ECRL branch sharing digital story time videos

Ashley Dempsey, the library assistant at the St. Peter’s branch of the Eastern Counties Regional Library, is pictured with the branch’s display of books related to residential schools. Dempsey also recently filmed herself reading The Honeybee, by Kirsten Hall, for the ECRL YouTube page.

ST. PETER’S: The Eastern Counties Regional Library (ECRL) is working to encourage summer reading with a series of digital story time videos.

Staff of the local library system are joining counterparts throughout the country in registering young participants in the TD Summer Reading Club to help inspire more reading at home while school is not in session.

As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, much of the content will be online for the second consecutive year, which inspired many digital story time videos on Youtube from countless sources.

Ashley Dempsey, the library assistant at the St. Peter’s branch of the ECRL, joined in on the fun with a video shot in her backyard, drawing the viewers attention to the bee hives behind her on her property in River Tillard, where she runs Hens & Honey Farm with her partner Matthew Boudreau.

The farm sells fresh eggs, raw wildflower honey, homemade soaps and other products made from the land.

Dempsey also maintains an active social media presence on Facebook and Instagram, with regular educational posts on the bees and other animals on the farm, as well as the finer points of soap production.

Including her love of all things outdoors in her video contribution was a natural choice and a way to add some visual interest, she says.

“I really enjoyed it and my element is outside so I thought that would be the best way to go for me.”

Dempsey chose to read The Honeybee by Kirsten Hall and says the selection is both entertaining and educational.

“It’s a nice story. It follows the bees, but it also explains. So it’s educational at the same time,” she said. “It’s not just a story about a bee travelling, but it teaches the kids how it goes from the flower to the honey jar.”

Dempsey hopes to feature some of her farm animals – she owns goats, pigs and chickens – in future story time videos.

The ECRL page on YouTube also currently features story time videos from librarians from the Alexander Doyle public library in Mabou and the Sherbrooke library, reading books of their choosing.

Most of the ECRL branch locations are now open to limited capacity. Further information on specific branch locations, hours and capacity, as well as the TD Summer Reading Club, is available at