If you’re reading this post the day it was posted, then you’re reading it on Friday, September 12. This also just happens to be “Fall Story Time Registration Day” at all the libraries. If the Kentucky Derby is known as the “most exciting 2 minutes in all of Sport”, then I think it’s fair to say that “Fall Storytime Registration Day” is the “most exciting 30 minutes in all of public librarianship”. At least it seems that way at our branch. Excited parents will often line up outside our library doors before we even open and make their way to our info desk in not quite a running gait but definitely more than a walking pace to make sure they are registered. Other parents wait at home with their fingers flexed waiting for the clock to flip from 9:59 am for them to press “send” on their smartphones. Our most popular programs seem to be Baby Rhyme Time, aimed for children anywhere from newborns to 2 years old, and Time for Twos, which is geared to children aged 2 to 3. For these programs, children and their caregivers sit in a semi-circle on comfy “floor chairs” that support their backs. The children usually sit in their caregiver’s laps, but sometimes a wander around the story-time room is more interesting for them. Each week, following a theme, the leader will sing songs, introduce rhymes and stories and maybe even incorporate puppets! (Disclaimer: not every session may have puppets. Let’s be reasonable here.) Our libraries also offer preschool story-times aimed at 3-5 year olds. Many libraries offer “family story times” that are open to caregivers and their children and aim to appeal to a wide age range.
The hope is that the caregivers will be given some ideas and inspiration to use at home with their children, and establish the roots of reading.
There are six early literacy skills that if learned early on will help create life-long readers.
- Tell a Story! Learning to tell a story helps children develop thinking and comprehension skills.
- Have Fun with Books! Children who enjoy books will want to learn to read.
- Learn about Print! Being familiar with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books and understand that print is useful.
- Learn about the Sounds of Speech! Being able to hear the small sounds in words helps children sound out printed words.
- Learn your ABCs! Knowing the names and sounds of the letters helps children sound out printed words.
- Learn your Words! Knowing many words helps children recognize printed words and understand what they read.
I say that “Fall Storytime Registration Day “is the most exciting 30 minutes in public librarianship” because the flurry usually dies down after the first half hour. But unlike the Kentucky Derby there are usually not as many fancy hats and we discourage the drinking of mint juleps before noon.
While some programs fill up immediately, there are other programs that still have space, depending on the program, the date/time and the location, so if you are interested in learning more about our fall story time offerings, please visit our website at http://www.winnipeg.ca/library or contact your local branch directly.