But there’s a map on each page that says you start here, then you go to this business, then so on and so forth.”
Placher says the idea is to get families exercising, reading and, most importantly, out supporting local businesses.
“The goal is to get the people of the community to maybe stop by these stores because maybe they didn’t know they were there or maybe they’ll be like, ‘Oh, Fresh Palate this is pretty cool I didn’t know this store even existed,'” she said.
Currently, 12 businesses scattered around downtown Williston are participating.
KX News visited a couple of store owners who were more than happy to express their gratitude toward the library for bringing such a serious conversation to light.
“By supporting local business we keep the money in Williston, the tax dollar stays in Williston, helps out with different projects. We survive with local shopping and it helps the different merchants in town to keep them going,” owner of Castle Framing and Gifts Linda Beard said.
“The money stays in the community, and it also gives people more opportunities to offer things like this and for bigger activities like this also,” co-owner of Fresh Palate Taryn Sundby said.
Placher told KX News she plans to continue this reading throughout the year and hopefully influence the younger ones.
“It’s really important to keep the kids excited about reading, keep them excited about the library, give them a positive reaction to what the library does for the community so we want to keep that positive streak going,” she said.