TL;DR Advocacy– CLEL 12

Today’s Boot on the Ground post comes from the fabulous Melissa Depper, of Mel’s Desk fame. Melissa has been a children’s librarian in the Denver metro area for a long time, an early literacy advocate for a medium amount of time, and a supervisor for a very, very short time. She wishes she could bake cookies for every storytime provider in the world. 

TLDR Advocacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several years ago, Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy  borrowed the 43 Things idea  and developed a year-long initiative we called the CLEL 12. It was at the request of our members who asked for concrete examples of ways to get involved and be better early literacy advocates.

 

We listed 16 ideas, such as “Introduce yourself as a member of CLEL at your next professional gathering,” and “Contact your county’s Early Childhood Council and introduce yourself,” and “Make a presentation at a staff meeting about early literacy.” CLEL members could choose 12 ofmel the 16 things to complete the challenge– each activity one small to step to becoming a more active member of the Colorado early literacy community. Sound familiar?

 

Think about your library– what action steps could you put on a customized list to adapt the Storytime University concept to your colleagues and your community advocacy goals?

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us your advocacy story in 149 words or less and we’ll put it up for the world to see. This is a great opportunity to refine your next elevator pitch, and to inspire others to step up their advocacy game. 

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The Coolest Things I Saw While Left Behind by Amy & Kendra at ALSC

It’s true. Amy and Kendra are at ALSC Institute facilitating Guerrilla Storytime, presenting, being their bad ass selves. Brooke and I are left behind, me rewatching the new Mindy Project episode over and over, and Brooke probably drowning in a sea of thank you notes. HA! Oh, I mean, sympathy, babe!

 

This post has like, zero storytime in it. NOT because no one posted anything great about storytime this week, but because I so soooo many cool school-aged things and I got carried away.

 

As a new-again school librarian, I’ve been catching up on great school and school librarian blogs. I love this meditation on power and empowerment, from Bud the Teacher, and I think it holds true for public librarians as well. We don’t want to be white knights, empowering our customers. That’s condescending and dehumanizing.

 

I’ve been chewing and chewing on this post from Donalyn Miller. It’s about busy work, and reading logs, and the joy of reading, and assignments that encourage critical thinking and deep engagement. Again, I don’t think it just applies to school librarians. I have some vague ideas about what we can do to help school librarians, or parents, or kids with this, and I’m fairly certain brilliant minds like Julie Jurgens and Buffy Hamilton have far more advanced theories.

 

Speaking of schools! Lisa at Thrive After Three has a great video about how and why to do successful school/public partnerships!

 

Since I’m suddenly interacting with a LOT more 3 year olds, and I am interested in building thoughtful relationships with them, I am thinking more than ever about things like praise and discipline. This post on descriptive praise, from Playful Learning, was super helpful to me.

 

Bryce introduced me to new-to-me blog Hafuboti, and I was going to link to one thing but I can’t decide, so, just go hang out over there. Everything is awesome.

 

The new MOOSE BOOK is about to come out!!! *Jumps up and down in chair* I get to order picture books again!!!! Everything is beautiful.

 

Thanks to Ruth (@ruthlibrarian) for making my day with this dinosaur comic <3

 

Did you know that a bunch of my PLN have cool internet projects? It’s true. Sophie (@sophiebiblio) and Margaret (@MrsFridayNext) have a phenomenal Tumblr where they. . .tell you what’s cool on the internet. That’s like SO up my alley.

Carolyn (@papersquared) and Anna (@helgagrace) have an amazing podcast about pop culture and Julie does the music and you should listen.

 

Once upon a time I was on this mailing list for this TV show, and it was cancelled, but I never stopped being on the mailing list or in the fandom, and I was on a podcast talking about it! So if you’re like, really into mid-nineties TV shows or how the internet can change people’s lives or fandom in general, you might be into this.

 

 

librarian grumpy cat

I just thought today needed Grumpy Cat.

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Ask a Storytime Ninja: Baby and Toddler Chaos

Personally, I’m really excited about this post, as a presenter who deals with storytimes regularly at or over room capacity (66). I really appreciated the suggestions below and will certainly be acting on much of what was said. If you, or someone you know, has a baby and toddler infestation issue you’ve come to the right place.

