I'd offer storytime around the clock if I could, because I know there are many families who can't make the scheduled days and times. But I need to staff the reference desks, too, and do my other work at the library, so I offer as much as I can, knowing it isn't enough. --Emily
Here are some options for catching "storytime"-like experiences online, for those who can't make it in person.
*Virtual Storytime from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County features videos of actual librarians reading children's books, facing the book forward just as we do in an in-person storytime. It includes songs and rhymes, the way in-person storytimes do, and children are able to see the text of the books.
*Storytime from Space features astronauts reading story books while floating around in orbit!
*Tell Me a Story from the King County Library System offers TONS of action rhyme and fingerplay videos by librarians, so you can chant along and do the motions with them just like in storytime! Rhymes and chants like these build children's ability to hear that words are made up of syllables, an important skill for learning to read. Below is one playlist; you'll find even more at the site.
*Storyline Online offers videos of celebrities reading picture books like The Kissing Hand, Harry the Dirty Dog, Strega Nona, and more. My reservation with this site is that, rather than reading the book while facing the viewing audience, the videos are done as voice-overs in which the illustrations are "animated" slightly and the text does not appear--so children can't see the words and connect them to the story. Your child will hear the text of picture books, but the experience will be more like watching a slow-moving cartoon.
Baby Storytime Tuesdays at 10am
For babies birth-24mos and their caregivers. Books, songs, rhymes, and movement that build early literacy skills, followed by plenty of time to socialize and play! Siblings always welcome.
Wednesdays at 10 am
For children aged 2-6 and their caregivers. Books, songs, rhymes, and movement in an energetic storytime designed to build early literacy skills while having fun. Siblings always welcome.
I strive to model dialogic reading in storytime, and encourage parents and caregivers to approach reading with their child the same way. In a nutshell, it entails asking questions that involve your child as you read: "Oooh, what do you think will happen next?" "Which animal is this? What sound does it make?" "Look at his face! How do you think he's feeling now?"
Dialogic reading builds skills--prediction, observation, reasoning, and more--that a straightforward reading of a story can't. It turns children from passive listeners into active participants, engaging them more deeply. For more information on dialogic reading, try this excellent tipsheet from CLEL.
Below are some of the songs and rhymes we regularly share in storytime. Try singing and moving to them at home! Singing and rhyming build children's listening skills and help them hear that words are made up of smaller sounds.
Further down, you'll find a video playlist of librarians performing songs and fingerplays in Spanish.
Family Storytime Favorites
Baby Storytime Favorites
If you need help finding the music CDs that contain these songs, just ask. If the library doesn't carry the CD you need, we can order it for you via interlibrary loan. Some musicians I recommend and play often: Laurie Berkner, Jim Gill, The Learning Groove (available through MNLink), Ralph's World, and the CD Songs for Wiggleworms.