2020 Mid-Year Review: What Am I Reading?

You might have noticed from those What Are You Reading? posts that I read. A lot. I read a lot of picture books (which I know many people don’t count in reading totals). I also read a lot of graphic novels, which can generally be considered “faster” reads than chapter books. But, even with those considerations, I know I read a lot.

I’m privileged in the time I can dedicate to reading–I only work one job and reading is directly related to that job (though not something I really ever get to do on the job). My job gives me easy access to free books, without having to go out of my way to pick them up or even to track down a list of new releases. I don’t have kids or the responsibilities that come up with taking care of young people. Even though I go through slumps, I genuinely enjoy reading. And I’ve had particularly a lot of time for it during the pandemic.

I pride myself on reading books featuring diverse characters. I didn’t really do this as a child, beyond the books that won awards or were regularly in recommendations from school and public librarians. I didn’t think about what the characters in my books looked like until I started library school. (More privilege. I’m just chock-full of that.) I had some pretty phenomenal professors that pointed my head in the right direction, and since then, especially in that last few years, I’ve been making a conscious effort to read diverse kids books.

I know that I’ve made a specific effort to book talk titles featuring diverse characters–though, now that I look again at my process, 3/9 isn’t as high a ratio of diverse books to white/non-human books as I would like. Especially when I put the research in and discover that two of those three books are written by white authors. I’ve been trying to correct that by focusing exclusively on own voices in more recent video book talks — but I’ve already felt the itch to book talk a non-own voices book, and I’m afraid once I open myself to that, I’ll once again not promote own voices books as much as I should.

I also know that my storytimes do not feature enough diversity. I tend to blame this on my typical age group–babies–and the overall lack of books that I really feel is ideal for those wiggling one-year-olds. While the industry definitely has issues, that lack of diversity in my storytimes is squarely on me, and something I’m looking at.

So what is this post about? I want to look at what I’ve actually read so far in 2020.

If anyone has a recommendation on how to do this that is simpler than creating a spreadsheet and reviewing each title one at a time, please let me know. I mark a lot of these things through Goodreads shelves, though, for reasons I do not understand, Goodreads will not show me all of the books I read this year in a way that was easily sortable–it kept dropping off the last 100, which left me with incomplete data.

My own voices data is particularly questionable, as it is subject to searching for a Google image of an author I wasn’t sure of, and then going to their author website if I still wasn’t sure, or if I was genuinely surprised by their whiteness (more often than not unfortunately). I’m hoping to rectify this by making this a more regular effort instead of trying to quickly sort 720 books in one weekend.

Some of the data doesn’t quite add up the way you would imagine, as some books are in multiple categories. For example, there are some picture books and graphic novels also tagged as non-fiction titles.

The breakdown is below.

Mid-Year 2020 Reading Statistics

  • Format/Intended Age:
    • 329 Picture Books (46%)
      • 129 diverse main characters (39% of picture books)
    • 191 Graphic Novels (27%)
      • 44 diverse main characters (23% of graphic novels)
    • 80 First Chapter Books (11%)
      • 45 diverse main characters (56% of first chapter books)
    • 50 Beginning Readers (7%)
      • 20 diverse main characters (40% of beginning readers)
    • 34 Juvenile Fiction Chapter Books (5%)
      • 13 diverse main characters (35% of juvenile fiction)
    • 8 Teen Fiction Books (1%)
      • 4 diverse main characters (50%)
    • 4 Adult Fiction Books (0.5%)
      • 0 diverse main characters (0%)
  • Fiction/Non-Fiction/Genre:
    • 66 Non-fiction (9%)
      • 29 contain diversity in “characters” (picture books/graphic novels teaching facts), biographies, memoirs, or focus on racism (44% of non-fiction)
    • 19 Biographies (3%) (also included in NF)
    • 653 Fiction (9%)
      • 231 contain diverse main characters (35% of fiction)
  • Author Makeup:
    • 475 Books Written By Female Authors (66%)
    • 238 Books Written By Male Authors (33%)
    • 153 Non-White Authors (21%)
  • Diversity:
    • 260 Diverse Main Characters (36%)
    • 132 Diverse Main Characters Written By Own Voices Authors (18%)
    • 28 LGBT Main Character (4%)

