‘Story Strong’ is a part of the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative’s new ‘Libraries Build Communities’ initiative.

By Faith Miller

This upcoming February, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries have a long list of online events that are open to all ages, including everything from book clubs to a cooking lesson.

The month starts off with a virtual cooking class taught by the “Roaming Gourmet,” Chef Ze’Shieca Carter. The event will take place on Monday, February 1 and will be held from 6:30-7:15 p.m. and is open to all ages.

It is titled ‘Tailgating Treats’ and features “classic tailgating recipes and nonalcoholic drinks the entire family can enjoy,” according to the Hillsborough County library website. Registration is open online and the event will also feature a live question and answer session.

The libraries will also be hosting a ‘Feeding Our Neighbors’ event, featuring local free and discount food. The event is recommended for adults and registration is open online and will include a live question and answer session.

It will discuss and help viewers learn “about various nonprofit and government food assistance programs available for those in need,” according to the website. The session is a part of the new ‘Libraries Build Communities’ initiative. This is a collaboration that is between the University of South Florida School of Information’s Responsive Librarianship Group and Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries.

Another part of this initiative is the ‘Story Strong’ sessions. These are community and family book clubs that take place once a month. Next month’s meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 3 for the community session and Wednesday, February 10 for the family session. It is described as being “designed to help empower individuals and families as they navigate the uncertainties presented by economic insecurity.”

The events will also allow parents/caregivers and their children to take part and enjoy interactive online discussions with other members of the community.

Throughout the whole month of February, Hillsborough County Public Libraries will be hosting multiple online events in regards to Black History Month. One of the events is a story time for children featuring stories regarding Black History Month and the “experiences and contributions of African Americans.” The event is recommended for ages 3-6 and takes place February 11 at 9:30 a.m. and will last until 10:00 a.m. Multiple other events are also available online.

For more information on these events along with registration links, please visit the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative’s event page, https://hcplc.org/events.