 

Ask a Storytime Ninja badge

 

The Question:

 

I need some suggestions for running a very large infant storytime for about 30-40 infants 3-11 months. And, toddler storytime 70-80 toddlers ages 12-35 months. These are weekly programs. Right now I do a lot of music and movement activities and read 1 story using the Ipad for both groups. I also include early literacy tips. After storytime we have free play with 2 ball pits for the infants and 2 parachutes for the toddlers. It is getting too out of hand I really don’t know what to do. Help!

 

The Answers:

 

From Anne:

 

It is a rare and wonderful thing to have so many families interested in attending infant storytime! Kudos to you!

 

Having 30 – 40 infants and 70 – 80 toddlers seems chaotic and exhausting for you and probably your patrons. It’s time to open up more storytime sessions! These numbers should easily warrant increasing your sessions. That is, of course, assuming that’s even an option.

 

If you can’t open up more storytime sessions, consider changing the format of your program. You could offer early literacy drop-ins in which you have 3 – 4 stations of early literacy activities including a story nook where you can share books and rhymes. One drop-in could be for babies and the other for toddlers. Each station would have a specific activity described on a notecard so that the stations are self-guided.

 

Early literacy stations you could try:

 

• Write: Add paint to Ziploc bags and duct tape the openings. Little ones will have a blast tracing shapes and lines or just smashing the paint – with no mess. You can add one color or allow colors to combine to make new colors.

• Sing: Use a square shaped box to make a song cube by adding images of your favorite kid-friendly songs, like a star for Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Families can roll the cube to see what song they can sing.

• Play: Incorporate the parachute or the ball pit. You can also rotate in stacking toys, puzzles or sensory balls.

• Talk: Provide puzzles or puppets to use as props in stories. You could have specific stories in mind like three pigs and a wolf or you could add a variety of pieces for newly imagined stories.

 

For more early literacy activity ideas, check out my library’s pinterest page: pinterest.com/plumlib/early-literacy.

 

If neither of the above suggests work for your library, you may need to start registering your storytimes to make the programs more manageable and enjoyable for everyone.

 

 

From Tabin:

 

Isn’t it great to be loved? You probably feel like asking, “Can’t we just cuddle?” so I will not recommend doing more storytimes. Plus it doesn’t always help. I’ve gone from 36 storytimes and 20 performer events a year to about 160 programs on top of hosting around 50 others.

 

Instead of getting half the crowd at two events you end up with twice as many people, people who are not happy if you limit attendance, and as delicious as it sounds, you don’t want to start putting Kahlua in your coffee.

 

Obviously you’re doing fantabulous or else a gazillion people wouldn’t show up on a weekly basis. That said, you need to isolate why people attend. So, as much as I dread writing this because I hate paperwork like it owes me money, your best bet is to do a survey for 2-3 weeks before making changes. Let them know you are “improving storytime” (use those exact words) and their input will decide how you go from there. (Candy bribes help.) Ask questions such as:

 

—What do you like most about this program?

—Do you have suggestions on how to improve this program?

—Are you aware of the resources the library has to offer?

—On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being “this sucks” and 5 being “everybody gets a car!” how would you rate the iPad stories, parachutes, literacy tips, social interaction, etc.

 

Once you have the surveys you’ll have a better idea of which components to drop, change, or turn into self-directed stations. You will be surprised at the feedback you get. I now play Motown and Van Morrison after storytime, provide preschool tours with database training, and print out literacy asides instead of state them because parents admitted they didn’t retain them during storytime sessions, and now I’m teaching parents how to host mini-storytimes at home.

 

Let your patrons tell you what they want, decide which wants will lead you away from the Pit of Cra-Cra and to the Land of Zen, and when you make the necessary changes it is a positive experience for all instead of a big shock to the system.

 

Ashley seconds these emotions!

 

That voice, those eyes. Sigh.

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Coolest Things!

Friends! I started my new job as a SCHOOL LIBRARIAN this week and I am so excited about it and man have I had amazing conversations with kids this week.

 

Any time Bryce shares behavioral posts I know I should PAY ATTENTION. This one, on 6 ways you’re telling kids not to listen to you, is no exception.

 

This week is basically, remember who I linked to last week? Yeah, why aren’t you following them?

 

Melissa’s wordless picture book post and Cate’s on story dictation both have so much great in depth thought on making what we do more purposeful, deeper, more effective and affecting.

 

Ted, who we love, guest posted over on the Show Me Librarian, talking about his summer outreach storytimes and it is super impressive and smartypants and full of excellent tips.