Breakdown: Format/Intended Audience

  • 329 Picture Books (46%)
    • 129 diverse main characters (39% of picture books)
  • 191 Graphic Novels (27%)
    • 44 diverse main characters (23% of graphic novels)
  • 80 First Chapter Books (11%)
    • 45 diverse main characters (56% of first chapter books)
  • 50 Beginning Readers (7%)
    • 20 diverse main characters (40% of beginning readers)
  • 34 Juvenile Fiction Chapter Books (5%)
    • 13 diverse main characters (35% of juvenile fiction)
  • 8 Teen Fiction Books (1%)
    • 4 diverse main characters (50%)
  • 4 Adult Fiction Books (0.5%)
    • 0 diverse main characters (0%)

I know I read a lot of picture books, and those inflate my overall reading count for the year. I am pleasantly surprised that picture books only make up 46% of my reading for the year (though when I include the similarly-sized Beginning Readers, those types of books make up a combined 52% of my reading so far this year). I’d like to continue to try to keep my picture book reading to under 50% of my overall books for the year, to make sure I am digging into those older age ranges.

Graphic novels have become my comfort zone, particularly for the speed I can read them and their popularity with our patrons. Next time, I would like to break this number down further with the age range the graphic novels are aimed at. I’d like to hold this count steady around 25% of my reading.

During quarantine, I made a particular effort to increase the first chapter books I read, particularly diverse titles. I think that is reflected here. Even with first chapter books being only 11% of my total reading for the year that is much higher than previous years (based on my knowledge of my reading not any formal stats).

These three areas are my weakest reading age ranges

  • Beginning Readers: I struggle with these because I love a good story, and these are not written with the “good story” angle in mind.
  • Juvenile Fiction: I knew my juvenile fiction chapter books have been weak this year, but ouch. Only 5% of my reading has been traditional chapter books–I’m going to work on that.
  • Teen Fiction: If I thought my middle grade reading was low, teen books are abysmal. Though, I will try to defend this a little because at least 30% of those graphic novels are for teens. I don’t program for teens, and we don’t get as many reader’s advisory questions, and…I’ve let this age range slip. Badly. (Michala go write a teen book blog post!)

The second piece of this category I wanted to examine was diverse main characters at the format-level.

While the wait for census numbers will probably take much longer than usual due to the pandemic, the projections for 2020 have remained the same for years: the expectation is that of children in the US (under the age of 18), 49.8% will be “non-Hispanic White.” My reading reflects the books I talk about and share, and my reading needs to, at a minimum, reflect the races of kids today too. I would like to have each of these categories be comprised of at least 50% books featuring diverse main characters.

That isn’t going to be easy–the majority of books published are very white-centered or animal-driven, and while that has been improving a little, it hasn’t improved to the point of enough new titles to necessarily let me increase my reading across these categories without intentionally not reading any other books in those categories. I also need to realistically consider what my reading will look like post-working-at-home. Fifty percent in each category is not likely to happen this year–but maybe it can happen in one or two categories this year, and more over the next few years.

Next Steps:

  • Continue reading any diverse picture books and first chapter books I can access.
  • Actively look for more diverse beginning readers and graphic novels. These are two areas that I’ve always felt are weak proportionately in diversity, at least in my library. Dig harder here.
  • Read more juvenile fiction chapter books, focusing on diverse titles. There have been 10 beside my bed for a week. Actually read them.

Breakdown: Fiction/Non-Fiction/Genre

  • 66 Non-fiction (9%)
    • 29 contain diversity in “characters” (picture books/graphic novels teaching facts), are biographies or memoirs, or focus on racism (44% of non-fiction)
  • 19 Biographies (3%) (also included in NF)
  • 653 Fiction (91%)
    • 231 contain diverse main characters (35% of fiction)

I don’t like non-fiction. Sorry world. I never enjoyed reading non-fiction as a child, and I very, very rarely do as an adult.

