I think people outside the library world still hold that stereotype of the typical librarian. Glasses (well, many of us do wear those!), a bun and the ever present shushing. But we are so far from that! I don’t know any of those librarians anymore, especially among my colleagues in Children’s Services. You simply cannot be that librarian and be a good children’s librarian. Let’s take storytime for example.
My storytimes begin with a hello song that involves clapping and singing, not shushing! We then move on to dancing, felt stories, rhymes, crafts and sensory tables. I am an active participant in all of these activities. If I’m not dancing to the music, no one else will! As adults we know we lead by example. I act silly and have fun so my little peeps will follow! And follow they do. The best part of my job is watching a two year old dance with abandon, and then sit and be absorbed in a story I am reading.
By including sensory and crafts we are giving the children the opportunity to exercise gross and fine motor skills, as well as letting them express their creativity. Most of my crafts are process oriented, meaning we aren’t so interested in the actual product at the end of the craft, but more so with the “doing” part of the craft. That’s the fun part! And the children’s librarians make sure all of their crafts are fun and user friendly by actually making a sample craft. Often this involves getting messy but we love it!