 

Lisa at Thrive After Three has a FELT BOARD TABLE and I want one.

 

Hey do you want a new movement activity and also more material in Spanish for your Storytime? Of course you do. Miss Mary Liberry is there for you.

 

I don’t know if you read this article by badass Naomi House (who founded INALJ) about how she doesn’t want a library job anymore, but I thought it was really heartening and wonderful.

 

What did I miss?? Send me your best stuff!

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Ask a Storytime Ninja: Outdoor Storytime

A little later than usual (sorry ’bout that!) but here’s the first Ask a Ninja question answered by our September featured ninjas. Would you storytime in a boat, with a goat? Would you, could you, in a train?! Or near one…

 

The Question:

 

Hi, ninjas, I need suggestions for stories, songs, and activities for an all-ages drop-in storytime at our farmers’ market. Outside, so lots of distractions–including a busy train line. Thanks!

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The Answers:

 

From Anne:

Storytime at the farmer’s markets sounds like such a great opportunity to reach out to all sorts of library users. Any storytime held outside can be a challenge. I’ve hosted similar storytimes at community-wide events in a busy park right across from the train tracks.

 

Shorter interactive stories tend to maintain the attention of the audience but also allows families to participate in a full story or two while still being able to move on to the next activity. I recommend any of the Jan Thomas books but especially Can You Make a Scary Face? and Are You Ready to Have Some Fun. Mac Barnett’s Guess Again! has just the right balance of absurdity and fun. If you really want to get active, try Bounce or Stretch by Doreen Cronin or You Are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo.

 

It’s also helpful to sing or play songs that families are already familiar with like Heads, Shoulder’s, Knees and Toes or The Hokey Pokey. Carole Peterson has a very kid and crowd friendly version of The Hokey Pokey on Sticky Bubble Gum: and Other Tasty Tunes.

 

If attention is really an issue, try a more passive program or an activity based program. You could pre-package take-and-make science experiments or crafts with instructions and your library’s newsletter.

 

That way families could stop and take a minute to talk to you about the services your library has to offer.

 

 

From Ashley:

 

Storytime at the Farmer’s Market? Sounds great! For an all-ages group in a busy environment, I would rely on rhythm and music. A good beat or tune can engage all ages from babies up to elementary aged kids. Also books that are a little light on plot would be good so that people can feel free to come and go.

 

My favorite story in this vein is Tanka Tanka Skunk by Steve Webb. It’s great for stomping or clapping along with the rhythm. You could tie it into the market by showing fruits and vegetables and clapping out how many syllables they have. Wa-ter-mel-lon!

 

Another one I like for stomping to the beat is Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig. Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett appeals to many ages because of its rhythm and repetition, plus older kids love looking at the clues in the picture to guess what animal is coming next. Two of my favorites for audience participation are If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca Emberley and Jump! by Scott Fischer.

 

A great song to do at the market is Raffi’s “Going on a Picnic.” You ask audience members to say what they will bring, and could suggest they name their favorite market treat. If you can bring it, having a large white board or pad of paper nearby could be good for listing what kids say. As you sing the song, you keep adding to the picnic packing list, so it’s a great memory exercise.

 

One final suggestion: you might want to consider adding sign language, even just a few simple signs, to one or more of your songs. Parents love the idea of young children learning signs, older kids love the challenge and excitement of learning a new language, and it could help your storytime be more inclusive. Here’s a simple Hello/Goodbye song with signs from Jbrary.

Have fun!

 

 

From Tabin:

 

I’m jealous that you’re at the market while my view is of a tire shop, but I digress. When I get out I like to play popcorn with the parachute and bean bags. I Went Walking by Sue Williams is a good big book to march to. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin is a crowd pleaser. Honey, Honey Lion by Jan Brett gets the crowd moving, as does an interactive version of Mabela the Clever by Margaret Read McDonald. Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens is a good market story (though the name made me pause), and I always bring If You’re Happy and You Know It by David A Carter. Since you’re by a train you might consider bringing Freight Train by Donald Crews and play Little Red Caboose on the Wiggleworms Love You album. (I also love If I Was a Bird). However, if you’re there all day try Motown for Kids to save your sanity.

 

I especially promote databases during outreach. Parents typically know about kids’ programs, but they don’t know we have Zinio, and once they know, they’re more likely to go. If it’s slow you can post a sign that says, “Have you been around the world but don’t speak the language? The library has a database for that!”

