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Video story time now offered by county libraries

Online songs and stories aim to promote early literacy

The Contra Costa County Library system is now offering online video story time through its YouTube channel.

The new video story time will provide viewers with virtual songs, rhymes, finger plays and stories, all geared towards helping children learn -- and love -- to read.

All 26 branches of the Contra Costa County Library system offer story time, intended as an opportunity for children to practice the skills necessary for early literacy development. Staff say that video story time will not only offer more educational opportunities for county kids, but also allow those who cannot attend library story times the opportunity to benefit.

"Early literacy is the process and activities that build a foundation to help children get ready to learn to read. Singing, reading, playing, and talking are all critical early literacy skills," a library spokesperson said in a statement. "Story time reinforces the library’s commitment to helping its youngest community members learn to read."

Community members can access the video stories on a variety of devices, staff say.

Videos were filmed with help from Contra Costa County Television, and feature several librarians performing various songs and stories.

Stories that have been made available in the first wave of uploads include: Dinosaur Song, The Lion and the Mouse, A Story Time Song, Open Shut Them and The Stars at Night. In total, seven videos are currently available, each video ranging from 20 to 90 seconds in length.

At least one new video will be made available every month for the rest of the year.

"We have really fun and talented staff members," county librarian Melinda Cervantes said. "These video story times will give more families a chance to enjoy them and learn at the same time."

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