Well, friends, I have to do something on Wednesday that scares me to death. It’s the first day of my new duty as baby storytime teller, presenter, facilitator, etc. I am the youth services supervisor at my library branch, but before I started in this position I had no youth programming experience. In the two years I’ve been in youth services I’ve learned lots about planning programs for children and teens and have overseen all of the activities of the youth staff, but I’ve never had to learn how to present storytimes. Those days have ended. Our previous baby storytime person up and moved to Missouri and after trying every which way to fit baby storytimes into someone else’s schedule, my boss and I gave up and realized that I was the only option. Me, the most reserved, non-silly- in- public- person there is.
So what is expected of me? Storytime usually involves 15-20 minutes of fingerplays, songs and stories. I’ll have a teddy bear on my lap, demonstrating the arm and leg movements that caregivers should follow with their own babies while we’re singing and chanting. In between I’ll read 2 or 3 stories, depending on how restless the babies are. And then bubbles at the end! Sounds pretty simple, right? It could be – but I’ve been told that I’m doing it more for the parents than for the babies and that frightens me. The one part of my job that I’m not comfortable with is interacting with parents – I think because I don’t have children and fear that I have no clout with them because of that. Therefore, I’m feeling very anxious and uncomfortable with this new task and terribly unprepared.
Have any of you ever taken children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews to storytime? What did you expect from the presenter? Did you view them as experts? ANY ADVICE FOR ME, ANY AT ALL?