Since I struggle with non-fiction (and biographies) so much as it is, I’m going to try to make sure that the books I do read include diversity. I have a tendency to only read non-fiction books about animals, and I want to shift that towards more biographies and memoirs. Poetry is wrapped up in non-fiction too, and while I don’t think I will ever actively enjoy poetry, it is very easy for me to commit to reading diverse poets and generally avoiding white ones.

I can’t even out all of my reading percentages, and this is one that, while I know it is an issue from a reader’s advisory perspective, I am going to set aside for now, though keep it in the back of my mind. I will keep an eye out for reading lists containing great diverse non-fiction for kids, and try to focus on those.

Next Steps:

  • Keep an eye out for more diverse non-fiction titles.
  • Read more biographies – increase biographies read during the year to at least 6%.

Breakdown: Author Makeup

  • 475 Books Written By Women Authors (66%)
  • 238 Books Written By Male Authors (33%)
  • 153 Diverse Authors (21%)

Again, I have to choose what I want to work on, and I’m going to let my female-male breakdown go. I’m reading more books by female authors than male authors. I would like to dig into non-binary authors and authors that identify as multiple genders (and, honestly, some of the authors on my list may do that–this was not the best researched spreadsheet).

I do need to focus on reading books by diverse authors. I’ll get into this more in the next section, but the disproportion between books I’ve read written about diverse kids and books written by own voices authors is alarming. (Only half of the diverse main character books I read this year are by own voices authors! Half!) Having 21% of my reading reflect books written by diverse authors is a start, but it is far from where I would like to be. I want to focus heavily on that number during the second half of this year.

Next Steps:

  • Read more books by authors who are non-binary or identify as multiple genders. Not really examined here, but read more books by transgender authors too.
  • Read more books written by diverse authors. Aim to get that percentage to at least 33% by the end of the year.

Breakdown: Diversity

  • 260 Diverse Main Characters (36%)
  • 132 Diverse Main Characters Written By Own Voices Authors (18%)
  • 28 LGBT Main Character (4%)

These were the numbers I was really looking for. I’ve been actively seeking out books with diverse main characters, so I’m glad this number was a bit higher than I expected when I started looking at titles (but not as good as I secretly hoped). This is exactly why I need to actually look at the data though–because if I had to make a guess a month ago, I probably would have said that 40-50% of what I read is diverse, and that is not the case.

The real rude awakening for me, particularly over the last few weeks, has been how many books featuring diverse main characters are written by white authors. That hurt because, in the fake world in my head, I had assumed that the increase in books featuring diverse characters, that I was seeing and reading each year, also meant more diverse authors were getting published. This has never been true, and while the information was right there for me to find, I naively believed otherwise for far too long.

I’ve noticed the own voices dilemma in my own reading and book talking as I’ve started to make virtual book talk videos, focusing on own-voices titles. So many books I recommend regularly or put on displays–Bad Babysitters, Sanity and Tallulah, Zoey and Sassafras, Molly Lou Melon, Lola and Leo, Jabari, Emma on the Air, Katie Woo, and so many more–are all by white authors. Some have connections to the community they write about–the author of Emma on the Air is married to a man from the Dominican Republic and has two mixed children–but it isn’t the same.

I need to do more research when selecting books to read, and make more of an effort to read those books actually written by own voices authors. The other books can be good too, but the own voices books need to take priority.

Next Steps:

  • Prioritize–in reading, book talking, and dispalying–books by diverse authors featuring kids that look like them.
  • Increase the amount of books read by own voices authors to at least 25% by the end of 2020.
  • Increase the amount of books featuring LGBT characters to at least 8%.

Final Thoughts

Overall, these numbers weren’t as bad as I expected but also weren’t as good as I secretly hoped.

I’m interested to revisit this at the end of the year and see where these numbers end up. I like creating specific steps to move toward my goals, but I also tried to ground my goals in smaller increases because, once I go back to in-building work full time, my amount of reading overall will decrease. I can also tell that I am starting to hit a reading roadblock–I keep trying to push through, but I can already tell it is much harder for me to get through a chapter book than a faster picture book or graphic novel right now.

