Blogger Katie Salo

Five Things I Wasn’t Prepared For…

Here is a story, told in pictures, of five things I wasn’t prepared for before I became a storytime librarian:

[Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]
[Making finger puppets after a day at ALA Midwinter. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

1. That I would chose to spend so much of my free time doing things I love that happen to relate to work.

First of all, this is 100% my choice to spend my time researching beginning readers and making flannelboards. And I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t make me happy.

Working with felt and sewing finger puppets have become my favorite way to relax. Seriously, I sewed a set of five little ballerinas during last year’s Stanley Cup play-offs and it was the only way I could avoid a panic attack while cheering on my team.

[Me, dressed as Princess Anna from Frozen. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]
[Me, dressed as Princess Anna from Frozen. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

2. That I would suddenly develop the talent to make anything that I needed out of craft supplies.

Do you need a musical instrument? Give me two pieces of paper, two rubber bands, and two popsicle sticks and I will give you a harmonica. Do you need a traffic light prop for storytime? Easy — one piece of foam board, three small paper plates, three recycled paperclip boxes, three sheets of felt and hot glue.

How about a Frozen costume? I made my Princess Anna costume in about an hour and a half using discounted black fabric, a few felt sheets, a spool of ribbon, a $5 tshirt, and a recycled formal dress.

[Storytime scarves in the washer! Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]
[Storytime scarves in the washer! Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

3. That I would become very conscientious about germ exposure!

My weekly routine involves taking our scarves home to wash after every use. (My library is lucky enough to have about 120 scarves — more than enough for multiple classes and a single weekly wash.)

My daily routine involves washing shaker eggs and wiping down board book pages. Lately, I’ve upped the game to include spraying the room with disinfectant and wiping down all surfaces (doors, cabinets, handles, counters, etc.). It may seem like a lot of work, but I want my little ones to stay healthy!

[Ukulele & accessories. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]
[Ukulele & accessories. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

4. That I would never stop learning or wanting to learn new skills.

The great thing about storytime is that there are always new books and songs and rhymes to explore. I love finding a new favorite read-aloud and sharing it with my storytime families.

As you might guess with the picture, my big goal this year is to learn how to play the ukulele and to feel confident enough to perform in storytime! I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m slowly improving. I feel like I’ve finally got strumming down after a weekly practice session.

[A thank-you note from a patron. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]
[A thank-you note from a patron. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

5. That I would feel such fulfillment and joy each day of work.

I have the best job in the world. I spend my days connecting preschoolers with books, dancing with toddlers, and watching babies grow up.

There is absolutely nothing better than seeing a child’s face light up when they see you and have them demand a hug. Or hearing about how a child insists on playing “Miss Katie” when they get home.

Obviously these are all pretty sweet things that I wasn’t prepared for (well, except for the germs!), but how about you? What were you unprepared for with storytime?

Let me know in the comments!

– Katie Salo
Early Literacy Librarian
Indian Prairie Public Library
http://storytimekatie.com

12 comments

  1. Kim

    You hit the nail exactly on the head for me.

    When I first started doing storytimes, I knew that I would enjoy it, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do. I’ve formed so many great relationships with the kids as well as the caregivers.

    Just curious – what do you use to clean your egg shakers?

    1. Katie Salo Post author

      It is great to build those relationships.

      We use Sani-Hands: http://www.sanibrand.com/our-products/sani-hands.php for a quick wipe between classes. I do wash them thoroughly with soap and water at least once a month.

  2. Stefanie

    Thanks for this Katie!

    Your passion really shines through your blog also. You’ve been such a great resource!

    1. Katie Salo Post author

      You’re welcome!

      Thank you! ::blushing::

    1. Katie Salo Post author

      Thanks!

  3. Pingback: The Coolest Thing I Saw on the Internet this Valentine’s Day | Storytime Underground

  4. Judy Antrim

    Katie, I love reading your comments. You are blessed with just the right job. Not many people can say that. Please keep up the good work and inspiring the rest of us!!

    1. Katie Salo Post author

      Thank you so much — what a lovely thing to say!

  5. Sue Foote

    I agree with Kim, Stefanie, Kristie and Judy’s comments^^^. You are elevating the joy of reading for your young patrons with all your enthusiasm and creativity, and elevating the joy of putting together story times by sharing your experiences through your blog. I especially relate to #1 above.

    1. Katie Salo Post author

      Thank you so much. I really and truly appreciate every comment.

  6. Kelly Kinard

    I never knew I would become so invested in these little people and the things they love. I am also enjoying discovering new ways to engage them so they feel like it is their very own story time. When I see a little 18 month old start doing the motions to “The Wheels On the Bus” when we run into each other in Walmart is such a thrill. I consistently come to your blog to get ideas, and read about what worked for you. It is such a great resource. Thank you so much for being so generous with your ideas and experiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *