As I wrote earlier, story times are used by children’s librarians to get families together and to build early literacy skills in young children. I wanted to give a little more information on what goes into these programs, particularly preschool story times, which I helped out with every week. For the Monroe County Public Library, building early literacy skills involves talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. Each librarian structures his or her story time a little bit differently, but at MCPL, they usually include picture books that are easy to follow and predictable, questions that allow children to use their imagination and think independently, songs and action rhymes which allow children to imitate movement, and a craft at the end where parents and caregivers can help their child create something. Sorry time at MCPL also include felt stories on a flannel board or puppets to get children exposed to different ways to tell a story.
For the beginning half of the semester, I would be in a preschool story time every Tuesday, observing how each librarian structured her story time. For the rest of the time, I would also help with the craft at the end and made sure that every group had the supplies they needed and knew what they needed to do. The craft at the end of story time is meant to be slightly difficult for a child to do on their own, so we encouraged parents and caregivers to come in with their child and talk them through the craft, so it is an interaction between caregiver and child and not just the librarian and child. Some examples of crafts we made throughout the semester are stained glass windows with uncooked pasta used as glass, bean stalks for National “Tell a Fairytale” Day, painting with q tips, and choosing words to put on raindrops for a poetry board.