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MANSFIELD — Like libraries across the state, the Blue Ridge Township Public Library in downtown Mansfield had to cancel much of its programming for children this spring and summer.

The staff is still thinking of ways to keep kids reading, though. Instead of congregating in one area all at once to read a book, they put two pages from a children’s book in each downtown storefront’s window. Kids can walk through downtown with their parents and read an entire picture book.

“You’ll see little kids coming by with their parents, and they’re reading the book,” Sherman Small Engine Repair owner Mary Sherman said. “About every two weeks there’s a different book.”

The activity has livened up a small downtown that has become quiet since the statewide shutdown began in March.

While Sherman said “people are starting to move around,” this summer has been a slow one for a downtown with one bar, one restaurant and a general store. It’s been a lonely spring and summer for one of the only essential businesses in town.

“We’ve been busy because this is the time of year when we’re the busiest,” Sherman said. “You can’t get much to eat. You have to cook yourself.”