 

For crafts, the kids can make farm scenes. I pasted clip art into tables, printed them on cardstock, cut them out and used school glue to glue on the popsicle sticks. I glued green paper “grass” onto blue cardstock, but in future projects I skipped that, along with rounding edges (Martha Stewart left the building around cow 19). Fold the paper over to cut slits with scissors. The kids decorate the scenes using scraps, die cut shapes, pens and crayons. The parents really like them because they keep the kids entertained on the car ride so they can save the napping for home.

 

farm scene2 farm scene

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Storytime Underground Community Survey

Hello, friends. We the Joint Chiefs of Storytime Underground are thrilled by all the engagement that happens within this community. We’d like to understand the community a bit better, and you can help us do that! Would you please consider taking our 4-question survey sometime this month? It’s brief, it’s anonymous, and it’ll be incredibly useful in helping us continue to think about making Storytime University relevant for everyone in the community. Thanks!

 

(if you can’t see the form below, click here to access it)

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The Coolest Thing I Saw On The Internet This Week (and last week) (a day late)

I really want to just link to Abby’s article on the ALSC blog about how storytime is not just for entertainment, and then post a mic drop gif, and make that the entire Coolest Thing. BUT I haven’t posted in two weeks so that seems kind of lazy. Even though it’s worth its entire own Coolest Thing and several standing ovations.

 

ALSO if I only posted that I would not be able to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KENDRA which we missed somehow because we are terrible and were distracted by things like new jobs and weddings BUT THAT IS NO EXCUSE. Kendra is a beautiful brilliant genius with amazing hair and an adorable dog and WE LOVE HER.

 

Did y’all see that Abby (yes, the same Abby, because she is the STAR of Coolest Things this week, also LIFE) wrote an article about us for American Libraries? It’s on page 60. <3

 

I also wish to use this time to shout out to Angie, who a) is quoted in the above article saying nice things about us and b) much more importantly was super active in getting donations for the Ferguson Library, and they recognized her efforts on Twitter because she is made of magic.

 

Do you know who else just had a birthday? Our favoritest Splinter, Melissa. Also she posted this fabulous mouse storytime. It’s like Chanukah for me when she updates her blog, friends.

 

This is ALSO an important and brilliant post, from Imagine/Make/Play, about why music and movement programs are important. It would be especially good to stick in your advocacy toolbox (see what I did there?) in case you’re having trouble convincing your administration to give you time or funds for such a program.

 

This post by Cate at Storytiming about impromptu new-book storytimes, making mistakes, and letting patrons know that we’re a pretty rule-bending crowd, BLEW MY DAMNED SOCKS OFF. Man, Cate, you hit that ish out of the park. I got goosebumps and wished you were my librarian.

 

Bryce and Marge wrote about how they reimagined SRP in LaCrosse this year by going prizeless and implementing game cards, and they are geniuses so you should probs go check it out, especially if you kind of hate the way you’ve always done SRP.

 

 

(None of my GIFs are working because. . .Thursday? so I am linking you to them and you can just pretend I inserted them into the post, right?)

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Ask a Storytime Ninja: Meet Your September Ninjas

It’s that time again, folks. August’s ninjas have done a fabulous job answering some great questions from you all. Now they get to sit back and watch as a new group of ninjas comes in to tackle storytime and the myriad issues that come with it. It is with great pleasure I introduce our featured Storytime Ninjas for September.

Ask a Storytime Ninja badge

 

Meet Anne: 

IMAG2758_1

 

Anne Luzeniecki currently works as the Youth Program and PR Librarian at the Helen Plum Library in Lombard, IL. Her work now focuses on children 8th grade and younger though she’s no stranger to teen programming. She hosts storytimes for newborns to grade school and loves how wildly playful and energetic storytimes can be.
Blog:  http://hplstorytime.wordpress.com/

 

 

Meet Ashley:

 

Ashley_oscarparty

 

Ashley Waring is a Children’s Librarian at the Reading Public Library in Reading, MA (suburb of Boston) where for 8 years she has worked part time in a busy children’s room with a staff of 4.  She does regular lapsit programs for birth to 24 month olds, including a popular evening program for working parents.  For 2 years she has run a Sensory Storytime, and has spoken at local conferences and led workshops about inclusive library services.  She is her Children’s Room’s Techie Librarian, which means she uses iPads in storytime and started a Minecraft club.  At home Ashley has a 7 year old son who loves graphic novels, and an autistic 9 year old who is picky about books, but when he finds one he loves, he loves it to pieces! (Literally. He often rips up his favorite books. I write a lot of checks to the Reading Public Library…)

