Library 101 – Storytime Myths

Storytimes are back again in full swing. In the fall, we see a lot of new faces, which reminds us that a lot of people are not aware of how storytime works. Every library system is different. Our three branches work together, though, to make sure that our families can have similar experiences, no matter which branch they choose to attend that day. Below, you will find some myths and truths about storytimes. And, of course, if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Santa Clarita Public Library Calendar of Events

Myth #1: I have to sign-up/register for storytimes:

Truth #1: Santa Clarita Public Library does not require registration or tickets, like some library systems do. All you need to do is show up. If you can’t make every week, that is okay. We place no restrictions on attendance for our storytimes. If you arrive late and you see the door is shut, please walk in anyway.

Myth #2: I can leave my kid at storytime while I go look at books in the library.

Truth #2: An adult must stay with the child in storytime at all times. We have a policy that all children under elementary school age must be directly supervised by an adult. This includes babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. This also includes all areas of the library. Our storytimes can have anywhere from 10-50 kids at one time. Those who perform storytime cannot be expected to watch that many kids while still reading books and singing. If you have an older, school-aged child who does not want to participate in storytime with you and younger sibling, school age children are allowed to be in another area of the library without you, as long as you remain in the building.

Myth #3: Food is okay during storytimes.

Truth #3: Food is not allowed in the library. We have many items that can be damaged by food. In storytime, we welcome all children, including children with food allergies. Toddlers are notorious for dropping food on the floor, and other toddlers are notorious for picking that food up. We ask for the safety of those with allergies and the cleanliness of the storytime rooms, that food not be brought into storytime.

Myth #4: I can read a book or answer my emails during storytime.

Truth #4: We expect adult participation during storytime. These kiddos are still learning, and you are the best models for your children. If they see you listening, they will listen. If they see you singing, they will sing. If they see you dance, they will dance.

Myth #5: I can socialize with my friends during storytime.

Truth #5: This is a yes and no statement. Each storytime has a built in playtime, which is the time we have made for community socialization. We ask that you save your conversations during the story/song time and wait for that playtime. That way, we can offer every child a distraction free experience during storytime.

Myth #6: My child cannot attend storytime until he/she can sit the entire time.

True #6: We understand that all our little friends are still learning how to participate in storytime. It is okay if they can’t sit still yet. If they need to step outside of the room for a minute, that is always acceptable. We hope that you step back in when your child is ready. If a child wanders behind the storytime leader, we ask that you simply steer your child back to your seat. If a child starts to grab the book or the felt characters during storytime, we ask that you simply steer the child back to your seat. We understand they will get wiggly. We just ask that you work with us to help them learn how to be good storytime participants.

Myth #7: My four-year-old is not welcome in Baby/Toddler or Just 2’s and 3’s Storytime.

Truth #7: We do not ask ages at the door. We separate storytimes by age group so that we can gear the songs and stories for that level of understanding. For example, School Readiness storytime listens to much longer, involved stories than the Baby/Toddler storytime, which often listens to short board books. If you have children of multiple ages, please go to any storytime you please. If you can only make one storytime a week and your kiddo doesn’t fall in the right age bracket, try it anyway. You know your child best. If you have a toddler who has an amazing attention span, let them try the older storytimes. If you have a preschooler still working on his sitting skills, let him try the 2’s and 3’s.


Miss Angie

I am a children's librarian at SCPL's Canyon Country Library. My favorite things are funny books, ice cream, and the Matterhorn at Disneyland.

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