After ‘virtual’ summer, Yukon library eyes on-site programs this fall

More than 604 children, youth enrolled in Mabel C. Fry Library's 'Tales and Tails' program

Yukon Librarian Sara Schieman

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

With 604 children and youth enrolled in a virtual summer reading program, Yukon library staff hope on-site activities can return after Labor Day.

The “Tales and Tails” reading program for students in pre-school through 12th grade continues through July.

“It is still virtual,” Yukon Librarian Sara Schieman said this week. “But we are checking books out like crazy! Even though kids aren’t coming in for programs, we still have been circulating materials.

“Kids are walking out with piles of books. And, of course, bringing piles of books back! That part is wonderful.”

The plan is to resume activities at the Yukon library this fall. This includes a “Tales and Tails”-themed reading program for adult participants.

“We would sure love to be even more back to normal by September,” Schieman said. “We miss our people, and we miss our programs on-site.”

This summer, the Mabel C. Fry Public Library is providing a virtual early literacy program for toddlers through kindergarten (157 enrolled), a virtual children’s program for first through fifth graders (328 enrolled) and a virtual young adult program for sixth through 12th graders (119 enrolled).

“Since they can watch the programs online, I was concerned kids wouldn’t be getting as many books,” Schieman added. “But they really do seem to be checking out quite well.

“For many of our programs and pre-school story times, we have take-home kits and craft kits that go along with the programs.”

Summer reading participants have been logging their time reading. As of July 1, there already were 98,237 minutes recorded in the children’s program and 58,357 minutes in the young adult program.

The Yukon library’s summer program promotes reading during students’ extended break from school.

Program participants are incentivized to read through random prize basket drawings. All Yukon summer readers who reach 1,000 minutes will get to attend a pool party.

Yukon Librarian Sara Schieman demonstrates use of the hand-sanitizing station at the front entrance to the Mabel C. Fry Public Library, 1200 Lakeshore. The library has had COVID-19 safety protocols in place and will continue online programming until this fall. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)


Mabel C. Fry Public Library personnel are following COVID-19 health and safety recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC).

“We don’t quarantine materials anymore,” Schieman reported. “Since the kids don’t even have the option to be vaccinated, we are cleaning all materials as they’re returned before placing them back on the shelf.”

At the Yukon library:

  • Returns can be made in the indoor or outdoor book drops.
  • Masks are optional but encouraged. Disposable masks are available upon request.
  • Curbside pickup is offered during regular business hours.
  • Entry/exit doors are open, weather permitting, to avoid physical touch.
  • Social distancing guidelines are followed.
  • One person only in each row of the stacks.
  • Five public access computers are available during operating hours.
  • Anyone entering the library is encouraged to wash their hands in the public restroom and/or use hand sanitizer, which is provided.

The Mabel C. Fry Public Library accepts donations of hardback and paperback books, DVDs and audiobooks.

“They can pull up to the front door of the library and give us a call (354-8232),” Schieman said. “We can bring a cart out and bring the donated items in for them.”

The Yukon library does not accept donations of textbooks, magazines, encyclopedias, VHS, or cassette tapes.

Donated books not used by the Mabel C. Fry Public Library are sold at benefit book sales or sent to Canadian County’s children’s justice center and area prisons.

“We try to get books out to as many people as we can all over the place,” Schieman noted. “Most people don’t realize that correctional facilities don’t have a leisure reading budget.

“Improving your reading skills is never a bad thing.”


The next Friends of the Mabel Fry Library book sale will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 17 at the 510 Elm (former library). Shoppers can browse the sale and take advantage of fantastic prices.

In fact, they can fill a grocery-sized plastic bag of paperbacks for just $1.50.

“It’s the best deal in town,” Schieman said. “The book sale is usually the first and third Saturday of the month, except this month because we’re taking the Fourth of July weekend off.”

Instead, the Yukon library sponsors the annual “Freedom Fest” children’s parade on Saturday morning, July 3 at Yukon City Park.

All participants will receive goodie bags and ribbons will be awarded to first, second and third place entries.

Judges are Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby, Vice Mayor Rick Cacini and Yukon Library Board Member Sue Kilmer (a former Yukon librarian).

Honorary grand parade marshal is Silo, a sweet female dog adopted by Yukon Animal Control staff.

The Mabel C. Fry Public Library has 24/7 Wifi access, both inside the building and outside in the parking lot and west field. The high-speed Internet may be accessed through the “Yukon Library” open network.

Learn more about library activities by calling (405) 354-8232.