After about four years at my last job, I’ve started a new position back at my last library system in another state. I’ve gone from little system to big system, extremely rural to urban, and college town to economically depressed district. Not only have basic environments changed for me, but I’m also walking into a very different situation than I walked into in Idaho. Instead of stepping into a small, established program and growing it, I stepped into a branch that hasn’t had consistent programming for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in quite some time and also does not have a dedicated or even secluded space for storytime. My coworker started babytime, toddler time, and playtime a few months ago, and playtime has taken off but her other programs are still struggling to attract attendance. I’ve recently started leading preschool storytime, but so far, no one has shown up–at all! This week, I finally had a couple of toddlers visiting during storytime, so I roped them and their caregiver into a modified storytime/lapsit program.
Little Blue Truck by Alice Shertle
Who is Driving? by Leo Timmers
Freight Train by Donald Crews
You know what babies and toddlers just aren’t that into? Sitting through books read to them by someone who isn’t their parent/caregiver in an environment filled with brightly colored toys! I was able to keep them interested by using the very simple/colorful Freight Train, the guessing game of Who Is Driving?, and the noisiness of Little Blue Truck, but to be honest, they were totally done with books when I pulled out the third one. However, they loved the bouncing rhymes I used–Dump Truck, Smooth Road, and This Is the Way the Ladies Ride. I didn’t plan to use any bounces since the plan was preschool oriented, but I knew those from memory, and all of them related to transportation. The littles loved the bounces and wanted to keep going forever!
We’re considering revamping our schedule and moving my coworker’s programs for our smallest patrons to Tuesday instead of Monday (because who wants to go anywhere on Monday morning?) I’m campaigning for moving preschool storytime to Thursdays. In the meantime, I get to start hosting storytime at a different branch where staffing numbers are currently low. Hopefully that will get me a storytime fix for a couple of months, at least.