2006 Fourth Street

La Grande, OR  97850


Press Release

Contact: Kip Roberson

Phone: 541.962.1339 x5




Cook Memorial Library Launches Dial-A-Story

(La Grande, Oregon, July 17, 2020) Cook Memorial Library has launched a new Dial-A-Story service. With the library building closed and most library programs being conducted online, the need to serve those in our community with limited technology access became apparent.

Dial-A-Story is intended for all ages. From toddlers to older adults, anyone can dial in to hear stories read aloud. There will always be at least one story in Spanish and you may, at times, hear a joke or two, a song, rhymes, poems, short stories, and more.

The only thing you need to use this service is a telephone. Dial-A-Story can be accessed 24 hours a day, free of charge, by calling 541.624.6339.

Callers can choose from a menu of 9 different stories. The initial lineup for kids includes: “Summer Song” by Kevin Henkes, “Sheep Take a Hike” by Nancy Shaw, “Happy Pig Day” by Mo Willems, and the Spanish-language story “Siesta” by Ginger Guy. Adults can enjoy Mark Twain’s short story “Curious Dream” and “30 American Poems” by various authors.

“We wanted to expand our literacy options. Not everyone has an internet connection at home to watch our virtual storytimes. We also wanted to expand the library’s accessibility to our adult patrons, especially those older adults who have limited technology skills or who may be isolated at home and want to maintain a connection to literature and their library,” said library director Kip Roberson.

The 9-story lineup will change regularly so you’ll always find something new to listen to. Library staff and local community “celebrities” record most of the content with some also coming from Librivox.com, a company that records readings of published items that are in the public domain.

Diversity will be an ongoing part of the Dial-A-Story mix. “Part of our plan is to incorporate all the different cultures living in La Grande and Eastern Oregon into the stories that we record,” Roberson said. “It’s important that we recognize and acknowledge the library serves everyone.”

“Dial-A-Story is a bonus for parents who struggle to fit storytime into their already busy schedules, or whose children love listening to a favorite story over and over again. Hearing stories read aloud boosts children’s reading comprehension and enriches their vocabulary,” said children’s librarian Carrie Bushman.

“Dial-A-Story is a service more libraries nationwide are offering to their communities”, said Roberson. “It’s something we’re really excited about at the library, and we can now reach community members who aren’t able to access our virtual programs.”

For more information about library resources, go to cookmemoriallibrary.org.