It is the eternal battle for storytime librarians. I see it on Twitter and listservs, I hear it from co-workers and neighboring libraries — how and when do you schedule your storytimes?
In an ideal world, there would be a storytime that began every fifteen minutes in every library so that any child would be able to attend regardless of their never-ending schedule of naps and feedings and preschool and Mommy & Me classes and doctor’s appointments. But we don’t live in an ideal world.
We do the very best that we can to provide for our patrons.
This past year, I added a monthly evening storytime for my patrons to work around their busy schedules. And for the first time since I started at my job, evening storytime is flourishing and gaining numbers while morning storytime is lagging.
I’ve decided to take the months of December and January off from morning storytime to try and figure out what I need to do to increase my morning attendance again.
Previously, we’ve done Tuesday or Thursday mornings at 10:00 a.m. since 2006. Should we be having storytime at 9:30 or wait until 11:00? Do I need to change my day? Is it finally time to start doing a babies/toddlers storytime in the morning and save preschool for immediately after-school?
I wish I could say that I have the answers that I know many of us are seeking. But all I can say is that I have the willingness and chance to change my habits to try and better serve my patrons.
So, tell me, have you radically changed when you schedule your storytimes? What worked? What flopped? Let me know!
– Katie Salo
Youth Services Manager
Melrose Park Library