Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Look Back at Fall Storytime

Last week was our last week of Fall Storytime, so I want to take a look back at what we did.

Our library has traditionally offered registered storytimes in the spring and the fall. This year, we decided to split our storytimes into three 4-week sessions instead of two 6-week sessions. This was based on feedback from our patrons that it was easier for them to commit to a 4-week session than a 6- or 8-week session and also feedback from my staff that it was more manageable for them to plan and implement two 4-week sessions rather that one longer session.

I think it worked pretty well. We had a lot of the same kids sign up for both sessions, but we also had a handful that were no-shows for the first session, so after 4 weeks other families had a shot to sign up for those sessions. (We always try to get everyone in that wants to come and we very rarely have storytimes where everyone signed up shows up.)

This year, the way the schedule worked out we only had a week in between the sessions. I think it will be a little different next year when we'll have three weeks between the two fall sessions. Even though we asked families to sign up for each session, I know I had mostly repeats in my group and it did kinda feel like an 8-week session with a fall break.

We offered four different class times and families decided which to sign up for and attended at the same time each week. We offered:

  • Mondays at 10:00am
  • Tuesdays at 7:00pm
  • Thursdays at 11:00am
  • Thursdays at 4:30pm
In the spring, I think we will move our second morning session up to 10:00 because we had feedback that that was easier for families trying to fit lunch and naptime in. It's always a hard call because sometimes we have 15 different Head Start classes trying to schedule field trips to the library and all wanting to come at 10:00, but it seems like whenever we try to schedule our programs to accommodate this possibility, none of the Head Start teachers call for field trips.

In the spring, we will probably add another class time since we will FINALLY be back at full staff! Since we moved one of our baby storytimes to Monday afternoons, I think we will probably add a Wednesday morning session, but we'll just see how it goes.

Our evening class was very well-attended this time around and our afternoon class was okay. Hopefully by the spring we will have a better marketing plan in place and more people taking advantage of the programs we're offering.

For our fall sessions, we did storytimes on the following themes:

Session I:
Session II:
As you can see, there's no rhyme or reason to the themes we choose and I'm totally fine with that. I'd rather my staff have the freedom to pick a theme they're interested in and able to find lots of readalouds for than have them constrained to a larger theme. Plus, having a variety helps us ensure that there will be something of interest to everybody.

I asked my staff if they wanted to offer a winter series, but we elected instead to have several special programs (like library dance party and Lego Club) and to create take-home storytime kits while we're on our storytime break. So, goodbye to preschool storytime until the spring!