I’m taking on one of the preschool story times in January here at LPL. Because I have a little more latitude with my time right now, I’m trying to pull together 3-4 months of story time lesson plans, so that when I get to a given week I know if I need a craft, a specific hand puppet, or the perfect music CD. Obviously I’m not pulling books just yet, but I’m putting together a list of titles and authors (from our catalog) so that I don’t even have to search the catalog. The goal is that I can print these and put them in a folder on my desk so should I wake up deathly ill one morning someone could walk in, grab my lesson plan and do my story time with little effort needed on their part. Also so that I don’t spend every Tuesday frantically wondering what I’m going to do the next day. I got VERY good at that at CPL but I’m trying to be slightly more pulled together.

As I waded through my resources, it struck me– children’s librarians really rip each other off. A lot. It’s all done with the best of intentions, it’s all excellent sharing and it makes for better story times but wow.

What do you mean? I hear from those who’ve not been tasked with story times.

I borrow themes and songs and ideas from anyone and everyone who will begin to share. I have great story times that colleagues at CPL wrote up that have gone into my file of “ideas to carry along.” I have the song/fingerplay handouts that my branch colleague had developed. I’ve called the Incredibly-Patient-Mother and begged for ideas when I got stuck. And then there are the books that no children’s librarian can live without–many of them devoted to circle time, story time themes, craft ideas, and endless lists of fingerplays.

All of this conglomeration goes into my brain and somehow gets spit out into a story time. It is doubtful I’ll ever use an “exact” story time again unless I’ve compiled it–mostly because other people use different books than I have available or I don’t find a fingerplay compelling etc etc.

But isn’t it amazing how we all collaborate? We beg, borrow and steal ideas and bring forward early literacy, literature enthusiasm and lots of cuteness as much as we can. And it’s encouraged. Excellent…..

For anyone wishing to see me in Story Time Mode– 10:15; Wednesdays at the main branch.