Monday, August 24, 2020

Adventures In Storytime Has Gone Virtual!

After the Covid-19 pandemic hit I was suddenly and unexpectedly unemployed and faced with the dilemma of how to stay connected to the field, not get stale, come up with new content for the blog, and show potential employers I can adapt to virtual programming. While in library school I found I liked putting together presentations, so I recycled slides from previous in-person training sessions I'd done on literacy topics and recorded voice-over to them to turn them into webinars, but there hasn't been any interest (I think everyone's webinar-ed out by now) so I haven't pursued making any others yet, though I do plan to do some shorter tutorials..

Now that it is apparent to almost everyone that it will be quite some time before we are back to in-person programming, and virtual programming and other alternatives are here to stay, I needed to figure out a way to get experience and demonstrate that I could do virtual programs. But, there was one catch. While publishers have extended permissions to teachers and librarians, since I am not currently attached to a school or library, they don't really apply to me. One might argue "fair use", but I'd rather play it safe. So after thinking it over for a while I decided instead of doing storytimes, I would do short videos with a few songs, rhymes, and/or fingerplays around a given theme, and then give some book suggestions at the end.

I've set up a YouTube channel, and I will also be posting them on the Facebook page. I'm trying to make them serve a dual purpose, to be suitable for kids to watch and sing and play along with, as well as to be a resource for parents, educators, and other youth librarians. I'm also going to do occasional crafts, STEM, and booktalk/trailer videos as well. I'm trying to keep them around 10-15 minutes or less, but a couple have creeped up closer to 20. So far I've only uploaded a few videos, plus a video I made last year from my library butterfly project, but my goal is to add one every week for a while. I don't know if anybody will watch them, but at least it will be good practice for me.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate it! I'm still not 100% comfortable in front of the camera, but getting better. It's just so much harder without a live audience in front of you, plus the only place in my house with decent lighting is very cramped.

I've added a menu with links under the "Videos" tab above, but you can also subscribe to the YouTube channel and follow the Facebook page.

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