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An Infopeople Online Learning Course

June 21st, 2016 12:00 PM
July 18th, 2016 4:30 PM

​Course Instructor: Penny Peck​

  • Are you new to delivering storytimes and want to build your skills?
  • Do you want to upgrade your basic storytimes to include Kindergarten readiness skills, parent involvement, and technology?
  • Would you like your storytimes to help parents engage with their young children?

Storytimes (or storyhours) are one of the basic services offered at most libraries, but storytime has evolved to include many new features to meet the needs of families with young children. For example, many more storytimes have incorporated Kindergarten readiness skills, advice to parents to help them engage with their young children, and the use of technology such as learning apps. This course will help library staff upgrade their basic storytimes to include many of these new elements, while still keeping the wonderful stories, picture books, songs, and fingerplays that are the bedrock of storytimes.

Penny Peck, longtime children's librarian and author of Crash Course in Storytime Fundamentals: Second Edition (Libraries Unlimited, 2015), shares her practical experiences with determining, developing, and delivering storytimes that stimulate and engage young children. As a result of this course you will be able to:

  • Develop storytimes that include picture books, songs and fingerplays, and hands-on activities to help a child prepare to enter Kindergarten
  • Describe the Five Parent Practices, Six Preliteracy skills, and Kindergarten Readiness skills that many libraries are incorporating into their storytimes
  • Experience learning apps, storytime websites, and other new technology that many libraries are adding to their storytimes
  • Create handouts with lists of books for parents to use, and flyers to promote library storytimes
  • Assist in organizing bilingual storytimes
  • Develop special storytime events such as stay-and play, dance parties, or yoga storytimes

You will take away from the course a sense of confidence as well as practical ideas and resources for developing age-appropriate and engaging storytimes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Course Description: In this four-week online course, the instructor will provide resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be applied immediately to your storytimes. You will be creating and sharing plans for a variety of storytimes for various ages (babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and bilingual storytimes). Assisting parents and incorporating preliteracy skills and Kindergarten readiness will become a natural part of the storytime experience. We will also explore new technologies, such as apps, that are becoming more popular in storytimes. Discussion forums and optional online meetings are part of the online learning process. The online meetings provide opportunities to share ideas and questions and to connect and explore the material further in a friendly, convivial way. Those who cannot participate in person can listen to the archived record of the meeting.

Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:

  • Week 1: Storytime Basics
    • Goals and procedures for library storytimes
    • Set-up needed for a storytime, and dealing with disruptions
    • Storytimes by age group: baby, toddler, preschool, family storytimes
    • Elements of storytime, including audience participation books and songs
  • Week 2: Extending Storytime to include hands-on learning and Kindergarten readiness
    • Arts and crafts for preschoolers
    • Five Parent Practices
    • Six pre-literacy skills
    • Kindergarten readiness
  • Week 3: Extending Storytime to include electronic resources, including apps
    • Using media for music and stories
    • Using apps at storytime
    • Modeling positive use of technology with young children
    • Online resources for read-alouds
  • Week 4: Special Storytime programs
    • Bilingual storytimes
    • Family stay-and-play storytimes
    • Storytime dance party and Yoga storytimes
    • 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten programs

Pre-course Assignment: None

Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 3 hours per week, for a total of twelve course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.

Who Should Take This Course: Any library staff member who provides library storytimes to children, including new children's librarians or other library staff who are relatively new to serving children. This course is particularly valuable for support staff whose work includes children's services responsibilities at public libraries and elementary schools.

Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at:

Learner Requirements: None

After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.

Keywords: Children's Services