There are so many more elements of my reading I could examine. How does my reading breakdown over typical genre lines? How does diversity breakdown over genre lines? How about male vs. female main vs. non-binary main characters? I really didn’t dig into LGBT characters and authors as much as I could have here. This list focuses on the books I’ve read this year–can I examine what I used in storytime? What books I book talked or used in programs? All the books I’ve ever read?

This is a new process for me, and a daunting one, though necessary. How do you examine your reading? How do you keep track of what you do–and don’t–read enough of?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (6/29/20-7/5/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

Picture Books & Readers:

Everything Else:

Note: I’ve been using my free time to dig into my own privilege and see what I actually do to promote BIPOC voices. I pride myself on reading a lot of books with diverse characters and featuring diverse characters in my book talks in particular-but do I really? Or do I just read a lot? I’ve also been learning that quite a few of my regular book talk titles feature diverse characters, but are written by white authors. I’m planning to dig into my 2020 reads and these topics in this week’s “substance” blog post (what I think of as my not-storytime and not-what-I-read post).

I was hoping to have my post on non-white kids musicians for this week, but I don’t think that is going to be done yet, and I don’t want to half fast that project. I’m trying to collect artists, CDs and singles (including digital exclusives), and also pull out standout storytime songs (based on my personal preferences). I know for me, doing the work to actually listen to the albums and find songs I would use is a big step that takes a lot of time. I’m hoping doing some of that legwork for this post helps get these songs into other librarian’s hands faster. I also like to think there are more localized non-white kids artists that don’t have a national recognition, but do have music–I want to track down as many of those as I can.

I don’t do many flannel or magnet stories featuring people (of any color), but I’ve also been thinking about this post on the Mouse in the House flannel and inclusivity. Also, I realize that most of what I have been thinking about is storytime-related, and I need to be going beyond that.

A lot of reading time this week was replaced with TV watching (Good Omens; Love, Victor; Agents of SHIELD; Handmaid’s Tale; and Babysitter’s Club if you’re curious). This week’s reading highlights:

Michala’s Reading

Note: And once again I am light on reading because life takes over and I’m garbage at budgeting time lately. I need structure to be functional, but I need less people interactions for health safety.

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 4

Due to last week’s surprise preschool storytime, I have a bit of time with this age range–6 weeks in a row. I’m passing babies back to a coworker for a few weeks as I dig into the preschool age range. Lots of fingerplays, direction-practicing, and letter and number skills!

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Singing breaks up words into syllables, slowing down the sounds that words make. It also introduces new vocabulary!

Book: I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison

Amazon.com: I Got the Rhythm By Connie Schofield-Morrison ...

Song: Wiggle Your Lah-Dee-Dah by Ralph’s World

Fingerplay: Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Book Retelling: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

Action Rhyme: There Was a Crocodile

Flannel Song: Five Little Ducks

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Virtual Video Book Talks

A few weeks (or months?) ago I posted about some audio book talks I created, aimed for grades 2-5, for our library’s SoundCloud platform. I knew that eventually I wanted to return to video book talks, as our book talk audience typically uses YouTube more than SoundCloud (2nd-5th graders), my library has a larger following on YouTube, and YouTube adds a visual element that allows for deeper exploration of picture books and graphic novels.

My first few videos are below. I expect these to evolve over time. They are all edited using the YouCut app through an Android phone. Due to the quick cuts and simple editing, these actually take me less time than an audio book talks–I never like to read from a script, and this format allows me to write out my thoughts but only have to worry about a few sentences at a time–I don’t memorize my script, but only having to talk through 1-3 sentences that take no more than 30 seconds total allows me to have a few potential retakes for each snippet and still be done filming in no more than 15 minutes. Editing takes about 20 more minutes. Of course upload speeds are always changing, but at least that can happen in the background while I work on other projects.

These video book talks span ages a bit more as well, with a baby and preschool title added to the mix.

