Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Wordless Books in Story Time

I recently observed a story time of a newer story time presenter. I saw their passion and playfulness with the preschool crowd, but felt them trip over the words of the story a bit. Afterwards, we followed up– and I admitted that I only take the words of the books as a suggestion. A tip that I love sharing with parents and caregivers— you don’t have to read every word of the book, every time you read that book. There are many retellings of favorite books, and words are only one part of the story for “reading” the book. 

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Story time and… (Improv Your Story Time)

A few years ago, I presented at ALA Annual about how story time could be improved with improv techniques. To me, improv and story time naturally go hand in hand. They both rely on flexibility, spontaneity, and giving and receiving. While I haven’t been practicing improv as much anymore, I have really hit a sweet spot in my story times, and I think it is the improv coming out. For months, I had been feeling the blahs… and now. Everything has clicked into place. So what has suddenly changed? Me!

ALA Annual 2018

Fun After Hours! #alaac18

While the sessions, exhibit hall, and committee meetings are invaluable to my experience of ALA Annual… there is a lot to be said for after-hours events and networking moments that happen spur of the moment just by looking up from your phone and connecting to someone for a few moments. Taking a conference bus, talking to people online, or saying hello to the table next to you at Starbucks can be a way to connect to another librarian! It is one of the most underrated and yet amazing experiences that can come from Annual! Lots of librarians seize on this by planning late-night dinners and social events– and one that had been popping up my twitter over the years was Drunk Story Time! To me that combined lots of things that I love– drinking, story time, and connecting to other librarians! And yet– it was so intimidating! @MelissaZD (twitter) or Mel’s…

Blogger Paige Bentley-Flannery

Poetry Paige’s Pocket

Do you share poems at your story time? Have you danced to a poem?  Pretended you were a fish writing a poem in the ocean? Or maybe you crunched and munched along with a noisy food poem?While yelling out words and acting out the poem, poetry at story time incorporates the Early Literacy Skills and encourages families to be silly together.  Add one or two poems to your story time theme each week. Poetry Pocket Song: (Tune: Old MacDonald Had a Farm) Here’s my poetry pocket with something inside. What could it be? I’ll open it up and take a look. Tell me what you see? (Possible felt items: A Pizza!  A Penguin!  A Ball! A Fish! A Kite!) How it works:  Sing the poetry pocket song, at the end of the song pull out a felt shape, have everyone yell out what it is, (It’s a kite!).  Then share the…

Blogger Meg Smith

What Do We Do With August?

The month of August is a hybrid of sorts as we transition from our summer reading program to the traditional activities planned for the new school year.  When August 1st rolls around, do you breathe a sigh of satisfaction after the completion of your successful summer reading club, or do you still have weeks and weeks left of the summer rush before the children return to school? What does your library do with August? To Continue Summer Reading or to Conclude Summer Reading: That is the Question In years past, our summer reading program ended on July 31st.  While June and July are much busier months in terms of the foot traffic we receive, there are still weeks left to most children’s summer vacation.  This year we extended our summer reading club to August 15th to allow children and their families more time to participate in our reading program and to collect…

Blogger Meg Smith

Kick-off or Race Straight into Summer Reading Club?

     As we inch closer and closer to those hot summer days, I’m sure many of us around the country are gearing up for months of intense crowds and extensive programming. At our eight branches of the Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, NC, we prepare for eight weeks of story times and special programming, and of course, our annual Summer Reading Club. In previous years, we’ve organized a Summer Reading Club kick-off program for our participants, highlighting a professional programmer outside of our library system; many years we’ve featured a musician or magician to relate to our theme. Due to the content, some of these programs have been geared for children already in elementary school; many have been advertised as appropriate for all-ages.    This year, however, we’re making some changes. Instead of focusing on a kick-off event to celebrate our festivities this summer, we are turning toward more…