[kids-lib] story time etiquette input needed

Patrick Goodman patrick at jcld.org
Wed Oct 28 09:48:48 PDT 2009

Hello everyone,

   How many of you have the problem of parents disrupting and
distracting both the children and storyteller during story time? If
you're like me, your parents are the primary problem with behavior.
But how do you reprimand them for their actions in a way that will not
leave them angry and with a vow on their lips to never return to your
storytime and library again?

   Although this is definitely not the final answer, I'm in the
beginning stages of creating a pamphlet concerning proper story time
etiquette for parents. I'd like any and all feedback of what are
common parental problems and how they can be alleviated. Here are a
few of the major concerns that I will be addressing:

1. Leaving children by themselves.
2. Walking/talking behind the storyteller. (disclaimer: not all
libraries are built the same, so changing areas is sometimes not an
3. Talking during storytime, then shushing children when they begin to speak.
4. Continually leaving and returning to the storytime area.
5. Restricting a child's movement.
6. Allowing their children to throw serious temper tantrums, but not
removing them from the area. (this is actually the easiest problem to
address, but I'm always amazed that I have to politely ask parents to
leave until their child has settled down each and every time)
7. Showing up [habitually] late.
8. Following their children around when they wander from the story
time area (but still in view).
9. Participating.
10. Forgetting their children need help and encouragement during craft
time so that they can gossip away with one another.

   Again, please feel free to list anything you think I'm overlooking,
complete with what you'd like the parents to do. Also, if you'd like
to share any horror stories from your story time, please feel free.
Just make sure they're humorous and enjoyable, 'cause I don't think
anyone's interested in a rant... unless it's a really good rant.

   When I'm finished with the pamphlet, I'll post it up here (in pdf
form) so anyone interested can make copies for their own library. And
thank you everyone who responded to my queries on educational videos.
I'm about halfway through my purchasing, and really looking forward to
it's launch.

Kind regards,

Patrick L. Goodman
Youth Services Coordinator
Jefferson Co. Library District
241 SE 7th St.
Madras, OR 97741
(ph) 541.475.3351
(f) 541.475.7434
patrick at jcld.org

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