Woke Baby by Mahogany L. Browne:

Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story by JaNay Brown-Wood:

Meet Yasmin! by Sadia Faruqi:

Ana & Andrew by Christine Platt:

Jada Jones Sleepover Scientist by Kelly Starling Lyons:

What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado:

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia:

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (6/22/20-6/28/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

Picture Books & Readers:

Everything Else:

Note: Still tired, though I am super excited to have real new books again (instead of eBooks and eARCS). Of course, physical new books, plus eARCS means more reading. This also meant a lot of picture books that I needed to turn around quickly.

This week’s favorites:

And one more highlight — Smart George. What. Is. This. Fever. Dream. Of. A. Book.

Michala’s Reading

Note: I got distracted from reading much of this week by my beautiful baby boy! His front legs are shorter than his back legs and his tail is about 6 inches too short for his body. He waddles and snores and is so weird and I love him. This is Professor “Frankie” Frankleton adjunct purr-fessor of meow-thematics.

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 10

I’m going to be honest–this is my third time writing this paragraph and WordPress keeps deleting this draft post. Essentially, this is my last baby storytime for a while, and this is a new book for me this week.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Head and Shoulders by Megan Borgert-Spaniol

Head and Shoulders by Megan Borgert-Spaniol

Early Literacy Tip: Sing to your babies! Your voice is better than a recording, and the quality of your voice doesn’t matter. Do you hear me singing on the Internet every day?

Song: Hurry Hurry Drive the Firetruck

Action Rhyme: Baby Hokey Pokey

Bounce Rhyme: Andy Pandy

Bounce: Snuggle Up

Song: Five Little Monkeys

Puppets: I Went Walking

Manipulative: Shakers

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 3

Surprise preschool storytime this week! This was a little more tossed together. I’ve also realized I focus so much on counting.

I’m working on bulking up the diverse titles in my home library to help with these and future storytimes. I’m still quarantining books I get from work for a while when I bring them home, so I’ve really been creating storytimes from my home collection a lot, and most of my books are animal focused. This is a part of my personality–I also beg for a lot of animal programs–but I need to expand, and I want to show that in my storytimes. This preschool storytime isn’t a great example, but it is on my mind.

I’m also working on really digging into the musicians I use in storytime and creating a collection of diverse artists to regularly pull from. This project has gotten sidelined more than I would like as I didn’t expect to be quite so exhausted and to lose quite so much time during my work in-building days.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Build writing muscles with scribbling, coloring, and fingerplays.

Fingerplay: Five Little Hot Dogs

Book: Swallow the Leader by Danna Smith

Amazon.com: Swallow the Leader (lap board book) (9781328482655 ...

Song: Jump! Jump! by Joanie Leeds

Book Retelling: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean and Eric Litwin

Action Rhyme: I’m a Little Dump Truck

Flannel Song: BINGO

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Elephant & Piggie Storytime

10,000 years ago, in the days that were March, spring break week was supposed to end with an Elephant & Piggie Party. We had borrowed the full body costumes for some guest appearances, I had too many games and crafts planned to fit in our space, and we were expecting a decent crowd–last year’s Paw Patrol event, on the same day and time, had 300 people.

But before spring break, our library closed because COVID, etc., etc., etc., if you are reading this post in 2020 or soon after you don’t need me to rehash the details again. If you have no idea what COVID quarantining was…well I’m surprised this blog is still being used. Hopefully Google still exists too. Anyway, last weekend, I was able to bring part of the Elephant & Piggie Party online with Elephant & Piggie Storytime.

We had a smaller turnout than we would have had in person–just 51 online viewers during our Facebook Live event–but there were many familiar faces and the engagement in the comments was amazing.

To help continue the Elephant and Piggie fun at home, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Download it here.

The general storytime layout is below. I wish I could share the whole video with you because some of the best parts just aren’t in the pre-made YouTube videos. I added a few screenshots for your enjoyment where I could.

Find additional content at the links below:

Backdrop Setup: Pennant banners and book covers helped make my backdrop more on-theme to increase the Elephant & Piggie excitement:

Elephant & Piggie Intro: We got ready for storytime with my go-to storytime intro song: Shake Your Sillies Out by Rainbow Songs.

Fingerplay: I Have One, I Have Two, I Have Three Little Piggies!

First Book: Let’s Go for a Drive by Mo Willems

Let's Go for a Drive! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) (An Elephant ...