 

Infrequent tweeter @ashcwaring

 

 

Meet Tabin (she was also a Storytime Guerrilla of the Month):

younger picture

Tabin Crume is a children’s librarian with 8 years of experience. Her area of expertise is jumping head first into projects and she regularly hosts programs on cooking, computer coding, and crafting, along with baby, toddler and preschool storytimes. Catch up with her on the blog she writes on (when she remembers to) at igot27problems.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

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Storytime University: Resources

If you aren’t already enrolled in Storytime University, stop reading this and click on the “Register” link at the top of your screen. Once you’re registered, come back to this post for some ideas for earning badges.

 

For those of you registered and ready to earn some badges, below are some resources your fellow Storytime University students have shared while earning their badges, plus some I’ve come across.

 

SUniv Banner

 

Webinars (after you view one, complete the View a Webinar task under the Grasshopper badge):

 

Foundations of Early Childhood Development: It’s All About Relationships

 

Everyday Makerspaces: Low-tech, Highly Engaging Library Programming for Youth (by our very own Donatello)

 

Mobile-Friendly Youth Library Services

 

Create a Personal Learning Network That Works for You and other ALSC Student Sessions webinars (ok, so I didn’t just come across it, we presented it, but still. It has Ninja Turtle gifs.)

 

Programming Librarian online learning archive It’s not super easy to navigate-it’s not organized in any way as far as I can tell-but there are still some good things there.

 

 

 

Blogs: Read a blog post and comment on it, then submit for the Read and Comment task badge. Check out our blog roll (in the side bar-Blogs that Kick Butt) for lots of options for reading and commenting.

 

Alyssa also shared her blog (and earned the Blogger task badge for doing it) so check hers out and comment!

 

 

 

Videos: Earn the Watch and Learn task badge by watching a storytime content video.

 

Jbrary. Obviously.

 

Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Fingerplay Fun Videos Some in Spanish!

 

King County Library System, Tell Me A Story Rhymes and Songs

 

 

 

Flannel Friday: Today is Friday so the perfect time to start working on the tasks to earn that badge. Check out their website for more details on how to get involved. Then come back here and earn some badges!

 

You are now armed with some of the weapons you need to conquer the storytime world. Go kick some ass!

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Meet Lucy Iraola, Storytime Guerrilla of the Month

Fav book 2013Ninjas, allow me to introduce Lucy Iraola. Lucy completed her Masters of Library and Information Sciences at the University of Denver in 2013. She is currently working as a Bilingual Spanish YS Librarian with the new and exciting Every Child Book-Bag Rotation program. She is passionate about libraries, diversity, outreach and providing excellent early literacy education and resources for children and their families. Lucy was born and raised in Puerto Rico where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Communications from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan, PR. We’re glad to have her share her expertise and perspective here this month!

 

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do with kids in storytime, and why do you do it?

Lucy: Without a doubt, my favorite thing to do in storytime is singing. I LOVE to sing! I mostly like fun songs that people have to act out and dance! I try to have at least two songs that are fun with lots of actions and movements. I believe music is extremely powerful, it just brings people and kids together. The best thing about it is that it makes you feel good because it lowers stress and I think that’s awesome. There’s so many positives that comes from music, singing rhymes and action songs and research proves it. Children are happier after singing. And, who doesn’t like to see those cute faces smiling, playing and laughing during storytime? That’s what it’s all about, making kids happy and involved.

 

Q: How do you go about continuing to develop your storytime skills?

Lucy: I like to read library magazines to see what other libraries and librarians are trying and what’s working well for them, besides learning about new picture book titles that I would like to order and try later. I try to attend conferences, webinars and workshops whenever I can to keep myself up to date on early literacy research and to network with other librarians who share some of my early childhood interests. I’m also fortunate to know so many wonderful youth services librarians from all the library systems I’ve worked with that I always can call for advice if I need to. Lastly, I check out blogs and some bilingual websites that can help me plan my storytimes whether I’m doing them in English, Spanish or even in another language.

 

Q: What’s been inspiring your library work lately?

