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Tips for Storytime Success

Stroll on down to Saints and Spinners for Seven Tips for Satisfying Library Preschool Programs.

Lone Star Mama's comment especially struck a chord with me:
I agree about the rules. I most like librarians who most like kids. Our old children's librarian was great and we loved her, but I could tell she didn't have kids of her own by the frequency with which she redirected touchy toddlers. When she was promoted to branch manager, we got a children's librarian who is a grandma (she used to be the librarian at my older daughter's elementary school). She's not as giddy or silly or inventive as the career-focused youngsters, perhaps, but she gets kids and likes them. She's laid back and I think I like that better than any master-performer.

This is actually my major insecurity in youth services--how do I "make up" for not having kids of my own? Or even nieces or nephews? I do like kids, and there is definitely an element of silliness to my storytime, but I still struggle to "get" kids as much as I feel I should. It is definitely my main area of improvement that I have outlined for myself for the next year. Unless someone makes me branch manager first... just kidding.
Does anyone have any thoughts on the youth vs. experience question? What can a 20-something youth services staffer do to be just as good as a mom or grandmother?


Jen Robinson said…
That's an interesting question, Anne. I don't have a good answer, but I wonder about it, too. Who am I, this person who doesn't even have kids, to be so confidently reviewing children's books, and making suggestions to other people about how to raise kids who love books? But I think it comes down to being passionate. If you're passionate about the books, and wanting to put the right books into kids' hands, I think that makes up for a lot.
Anne, Thanks so much for linking my post. I think you'll find that the more you work with children, the more you will "get" children. There are things that I know now as a parent that I didn't know beforehand, but I'm sure I also had some perspectives that parents in the midst of raising their children may not have. So do you. :)
Anne said…
Thanks for the reassurances, Jen and Farida. I am really hoping to get to a more confident point with more experience, but at the same time I wish I was already there!
Jen Robinson said…
Happy to help, Anne. I think that the mere fact that you're thinking about this shows that you have the right attitude, and that you'll do fine.

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