I used to perform this book as a puppet show back when I was a teen volunteer, so I’m very familiar with the content. I included some props and got quite energetic in sharing the book:

Song: Elephants Have Wrinkles by Rainbow Songs

Magnet: Piggie, Are You In a Book?

Magnet: Five Elephants in the Bathtub
**This was the planned starting point for Pigeon takeover. I made a full video for YouTube, but this wasn’t part of the storytime beyond the introduction.

Pigeon Takeover: I’ve been trying to think of ways to use virtual storytimes to my advantage. In a room full of kids, I could never transform a storytime space like I’m able to by covering the camera for a minute and swapping out decor. Hence, Pigeon Takeover was born.

**Our storytimes are live. This would have been much easier pre-recorded, but it wouldn’t have been half as fun.

How This Worked:

  • While swapping out magnet pieces from Piggie, Are You in a Book? to start what I told viewers was our next activity, Five Elephants in the Bathtub, I really pressed play on the iPod Touch I use for music (connected via bluetooth to a speaker), starting a Spotify playlist. The playlist contained 7 door knocking sounds followed by the Hot Dog! song by They Might be Giants (Pigeon likes hot dogs!).
  • Once the knocking started, I pretended to ignore it while making an annoyed face before apologizing to viewers and telling them I needed to check on the door. I’d be right back!
  • As soon as I was off camera, stuffed Pigeon made an appearance, using a sign to make his opinions known:
  • I moved the Pigeon Storytime sign up against the camera before swapping it out with a black washcloth. The Hot Dog! song continued to play and my awesome coworker kept the shenanigans going in the comments while letting viewers know to keep watching.
  • In a minute, I swapped out as much of the decor as I could, focusing on: the books on the bookshelf, stuffed animals, and hanging up as many Pigeon book covers and pre-cut Pigeon images on top of the Elephant and Piggie decor as I could manage. These were all pre-taped and on a table off camera.
  • I positioned myself with the Pigeon headband and holding some of Pigeon’s signage. I made sure before I started that my chair was close enough to the camera to remove the wash cloth in a clean motion. I stopped the music, moved the wash cloth, threw in a “is there a bird on my head?” joke, and let my confusion show before accepting my fate that I was now in a different storytime:

Book: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems, Hardcover ...

Since this was now Pigeon storytime, we had to wrap things up with a Pigeon story.

Closing Song: If You’re an Elephant/Piggie/Pigeon and You Know It!

Extra: 5 Little Pigeons Jumping on the Bed

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (6/15/20-6/21/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

Picture Books & Readers:

Graphic Novels:

Everything Else:

Note: Wow working in the building again is exhausting, especially since most of my in-building duties involve physical labor. That combined with Elephant & Piggie Storytime on Saturday left me exhausted, and I’m glad I read more earlier this week because nothing was happening after my in building days Friday and Saturday.

No details on these because I’m tired, but these books were particularly awesome:

Michala’s Reading

Note: I’m in that limbo state where you work part time in the building and part time at home so you feel like you are both always working and not working enough….

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 9

While we look at moving back into the library (I’m back in the library two days a week now–starting today!), virtual programs continue. We are discussing how to transition to filming in the library, especially since our building will most likely be opening to the public soon, any regular programming spaces are being used for quarantine of deliveries or returns, and an open-office staff space with no area for private filming. Returning to the library gives others staff members who don’t have the at-home tech an opportunity to film storytimes…but that also means restarting a learning curve about the technology and the differences between an in-person and virtual storytime, at a time when the patron expectation in program quality is higher (after all we’ve been doing this a while).

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn

Leo Loves Baby Time: McQuinn, Anna, Hearson, Ruth: 9781580896658 ...

Early Literacy Tip: Babies understand more than they can say. Using gestures, including sign-language is a great way to communicate with your little one. More, Stop, and No are great words to practice.

Song: She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Head and Shoulders

Bounce Rhyme: Old Grey Mare

Bounce: Two Little Boats

Song: The Tickle Song by Rainbow Songs

Puppets: Jump!

Manipulative: Stuffed Animals

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

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