Blogger Katie Salo

Community Storytimes and Programs

Storytime shouldn’t just exist in the library. There are often a lot of barriers for families to use the library. They might have scheduling conflicts during morning storytimes or not have reliable transportation to the building. Registering for a storytime may not be possible or they have other children that need to attend. For these reasons (and more), my library makes it a point to do community storytimes and programs out of the library.

The author and her co-worker out in the park doing storytime.
The author and her co-worker out in the park doing storytime. [Photo courtesy of the author.]

This summer, the early literacy team at my library has done community storytimes at:

  • the library
  • the circus
  • three preschools and daycares
  • a restaurant
  • a grocery store
  • the park district
  • a bank

And that’s not all! We’ve also had grade-school and family programs in our local wetlands, farmer’s market, a weekend 5k, and park districts. These partnerships took time to build and are a constant work in progress. We’re always adding more.

But these community storytimes and programs have given us a chance to get out there to promote our library and its services and to meet our patrons at night, on the weekend, close to their home, while doing their errands, etc.. We’re making new connections every time we are out in the community and further cementing relationships that we already have with families.

Farmer's Market table showing Playaways and Book Bundles.
Farmer’s Market table showing Playaways and Book Bundles. [Photo courtesy of the author.]

And, it is pretty awesome to hear “MISS KATIE!” screeched as a child pulls up in the car and sees you. Or when another child approaches you in the bank and asks, “They let you out of the library? Will you go back there?”

Do you do any community storytimes or programs? What partnerships have worked for you? Let me know in the comments!

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

4 comments

  1. Julie

    We do some, the Farmer’s Market, only occasionally this year every Friday last year, due to staffing and a move on their part. At the beach once for the first time this year as part of a new program on the city’s part with plans to do more next year. Various other things over the years but never anything consistent. Staffing is always the issue. Six or seven people covering four locations, one of which is open 7 days a week year round means every trip out of the building requires negotiation with the schedule supervisor to find someone to cover but we keep trying.

    1. Katie Salo Post author

      I’d be very curious to hear how the beach went — that sounds amazing!

  2. R

    Hi April, I am very curious to learn more about the Whole Foods collaboration. The links that you provided appear to be locked for viewing. Is it still possible to view them? Thank you.

  3. Katie Salo Post author

    Hi, neighbor! Whole Foods is actually the grocery store that I mention above. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Thanks for sharing your write-up!

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