Storytime is the premium service for children in public libraries across the country. For many youth librarians, it’s the most treasured part of their job. A storytime veteran shares her best practices.
On June 24, the National Museum of Mathematics in New York City kicked off its first annual National Pajama Party Week with the book launch of Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Fiewel and Friends) by Laura Overdeck, author and founder of the Bedtime Math nonprofit, an organization whose mission is to make nightly the math problem as common as the bedtime story. The event included math focused games for families and a book giveaway and signing by the author.
Filled with unlikely but enduring attachments, ostensibly incompatible Romeos and Juliets, and unexpected instances of true animal camaraderie, these books prove that affection can allow individuals to look beyond their differences and forge long-lasting bonds. Use these books to expand Valentine’s Day and friendship storytimes; tease out overarching themes; and initiate discussions of tolerance, compassion, and community.
Imagine that while interviewing for a library job you’re asked, “What would storytime specifically for African-American families look like to you?” That’s what happened to Kirby McCurtis. “I thought it was an especially interesting and challenging question,” says Kirby, who aced the interview and is now Multnomah County Library’s (MCL) newest African-American librarian. “It stayed with me even after the second interview. Now that I am working here, I have the opportunity to answer it every Saturday. It’s very exciting!”
It’s toddler storytime: let the rumpus begin! Toddlers bound quickly into the room. One hurdles mom’s legs while waiting for the opening song. Some hop, others roam, and a few practically climb our unflappable colleague Janie. Even after getting most of their wiggles out, many toddlers continue to float around the room—until Janie begins to read one of her favorite books, Owl Babies (Candlewick, 1996) by Martin Waddell.