Confessions of a Children's Librarian: Storytime, STEAM, Commentary, & More
Friday, April 14, 2017
Today Was A Bust...
Today was a programming bust...
First, I had my "regular" outreach storytime scheduled. I've had it in the back of my mind for a while to do a "Library" themed storytime after realizing just how many children's books there are that have something to do with a library, and when I realized this week was National Library Week I figured this was the time to do it!
So I pulled a whole stack of picture books that had "library" as a subject tracing and went through them, settling on three. Since I had quite a stack leftover, I decided to put them on a display. I was really hoping to use this storytime to promote going to the library, so I also grabbed a stack of calendars to send home with the kids. The daycare is literally only two blocks from the library, but they've never brought the kids on a field trip, and I've never seen any of the kids come in on weekends or after school with their parents, either. I was really hoping for a chance to change this by getting the kids excited about the library.
So I had my books (Lola At The Library, Froggy Goes To The Library, and The Not So Quiet Library), found a couple of songs, my stack of calendars, and some Cat-In-The-Hat "I Can Read!" stickers and was all set to go. I went directly from home to the daycare, and when I turned in, the parking lot was empty. Crap! I had forgotten it was Good Friday, and they were closed! True, they didn't remind me, but I think I did know that. The same thing might have even happened last year. I do remember thinking last month I should double check with them, and completely forgot.
So, after feeling a bit let down and more than annoyed with myself (because this is actually my day off, and the ONLY reason I went in was to do this storytime!), I decided I will probably save this particular plan for the end of May/beginning of June when I tell them about the summer reading program.
Next, I was supposed to help out with the book club at our local middle school (as a parent volunteer). The school librarian organizes it, and there are usually 4-5 different discussions groups, each led by an adult volunteer. This used to be a very well-attended program, but this year has not done so well due to scheduling changes, lack of teacher support, and fewer volunteers available to help. Today, only one other volunteer showed up, and instead of the usual 40+ kids, only 3-4 showed up, and not all for the same book.
So, instead of having a formal discussion about one particular book, we all just sat around and talked about several of the books, as well as various other books. I have to say, I actually enjoyed that more than what we usually do, so I guess it wasn't a total bust, but it would have been nice to have had a few more kids show up.
The worst part is that Friday is *technically* my day off, and I really could have used the chance to sleep in and relax. In case you're wondering why I am going in for storytime if it's my day off, it is my choice. This is for the daycare where I did my very first storytime ever, when I started volunteering to get experience since I couldn't do it at the library because I was just a lowly page at the time. The experience I gained from volunteering there enabled me to get promoted to my current position.
So, they have a special place in my heart, plus it is the one I feel is truly "my" storytime. I do it on my own, not with the Storytime Bus and driver or volunteers. So I can do whatever I want, and I don't have to worry about the time frame. It's a great opportunity to try new things, experiment, and take chances, which is truly the only way to learn and grow. After I started my new position doing outreach storytime, my new manager said I could include this one, and so get paid for the time. But because of scheduling conflicts, Friday is the only time I can fit them in, and I don't want to give it up, so that's how I end up going in just to do one storytime on my day off, though just every other week.
But, it does kinda stink to get up early for no reason on my day off and give up time and it not even be productive. Oh well, stuff happens and we just have to roll with it!
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