[kids-lib] Small Library Storytimes - Looking for Advice

Kimbre Chapman kimbrec at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 4 12:08:02 PST 2014

Hi Taylor,
You could run a survey regarding  what the parents want.  Another thing you can do is to create a toddler storytime (aimed at ages 2 - 3), which has the advantage of capturing a wider audience because you can aim it in between the developmental stages.  Do you do puppetry?  Using a puppet or two (and they can be stuffed animals used as puppets) attracts a variety of ages and you can write some fun dialog for your character or character.  Bubbles at the end are fun for a variety of ages. Are you getting babies?  If not, you could just have a preschool storytime ages 3 - 5 and a toddler, 2 - 3 using the same theme but more advanced material for the preschoolers.  Visiting a few places that have a toddler time will helps kickstart some ideas too.
Hope this helps.
Kimbre Chapman
Kimbre Chapman
Children's Services Supervisor
McMinnville Public Library
kimbre.chapman at ci.mcminnville.or.us

From: Taylor Worley <youthlib.taylor at creswell-library.org>
To: kids-lib at listsmart.osl.state.or.us 
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 11:02 AM
Subject: [kids-lib] Small Library Storytimes - Looking for Advice


I'm looking for some information regarding storytimes in libraries with under a 10,000 service population. Specifically, I'm curious as to how you incorporate all ages into very few storytimes. Right now, I have the following three in-library storytimes: 

Itty Bitty Storytime (Ages 0-2)
PreK Storytime (Ages 3-5)
Family Storytime (All Ages, but we usually see ages 2-7 at this one)

Our largest storytime by far is our PreK, but a number of the families dislike that the storytime doesn't hold their young kids' (ages 1 and 2) attention or that the after-storytime craft is too complicated for the younger age group. I've tried to be accommodating by providing and after-storytime sensory play area that usually isn't set up, etc., but I haven't changed the focus age of the storytime. I'm also trying to add more repetition from week to week without "getting stale." (I already use the same structure, opening/closing songs, etc.)

The families also seem resistant to trying the younger storytime and we've had trouble building a regular attendance base for that program. 

I'd be very interested to hear from other libraries that have had this type of problem (or if this is a unique problem for me, that's good to know too) and how you've approached or successfully resolved the issue. 

Thank you! 

P.S. I'm happy to collect and forward responses to anyone who is interested, just let me know if you'd like the information.  


Taylor Worley |Youth & Community Services Librarian, Creswell Library 
"Always remember you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A. A. Milne
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