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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Many thanks to Becky Arenivar of Prescott for this guest post.  NOTE:  If you haven't yet sent in kit requests for fall 2015, please send them to me via email at langby @ ifls.lib.wi.us.  Full list of kits.

Maybe you don’t need the time-saving convenience of IFLS Storytime Kits.  Maybe your Storytimes are all planned months in advance.  Maybe you’re a seasoned Storytime veteran, who knows all the good read-aloud books, songs, fingerplays and movement activities for more than 100 Storytime themes by heart.

Maybe, just maybe, you are missing out on some little-known, but amazing, advantages of using Storytime Kits.  

I was one of those Storytime librarians - I only used Storytime Kits to save time, when I was overwhelmed by (choose all that apply) SLP, outreach, increased desk hours, new tasks and responsibilities, etc. and still had to plan and present Storytimes.  I was unaware of the transformative power of Storytime Kits!  Confession time - I’m also one of those rogue Storytime librarians who don’t do puppets.  Not at all.  Let’s save that discussion for another time, though.

Spring 2015: I realize I might be on leave during June and July.  Panic ensues, “what will happen to SLP, to summer Storytimes?”  After a fruitful and calming discussion with my Library Director, I ordered a Storytime Kit for each summer Storytime.  If I was here, I’d do Storytime; if I wasn’t here, another staff member could do it.  

Turns out, I did not go on leave after all, and it was convenient and time-saving to have a Storytime Kit arrive each week.  But one week, magic happened.  Inside the Families Storytime Kit was the Monkey Face Flannel story, a fun, engaging and heartwarming story.  But, seriously, 5 puppets plus flannel board pieces!


You know the end of this story, don’t you?  I practiced and practiced, presented the Monkey Face flannel story and it was fun and the kids loved it.  I used puppets and flannel board pieces and read from a script - all at the same time!  Were fireworks bursting and lightbulbs going on?  Yes.  Will I become the most awesome puppeteer in the kingdom?  Probably not, but I will work on bringing puppets into my Storytimes.  And, I definitely will order Storytime Kits, even when I don’t need the convenience, probably one or two each session.  Because I know that Storytime Kits not only save time, but will help me expand skills, overcome timidity and create magic.

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