I asked a staff member what is popular right now with our Curbside pick-ups and she said dog books and the dog book bundles topped the list.

Right now, dealing with COVID-19, I think a lot of people feel like the world has gone to the dogs, especially our staff members. Staff and patrons are just crazy about their dogs, cats and other pets. I am one of those crazy dog lovers.

As far as I’m concerned, my dogs have been a huge comfort to me during the pandemic. My husband and I have two big German shepherds, and our grown kids have dogs too. The dogs love to go for walks and they keep us moving. They can be big pains but they give us all a sense of normalcy and comfort, just like books do.

Imagine me, all stressed from this coronavirus a few months back, missing my family and co-workers and it was well, scary, so I turned off my computer and social media and read some books. This took me to my happy place. I also did some online reading with e-books and audiobooks and tossed in some magazines from our website, accessing our library databases, Hoopla, Overdrive and RB Digital.

Here are some recommendations from what I checked out from our library and watched.

If you want a good book to read for older teens or adults, try “Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley. It is good. For kids, the 2020-2021 intermediate Golden Sower “Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen,” written by Candace Fleming with beautiful pencil sketches by Eric Rohmann. It is based on a true story.

Then two of my favorites for teen or adults you can read then watch the movie are: “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein and “Marley and Me: My Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog” by John Grogan. Have a box of tissues on hand!

There are some great ebooks and audio on OverDrive like the eBook “Sit, Stay, Love: Rescue Me Novel” by Debbie Burn and RB Digital audio for adults “Dog Days” by Jon Katz, and for kids audio’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” by Jeff Kinney. There are lots of great dog books, including nonfiction on Hoopla and I recommend the book, “A Dog Like Daisy” by Kristin O’Donnell Tulb.

The library will be opening to the public in a limited capacity beginning Wednesday, July 1, with a limited number of patrons being able to enter the library. Patrons will have one hour to use the library (with limited time to use computers) and check out materials.

The children’s play area, makerspace, study rooms, seating areas, meeting commons and vending machines will be unavailable. Children 14 and younger will need to be with an adult at all times.

The first hour we are open, from 9:30 10:30 a.m., we will allow access only for senior citizens and patrons who have health concerns.

The drive-thru area on the north side will offer curbside and material returns every day. Curbside has been fun. Staff love helping our patrons put holds on items and then we pull them and give them a call to set up a time to pick up their requested items.

It’s really fun to help someone over the phone find the perfect books. I just helped one of our regular patrons by checking out a bundle of unicorn books for her granddaughter.

A reminder to all is for all everyone (of any age) to set up a Beanstack account from www.gilibrary.org and enter their reading minutes. We do a weekly drawing for kids, teens and adults. And, check out our virtual library programs from https://www.facebook.com/gilibrary/ .

Celine Swan is the youth and family services librarian for the Grand Island Public Library. Email her at CelineS@gilibrary.org.

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