It’s February, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, some of us are preparing for storytimes and programs that either celebrate the day itself, or look at concepts of love, family and friendship. ALSC’s Intellectual Freedom Committee recently released the Intellectual Freedom Programming Toolkit, created to help you incorporate concepts of intellectual freedom and information literacy into staple programs like these. Here’s 3 ideas inspired by the toolkit that you can use to incorporate these principles into your existing Valentine’s Day storytimes.
This next phase of the “new normal” as I so often hear it phrased, means indoor programs are on the horizon. Of course, there are many heroic libraries and librarians that have been doing in-person and indoor programs for many months, or maybe over a year. Indoor programs and relaunching a regular service of programs brings a lot of feelings and emotions to the front of my mind. Now that I am in management, I won’t have to do any of the programs, but I want to ensure that my staff feels safe and comfortable. However, I also want to provide an opportunity for education and fun at the library for youth and their families.
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.
Earth Day may have passed but, it’s always a good idea to read some books about our amazing Earth. Many of these books are also great to read in the spring or to share anytime. Here are some of my favorite books to share with story times, school visits, and one on one reads!
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!
The story time blahs. Whether you are new to the career and not quite in the groove of story time, or have some story time years under your belt… we can all get them at some point. I think they are categorized by dreading doing story time, feeling monotonous about your work, getting bored of your usual songs and or stories, or feeling stuck.
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…
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…