Storytime isn’t Just a Tradition!

I am in LOVE with this article entitled Secrets of Storytime: 10 Tips for Great Sessions from a 40-year Pro! In case you don’t want to read the whole thing, the author’s 10 tips are highlighted in red.

One of the main points of this article is simply stated in this early quote: “My longstanding belief [is] that storytime is for children and adults.” Parents learn how to build literacy skills in their children, as well as learning about library programs and services and how to foster interest in reading.

YES!

When I was a classroom teacher (in a high school setting, mind you), I used storytime often. Teenagers need to be given the chance to address difficult subjects in simple formats. I realize that this is a little different, but I think what this public librarian has recognized is that something as simply as reading a story out loud is an educational experience for everyone involved.

I work at a school that, at this time, caters mostly to high school age students with small children who accompany them to the school and are in the pre-K rooms in the same building. This is, quite literally, my second day on the job, so I’m not sure what programs are already in place, but one of my ideas is to do storytime with the parents (high school age children) and children.

I’m really excited to try it and will update the blog on the progress and success!!

Spinster Librarians

“You’re a librarian? But you’re young! You’re pretty! You haven’t told me to be quiet yet! And you’re out here having fun…”

I can’t tell you the number of times those words have been said to me. My favorite was in Florence, Italy, where I was speaking with a young English couple, who ended that tirade of shock with “You’re literally blowing my mind right now. I will never look at librarians the same.”

GOOD!

Here’s a really interesting article from NPR about the portrayal of librarians in popular media. My personal favorite stereotype is the librarian doomed to spend eternity alone in the library, as if this is the worst possible fate. Librarians are portrayed as introverted white women with few friends except the books they consider their friends. They wear glasses, put their hair in buns, and struggle to suggest anything besides a Jane Austen novel to a reader.

But here’s the trick: being a librarian is not the only thing we do or what makes us who we are. Does your chosen career adequately reflect everything there is to know about you?

This is a huge topic of conversation among librarians. There is a changing dynamic and face to librarianship; most of the people I got my MSLS with were younger than me. It’s not exactly a goal of ours to bust through these stereotypes – I mean I’m still a white woman, and that’s a huge librarian stereotype – but we recognize them, and recognize that we don’t all fit into them.

Reading for Fun

Here is a really interesting article from The Guardian summarizing a research project about the importance of reading for pleasure for teachers.

I wholeheartedly agree with pretty much everything the article and research says.

In my English classroom, we read the “classics” that we were able to in class, but I always had students read their own choice of books outside of class. I love talking with them about their choices and hearing what they had learned, and it always helped when I was able to say “Oh, I loved that book” or “I’m so glad you liked it. It’s the next thing on my list to read!” But it was extremely hard to keep up. I didn’t read Twilight or The Hunger Games until several years after they were first mentioned in my classroom. The article does mention a teacher’s lack of time to read, which was always difficult for me. I read mostly during the summer.

As a librarian, I *should* have more time to devote to building myself professionally through reading, as I won’t have things like grading papers to do. I think it’s really important for librarians to remember that and help teachers keep up with the reading interests of their teenage students.

Perhaps something like a once-a-semester booklist for teachers of books the teens are loving right now, or YA books that have movies coming out that the teens may be interested in, could be helpful to teachers. It would offer suggestions to the teachers for easy reads, and even if they don’t get to reading any of the titles on the list, they would at least have heard of them and be familiar with the plot thanks to the booklist. This could also easily be something done at the end of the year as a summer reading list for teachers. Obviously, this would be nothing required; it would just be something helpful for teachers, no strings attached.

I really like this idea. As a bonus, those are the type of lists I’d be creating for the students, too, so it wouldn’t be a heaping amount of additional work to make them for an audience of teachers instead of students.