Here at my library, our storytimes run for a loooong session. So long, in fact, that we don’t even call them sessions. Our storytime calendar follows (roughly) the school year. We begin in late September, take a two week break as the New Year dawns, start up again in mid-January and run straight through to mid-May. Now that we have a new department head things may change, but as it stands, it can be a little challenging to find fresh ideas that keep my babies and their caregivers engaged as we get toward the end of the “year.” (I think I should mention that our programs are weekly and drop-in, so we don’t have the same families every single week for eight months straight. Some, yes! But we make new friends just about every week.)
So what to do? How to get inspired? I’d love to hear how you do it. I find that I sometimes get into a “seasons” rut (can you tell by my previous posts that I’m obsessed with spring?), so it’s important for me to see what other librarians are doing. I always check Storytime Katie, Mel’s Desk, and the King County Library System’s “Tell Me a Story” page. I use the last one to find new rhymes. Sometimes a new rhyme or song will be enough to get the gears turning! I also tune into Storytime Underground’s Facebook page every day, because that thing is updated by the minute. In a bind? Need advice? Want someone to see all the work you put into an awesome program? Post it there and the advice of thousands of librarians will be at your fingertips!
Of course, there are MANY librarians out there posting their storytime rituals, inspirations, and plans. Make use of these great resources, and don’t forget to post your favorites in the comments section here. 🙂
For those wondering, I decided to go back to my baby storytime roots and celebrate babyhood. I started out by chance when I happened upon this kind-of-weird, but very sweet book called Baby Dreams by Eugenie Fernandes. It’s from the perspective of a caregiver wondering what babies dream about, and it has these fantastical illustrations to go along with what might be in a baby dream. So, that got me thinking about what it is to be a baby, or love a baby, and also got me thinking about night time and bedtime rituals. That led me to the book Your Own Big Bed, by Rita Bergstein. I was surprised by how much I liked that second one–it’s all about different animals hatching/being born, and the beds they sleep in. The text is very concise, which is definitely an asset in baby storytime. And then I started thinking–it’s going to be mid-morning, by golly! I can’t have these kids snoring and their moms weeping in the middle of storytime! So, after that I started thinking about action books that are still very baby-centric. I landed on:
They aren’t the most amazing literary classics in the world, but they are awfully fun, and they invite caregivers to engage in activities with their children. It’ll be an interactive reading experience celebrating what it means to be a baby! I’m pretty excited about it.
So tell me, what are your go-to sources for storytime inspiration?!