What I Wasn't Taught in Library School...

What I Wasn’t Taught in Library School: Handling too Much Information in Preschool Storytime

What wonderful things come out of the mouths of babes!  All the storytime training in the world cannot prepare you for that precious moment when, responding to a discussion of favorite pajamas during a Bedtime Story Program, young Susie volunteers “my daddy sleeps naked!”  Daddy, all the while, sits in flaming, mortified silence at the back of the room.  Finding myself in this uncomfortable situation I simply smiled and said, “Sometimes daddies do,” and moved smoothly along with the story.  Thinking it over, this phrase can be adjusted to suit any embarrassing outburst: farts, explanations of body parts on mermaids (I’ve had that one, too) and many more.  “Sometimes people do” validates the child’s comments without inviting any additional information, much to the relief of librarians and parents alike.

Sara Saxton
Youth Services Librarian
Tuzzy Consortium Library

3 comments

  1. Abby

    Hahaha! I just had a kid in storytime this morning who shouted “We have mice!” when I asked if anyone had pets at home. He did not mean pet mice, much to the embarrassment of mom. 🙂

  2. Laura

    I’ve had the “naked” family member shout out at my preschool storytime before, too! Luckily, I replied as you suggested. Sometimes I’ve gotten responses such as, “I don’t have a Mommy/Daddy,” or “My Daddy/Mommy died,” or “I have two Daddies/Mommies,” etc. I kept to the same tune though… I always offer to talk about it after storytime if they wish. That often springs into great readers’ advisory tips for parents/caregivers!

  3. Janice E. Bojda

    This didn’t happen to me, but a fellow librarian reported that one youngster blurted out, “My daddy has a big penis.” To which she claimed to have replied, “Your mommy’s lucky.” All witnesses were under the age of five.

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