Storytime in a Box: The Cooperative Approach to Preschool Storytime Planning

Katie Bowers, Vivian Howard, Alison Brown


Preschool storytimes have been a standard public library offering for more than one hundred years.1 Most public libraries offer preschool storytimes several times per week and follow a familiar pattern of read-aloud stories intermixed with sing-alongs, action songs, and finger plays, frequently connected to a weekly theme. Planning for these weekly story-time sessions can take a significant amount of staff time, as staff choose a theme and then select relevant, age-appropriate, and appealing stories, songs, and activities to fill the time slot.

In multibranch library systems, this planning is often replicated at each branch, as each youth services team prepares its own unique program offerings. In search of greater efficiency, some public library systems have experimented with other models of program planning, with planning being done centrally for the entire system or by several branches partnering to work together. Is there a single model of program planning that works best and that staff prefer?

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