Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Adapting virtual program tools to in-person programs

One of my library’s programs that pivoted entirely to a virtual format and has now pivoted back to fully in person is NYPL After School. This is a free drop in program for kids aged 6-12 that takes place after regular school hours, Monday through Thursday, from October-June, when school is in session. We launched September 27, 2021 in 20 branches and are so excited to welcome back our patrons in person with a program designed to meet them where they are and help them recover both literacy skills and supportive connections with caring adults.

We learned so much by offering the program virtually during the 2020-2021 school year. I checked in with Beth Dukes, Manager of Afterschool Programming, to ask her what we are keeping for this school year.

Image of Beth Dukes, Manager of NYPL After School
Image of Beth Dukes, Manager of NYPL After School

Hi Beth! Are there parts of the in-person program that are supported by the virtual program?

All the resource videos have been really great and applicable to the in-person program. In the in-person program, we’ve shown all the videos to our newly hired tutors to bring them up to speed on library resources. Especially the science and math resource videos—tutors have been able to set kids up on a computer to view the videos while the tutors are helping other students. Also, the STEAM enrichment videos have been great. Kate Lawson created one on Agamograph that I’ve used to lead an activity with a group of children and trained our staff to do the same.

Each of our videos were designed to use common household materials so all the materials can be found in the branch, too. 

Thanks Beth! I’m so proud of your hard work with our branch staff on these videos and resources and grateful that it lives on!

If you’d like to make an Agamograph with kids in your library, you can use our Agamograph Activity Guide and Agamograph Template

All of our library resources activities and videos are available at:

This blog relates to ALSC Core Competencies of II. Reference and User Services and III. Programming Skills 

Emily Nichols is the Associate Director of Children’s Services at The New York Public Library. She’s a member of the School Age Programs and Services committee of ALSC. Emily has been creatively and collaboratively supporting children’s learning in public libraries since 2003. Her recreational interests include bird watching, mycology, and fiber arts. Reach her at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *