Roseburg Police Department posted five story time videos where staff members read books to children who are stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We did it because there’s been a lot of people down about the executive order, the staying at home and isolation,” Roseburg Police Sgt. Jeff Eichenbusch said. “We wanted to do something that would cheer up kids, give them something to do that would be beneficial.”
Eichenbusch was the first to read a book for story time, when he read “Friday Night Wrestlefest” on April 6. The video has since been viewed more than 19,000 times.
Since then, there have been four more videos including one with Glide School Resource Officer Brian O’Dell.
“We had some requests specifically for officer O’Dell,” Eichenbusch said.
O’Dell started his video by giving a shout-out to the students and said he “can’t wait to see smiling faces when we finally get back in school.”
Another request from the public was to see the K-9 officers.
K-9 Nike appeared in a video with his handler, Master Officer Blake Cordell, on Thursday when they read “Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring.”
Roseburg Public Library Director Kris Wiley said she loved K-9 story time.
“We try to mix it up a little,” Eichenbusch, who has appeared in two videos, said. Another story was read by volunteer, Doug Burbridge.
The police department received help from Youth Services Librarian Aurora Oberg of the Roseburg Public Library in choosing the books read on camera.
“There’s a lot of books we wanted to read but because of restrictions we’re not allowed to,” Eichenbusch said. “Roseburg Public Library staff reached out to publishing companies to get permission and provided us with a stack of books.”
The books are mostly geared toward elementary school-aged children. All books read by police officers are also available at the library.
“(Aurora) picked things out of the collection,” Wiley said. “She helped navigate the copyright restrictions.”
In addition to the Roseburg Police Department, the library is also posting videos recorded by library aide Mark Breckenridge for Musical Story Time on its Facebook page each Saturday.
“It’s really a matter of following publisher’s guidelines and still provide something fun,” Wiley said. “It’s critical at any age to continue to engage in literacy.”
The Roseburg library also continues to provide a drive-up service, online services and virtual story times and book clubs to continue to provide opportunities.