Lucy: The relationships I have with my co-workers who I also consider my friends is very inspiring. We are always ready to share a new book, rhyme or song, idea or resource, etc. It’s great to collaborate and work together on new projects or something related to storytime and improving our parents messages. One of the greatest thing about our profession, is that there’s always something new we can learn and try. Whether is something about STEM, the Sensory Friendly storytimes, using technology, there’s so much to keep ourselves busy.

I’m excited about the beginning of the school year as well. It’s where I’m most active presenting storytimes and providing early literacy workshops outside the library building. I manage the Every Child Book-Bag program, it is a bag rotation program where we provide age and culturally appropriate children’s books in many languages to approximately 8,000 children in Multnomah County. We partner with child care organizations like Head Starts that help us bring books to children that are at risk of not having books in their homes.

 

Q: You were nominated for Guerrilla of the Month specifically for your expertise and experience offering Spanish storytimes. What would you say to library staff and administrators who are hesitant to offer multilingual programs for young children and their families?

Lucy: Considering that providing library service to all the people is at the core of what library service is all about, public libraries ought to think about the importance of providing equal library services to all children and their families no matter the language. It is no secret that the US is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, therefore public libraries need to start thinking about ways to keep up with new demands of a growing community. It’s important that every public library look at their community demographics and see what are the common languages spoken around the community they serve and take action. Sometimes libraries and even some librarians are intimidated to serve diverse language groups, mainly because they think they have to speak the language in order to be successful, fortunately that’s not the true. Most librarians feel afraid to try something new when they don’t know, not realizing that often times we have more in common than we think. Read and educate yourself about the changing demographics and new trends. Even if you start small, your multilingual library patrons will appreciate your efforts in providing something that’s meant for them.

These are my main tips when thinking about providing multicultural storytimes or programs:

  • Read a good reference book about providing services in other languages
  • Find community leaders that can help you promote library programs and services — for many diverse language groups is all about that personal relationship
  • Make an effort to learn a few words and phrases in the language you’re trying to reach and serve
  • Make outreach a priority and connect with your community
  • Have a budget for multicultural library materials, for marketing and publicity
  • When possible hire bilingual, bicultural staff to represent your community, if that’s not possible get library volunteers who can do storytimes and help you promote new library programs you’re trying
  • Find other library professionals you can contact for support and advice, network is key
  • And finally, always smile, be welcoming and friendly – some people didn’t grow up with libraries so there’s a lot that they don’t know and need to learn

 

Q: How did you come to be a storytime practitioner?

Lucy: When I moved to Oregon, I visited the library regularly and was interested in volunteering there. Later, through a friend, I got a part-time position at the Hillsboro Public Library, Shute Park branch working as the Libros (Library Outreach in Spanish) Coordinator. This position allowed me to present Spanish storytimes and connect with the Latino community. It was during that time that I realized how much I loved reading to the children and singing songs to them and their families in Spanish. That job prepared me to apply for a Library Outreach position with Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) in a program named the ¡Sí program! that was funded by an LSTA grant. While in that position, I had to visit family child care providers who were not registered with the state and provide informal workshops and storytime trainings in their homes with the children in their care. Due to the success of the Si program and all the people we were reaching, WCCLS decided to make my position a regular position adding more responsibilities, like providing early literacy trainings, supporting the library branches with cultural programs and collection development and by continuing to do storytimes outside and inside the library buildings. I was then providing storytimes at migrant camps, in different child care centers and Head Starts and partnering with different community organizations. I worked with WCCLS for seven years and even though I didn’t have a library degree I was working as an outreach bilingual librarian. I was attending library conferences and trainings and was able to increase my knowledge about early literacy, outreach to diverse communities and effective storytime best practices. I took the Every Child Ready to Read trainings, both the 1st and 2nd edition and the Early Words training. I also became a member of PLA, OLA and Reforma and started connecting with other librarians who had similar interest in providing culturally appropriate Spanish storytimes. I was extremely happy in my job, and then I got the opportunity of a lifetime! I applied for a fellowship at the University of Denver in Colorado to do a MLIS with a specialization on Early Childhood Librarianship. I was one of 10 fellows that received the fellowship! While in Colorado I had the great pleasure to work with two library systems, Arapahoe Library District and Jefferson County Public Library. I am very grateful for the time I was in Colorado and all the people who helped me during some difficult times there, but the reality is that I missed Oregon and my friends too much so I decided to move back. I received a job offer from Multnomah County Library and just recently had my first year anniversary. Life is good!

 

 

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