Friday, June 11, 2010

Most Recent Children and Libraries Issue

The great quarterly professional magazine for children's librarians, Children and Libraries' most recent issue is chock-fulluva lotta good stuff for those in the profession.  The article: Managing Children's Behavior in Storytimes: Two Librarians Experiences boils the dilemma of overly-energetic kids in a quiet-ish storytime.  I'd recommend a read, but here are a few highlights:
  • the message can be partly conveyed in the space you create (or don't create) for the kids and parents.
  • know each child's name (easier said than done, yes) but nametags help!
  • don't utter don't; positive reinforcement works better
  • create a fun call-and-response to get kids' attention
  • bring a bag of 'friends' to storytime (a few paper characters who have tiny ears and can only come out when it's quiet!)
  • lower your voice (make them strain to listen)
In this same issue is a great article on large storytime crowds.  A great problem to have, eh?  But a large crowd for a program designed to be slightly intimate can present some challenges.  The library in the article was faced with huge crowds (200+) at her storytimes and decided to do a first-come first-served structure where the first 125 got free tickets in.  I'd love to be dealing with that kind of demand!  Enter Powerpoint, microphones and team-effort!  Even without that big of a crowd, employing the benefits of PPT into your storytime might make it easier to manage in ways you can't even imagine!
  • There's an easily stored and organized record of past storytimes that could be accessed and performed by any staff member
  • even if your crowd isn't 200+, PPT slides with song lyrics, announcements and book covers might allow even a group of 30 to see better and participate more
  • a remote control can give you the freedom to roam
We have all different kinds of storytimes happening in our district and speaking of diversity, one of our mini-workshops this fall is about just that - all different kinds of approaches to storytimes!  More information on that to come.