The Ninth Week

It’s strange to be done with story times.  But I’m looking forward to school visits, and I’m excited to get started with summer reading program (SRP) prep!

I really enjoyed doing some outreach to a new parents’ support group.  The mothers there generally had one new baby and one older sibling, often a toddler, with them.  Erica brought many of the elements of her story times to engage the older kids – she read a couple of books and did a song or two. Most of the time was spent talking to the parents about what resources are available at the library for families, how baby story times can help your baby’s development (again illustrated by some activities), and how to navigate the various children’s offerings with two kids of different ages.  She had a few helpful handouts, and used a few simple illustrations to talk about brain development.

But the most important part (aside from just being there, of course) was giving the parents space to ask questions.  How can I read to both of my children at once?  What if I can’t return materials on time, or a book is destroyed? What should I do if my child won’t sit quietly through story time?  Is it a good idea to raise my child bilingual?  Can I do anything to help my child avoid a learning disability?  These are just some of the questions Erica might receive at this type of event.  Her answers help parents feel more comfortable with the library and the librarian, use the library resources more effectively for their families, and start to understand what they need to do to get their children ready to read.  Sometimes, the most important thing withwell-educated, high-achieving parents is to get them to relax – they’re already doing a  good job, and they don’t need to obsess over arbitrary “normal” milestones or force reading time on their kids.  It’s critical that children develop a positive association with books and reading, Erica stresses – forcing them to read when they don’t want to can sour them on reading for life.

After the meeting, we delivered SRP posters and bookmarks to the private schools.  Erica doesn’t do classroom visits and booktalks here, but she does provide at least one poster per floor (one per grade or classroom is best) and one bookmark for every student.  I was amazed by how many small private schools are clustered around this neighborhood!  It’s important not to miss these kids just because they often use their school libraries during the year.  They need the public library in the summer, too. I’m looking forward to heading to public schools next week and actually talking to kids!

Thursday was mostly an on-desk day – we prepped for the SRP Wall of Fame display, packaged up materials to take to the schools, processed new books, and finished up the paperback order.  I found a couple of good websites for new in paperback books, which is great for finding those stand-alone hardbacks just being released in paperback.  Series are easier to just track and remember.  My favorite website for this was Kidsreads.  It was a little slow in terms of reference – I didn’t get a lot of unusual questions.

I also had a job interview for a children’s position this week.  It felt great to use the things I’ve learned this quarter!  I could easily rattle off a list of great children’s materials for all ages and why I like them, could talk at length about early literacy and developmental stages, and had a great arsenal of stories and examples to discuss.  I left that interview feeling very confident, both about the interview itself and my ability to do well in the job.  Thanks so much, Erica!

Total hours: +14 = 141

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