At Simsbury Public Library, CT we’re good at collaboration. We have an excellent record of building strong partnerships with local businesses, community organizations, schools, and other town departments. In fact, one of our strategic plan goals revolves around outreach, engaging the community beyond the library’s walls and increasing our number of off site library programs.
We already have regularly scheduled outreach visits to daycares, pre-schools and schools in our area, and were looking for a new way to engage our youngest patrons, out in the community. StoryTown is a fall series of storytimes around Simsbury, CT designed to do just that. It is an ideal way for patrons to meet us in different locations around town and learn a little more about our community in the process. Each of the six StoryTown programs will take place at a different location including:
- Peachwave (a local business, and sponsor of our Summer Reading Program)
- the Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge (a partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department)
- the town Fire Department
- a Pumpkin Patch (a partnership with a local church/ non-profit)
- the Police Department
- the Public Works facility
The format of the program is a shortened storytime. We’ll read a few topically appropriate books, share some stories and rhymes and end with a fun craft or activity. Families love getting out and exploring new places, plus it’s a great opportunity for them to meet local business owners, community leaders, and important town staff members like police officers, fire fighters, and public works employees. It’s truly a win, win for all involved.
Do you partner with local organizations to offer early literacy programs? What’s the craziest place you’ve ever facilitated a storytime? Let us know in the comments below.
Stephanie C. Prato. Stephanie is the Head of Children’s Services at the Simsbury Public Library, CT. With experience in youth services, community outreach, leadership, instruction, and technology, she has developed innovative programs for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children. She is an active member of the American Library Association and serves as the Co-Chair of the Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee of ALSC. If you have any questions, email her at email@example.com.
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: III. Programming Skills and V. Outreach and Advocacy.