Usually our storytime series lasts 6-8 weeks, but this fall we only held storytime for 4 weeks because I had a full-timer out on maternity leave earlier in the fall and this was all we could handle. It ended up being absolutely fine. I'm sure there were some patrons who would have liked it to go on longer, but I had at least one patron tell me she liked the shorter series because it was less of a commitment. I also feel like our attendance week to week was up, though our total registration wasn't quite as high as it has reached by the end of the series in the past. So, we didn't have quite as many signed up, but the people who signed up actually showed up.
Due to the aforementioned short-staffed-ness, we also only offered four class times:
- Mondays at 11:00am
- Tuesdays at 7:00pm
- Wednesdays at 1:00pm
- Thursdays at 11:00am
This time around, our evening class was actually pretty well attended, but our afternoon class was very small. I'd still like to try out a 4:00 afternoon session, but we'll see about that in the spring. We've also been talking about adding a new weekly drop-in program for ages 3-5, possibly a music & movement class. We're still very much in the planning stages of that right now.
Our storytime logistics were basically the same as our spring storytime series. I started and ended with the same songs each week. I did the Memory Box each week. The take-home crafts continue to be awesome and loved by patrons and staff alike. This time around, we used the following themes:
Something else I'd like to try next time is to designate one week as "Librarian's Favorites" and ask each of my storytime presenters to put together a storytime with some of their favorite readalouds. We're always doing themes because it's what our patrons expect and what we're used to, but I'd like to stretch my staff to think outside the theme.
We'll offer preschool storytime in the spring, although I'm really thinking now about doing three 4-week storytime series instead of two longer (6-8 week) series. I can't add a winter series this year, though, because I have promised my staff that we're taking January completely off from programming.