Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Bit of a Dry Spell....

For the last 3-1/2 years I have posted pretty regularly here, generally weekly, but right now I am having a bit of a dry spell. I just don't have any material right now, and I'm out of ideas.

Part of it is the job change, which has led to a long break in programming due to both a greatly reduced amount of programming in my new position, and my transfer coinciding with the end-of-summer break from regular programming. It's been SIX weeks since my last storytime, and I won't do one for another month! That has been a huge change from my previous 12-15 storytimes a week schedule! While the break has been a nice rest for my strained vocal cords, I must admit I do miss it. If I could create my ideal position, it would include one or two mornings of outreach storytimes each week.

So I've had no storytimes to write up, no STEAM programs, no new picture books have caught my eye... It's been mostly six weeks of very busy customer service, weeding, and shelving since all of our pages left at the end of the summer. Next month I will finally start doing regular programming, one family storytime and one school-age STEAM program a month, which I really need to get planning, but have had a hard time finding the time, since I'm on the desk all the time and we are short-staffed.

I've already decided to play it safe for my first STEAM program, doing my "Mirror, Mirror" program that I did many times for different outreach groups the last two summers. I decided it would be best to start with something I'm comfortable with, is cheap and requires few supplies, and I know works well with a wide variety of ages and groups since I don't really know what to expect. It's marketed for ages 5-12, but we don't know what we'll actually get or how many. But I need to get supplies together as well as decide on topics for the rest of the year.

I could do storytime in my sleep, but I have no idea what I'm going to do for my first storytime here! There's just too much pressure on the first one! For one, I'm not used to having parents in storytime, possibly judging everything I do. Then, I have to worry about a craft, which we didn't do for outreach storytimes either. I keep hoping for an epiphany, but I'm just going to have to pick something soon, as well as plan the rest of the year, since I need to request any good seasonal books I want to use NOW and hoard them before all the teachers beat me to them! (Luckily, I do own several of my favorites, just for this reason.) 

But right now, I just do not seem to have any original, new storytime ideas, and I know I've already done most of my themes at least twice and run out of new content. I'm really hoping we start getting new picture books in soon and some good ones catch my eye and inspire me! My blogging may take a hit until I get back into the swing of regular programming, so please bear with me.

Feel free to suggest any ideas for storytime, STEAM programs, or topics for blog posts below or via e-mail!


  1. I just came across your blog while looking around the internet for storytime inspiration. Have you decided on how you want to do your storytime crafts yet? I highly recommend putting out a variety of fun craft supplies and letting the kids and adults explore together. I used to include crafts with more direction, but got tired of watching the adults 'do' the craft for the kids, which happened whenever there was a demonstration 'finished' item for them to look at. As I read more and more about STEAM concepts and talked with amazing library staff who were already doing open ended crafty exploration, I jumped in. I usually rotate the kinds of things I'll put out from week to week. I especially love asking the kiddos to tell me about what they've created. :)

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      I am doing my first storytime here next weekend! For the first one, I'm playing it safe and doing a typical "cookie cutter" craft, even though that's not really my preference. But I am going to try to get the parents to let the kids do some of the cutting, and explain how important it is for fine motor skills which in turn are important for writing later on!

      I have the weekend family storytime, which they tell me is a real mixed bag, and you never really know what you're going to get. I intend to move away from these types of crafts to doing more process art and activities instead, but I want to get a better feel for the kids & parents first. I was afraid they might revolt if they didn't have something to take home! But I've already realized I just don't have time to prep for the typical crafts!

    2. Also, if you have any suggestions in particular of things that have worked really well for you, especially if they'd be good for a wide age-range that might skew to mostly 2 year olds one week and 7 year olds another, I'd love to hear them!