I spoke a little bit about our new storytime mascot, Applesauce, on my last post here at the ALSC blog. Today I want to spend a little bit of time talking about why I decided to get a storytime mascot — to create a storytime tradition at my library.
My library is a medium sized public library, just two towns away from a library school, and it’s located in a very urban area. All of this, I believe, leads to a lot of job roll-over and changes in our staffing. Since I’ve been at the library, *SIX* different librarians/library assistants have been in charge of storytime duties.
When I took over storytime in the fall of 2009, I wanted to first get my bearings, build our attendance numbers, and then I wanted to re-assess what was needed. Once I accomplished those first goals, I really found that what my community needed was stability — in staffing, in days/times storytime was offered, in structure of the storytime, etc. And while I can’t promise to work there for the next thirty years, I can create some traditions to carry on even after I leave.
I was greatly inspired by my friend Sharon, and her library’s storytime mascot Miss Mouse. Miss Mouse has been enhancing storytime (and the library as a community) for over 25 years! I definitely encourage you to read Sharon’s post about this amazing tradition.
Applesauce was my small beginning to start our own storytime mascot tradition. And already I am seeing the benefit of having him at storytime — shy preschoolers who light up when Applesauce interacts with them and kids who shout out “Applesauce” even if they can’t say many other words in English.
Even though most days I feel like a storytime veteran, there’s always more to learn and do to make storytime a better experience for our patrons!
Do you have any storytime traditions in your library? If so, I’d be very interested to hear about them!
– Katie Salo
Youth Services Manager
Melrose Park Library