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Library Storytime

For the first week of fall storytime, I decided to go with L is for Library. Why? Not to promote libraries or talk about book care, although we did talk about some of that, too, but primarily to get out the message of how to behave in the library. I’ve seen way too many examples of poor library behavior: whispering, tiptoeing, squelching down the raw excitement of seeing all those books. It was time to gently broadcast to parents that it is indeed 100% okay for kids to act normal in the library. I completely understand where the parents are coming from, because they’re usually the same age I am. Libraries were not as friendly when we were growing up, and if we librarians don’t tell people the rules have relaxed, we cannot expect them to realize it!

We read:

Read It, Don’t Eat It by Ian Schoenherr

Cute animals humorously demonstrate the many, many things we should not do with our books, such as eating them, leaving them out in the weather, and keeping them past their due dates.

Concept: Book care. Rhyme.

Dinosaur Vs the Library by Bob Shea

Dinosaur roars his way to the library for storytime, encountering animal friends along the way who are ripe for conversion to the roaring way of life. Not my favorite in the series, since most of the book actually happens on the way to the library and not at the library, but anything with animals sounds always works.

Concept: Animal sounds.

Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: the farm animals are bored now that the kids are back in school, so they go to the public library to find something to do. One by one, they each ask the librarian for something to do, but all she hears are barnyard sounds until the hen tries. What does the hen say? “Book! Book! Book!” Happily, this library is pro-barnyard-lending, and the animals take some books home, where everyone is happy. Except the frog. He already “read it, read it, read it.”

Concept: Animal sounds. Reading for pleasure.

The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara

Ever hear of a library that’s open all night (and isn’t on a major college campus)? Well, somewhere, one little librarian and three assistant owls run a nighttime library for all the animals! They solve problems like getting squirrel rock bands an activity room for their music/noise, helping weeping wolves get past the sad part of their books, and giving turtles library cards so they can take books home. Turns out turtles read just as slowly as they move. I predict classic status for this beautiful, sweet trip to imagination island.

Concept: Librarians help us!


Five Little Books

5 Little Books
Five little books at the library
Five little books as great as can be
Along comes (name) with their library card
To take one home and read
Credit: What Happens In Storytime

Action Rhymes

Library Manners

When I’m in the library, I always walk like this.
I never run like this! I don’t tiptoe like this.
When I’m in the library, I always walk like this.
When I’m in the library, I always talk like this.
I never yell like this! I don’t whisper like this.
When I’m in the library, I hold the books like this.
I don’t throw them like this! I don’t stomp them like this.
When I’m in the library, I hold the books like this.
But when I go to storytime….
Sometimes I yell like this!
Sometimes I run like this!
But I don’t throw books like this.
And when I go to storytime,
Sometimes I sit, like this.

Credit: Me! Yay! I had a little tune that I just made up, too. We did all the motions and, at a couple of points, talked about why we do or don’t do a thing. Like, we don’t yell because other people are here and we could scare or annoy them, but we don’t have to whisper, and the librarians can’t hear what you’re telling them if you do! We also had a talk first about the Number One Library Rule, which is: Listen to your grownups.

Going on a Book Hunt

We’re going on a book hunt
We’re gonna find a big one!
Where can we go?
The library.

Oh look!
A car!
A zoomy, vroomy car!
We can’t go over it,
We can’t go under it,
We can drive it!
Zoom, Vroom, Zoom, Vroom!

Oh look!
The library steps!
We can’t go over them,
We can’t go under them,
We have to go up them!
Pitter patter pitter patter.

Oh look!
A door!
A heavy, closed door!
We can’t go over it,
We can’t go under it,
We’ve gotta go through it!
Push, shove, push, shove.

Oh look!
The checkout desk!
We can’t go over it,
We can’t go under it,
We have to go past it.
Beep beep beep beep.

Oh look!
The library!
We can’t go over it,
We can’t go under it,
We’ve gotta go through it!
Walk walk walk walk.

Oh look!
The books!
We can’t go over them,
We can’t go under them,
We’ve gotta go through them.
Pick, flip, pick, flip.


Now, quick!
Past the checkout desk, beep beep beep,
Through the library, walk walk walk,
Down the steps, patter patter patter,
Into the car, zoom zoom zoom,
Run to the house, run up the stairs,
Oh oh forgot to shut the door!
Run back downstairs, shut the door,
Run back up, to the bedroom,
Jump into bed, pull up the covers,


Credit: Adapted from Goin’ on a Bear Hunt


Since storytime science experiments went so well over the summer, I decided we can sometimes do an activity instead of a craft. Instead of making bookmarks or minibooks, I decided we would take a library tour! We toured the youth area and went downstairs to the staff-only tech services area, where we met the nice people who catalog the books and do ILLs. A lot of people (adults included) don’t even realize we have a lower level, let alone get to see it, so it was a fun treat.

How It Went: The first session, I only had one family with two kids show up. I only did half the storytime with them, because their little one (2 yrs) got bored and their preschooler (3-4ish) decided storytime was scary and velcroed her little self to her mom’s leg the entire time. They liked their tour, though. The second session had a regular sized crowd, and they liked everything. I asked them for feedback about Book Hunt, which I thought was a little lame, and they all said it was really fun! One little boy said, “I looooved it.” But he worships me because I know the names of all the Avengers and all the X-Men, and I like Star Wars, so I can do no wrong in his eyes.

Highlights included The Midnight Library, which enchanted the storytimers. Although it does not include the use of technology, it does promote the thought of having spaces for different uses in the same building: The library is for everyone!