Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Biggest Baby Shower Ever – Community Outreach

The community I live in is amazing. There are so many great opportunities for library outreach. We go to school fairs, parent read nights, mom & baby classes, daycares, and anyone else who will invite us. One event that I look forward to every year is the Biggest Baby Shower Ever!

It is coordinated by the Mayo Clinic and groups come from all over to participate. There are about 20-30 booths at this event, with everything from the YMCA to Mary Kay represented. The library has been lucky enough to get invited to this event for the past few years. Around 250-300 people attend each year, and it is a great opportunity to meet new patrons!

I always make sure to have a bright and fun table. The event is located in a Children's Museum, so I'm competing against a lot of background items to grab their attention. I also make sure to have some sort of "giveaway" for parents. Fact– New moms love free things.

This year I brought plastic keys and rubber duckies to hand out. Each had a sticker with our logo and website on them. Truthfully, I found both of the items in the basement (lots of buried treasure down there) and decided I was tired of seeing them every time I went downstairs.

On the table I included some of our alphabet sensory bags we use in storytime, board books, a handout about storytime,  and a sign-up sheet for our Baby Book Bees initiative. I also set up a little reading nook in the corner with paperbacks of popular characters for older siblings who were getting bored. I had quite a few parents thank me for this last minute addition.

They only got the bib if they signed up for Baby Book Bees.
Once people started showing them off
I had lots of questions about the program!

The main thing I highlight when I talk to people are our storytimes. We offer speciality ones for infants, babies, toddlers, and a family storytime. I also talk about all of the different resources we offer such as DVDs, books, audio books, etc. I encourage expecting moms to use us to read parenting books. You'll only read them once or twice and they're usually $25-$35 each! It's way more cost efficient to get a library card and check the books out from us. I keep our tri-fold pretty sparse and use lots of white space. I usually only have parents for a minute before they walk away, and the pictures always make them stay a little longer.

I love this event because I get to meet potential patrons for the first time, while also seeing some old friendly faces. I always leave this event feeling successful because of the number of people I speak to, but this year the success was even more apparent. We opened up storytime signups the following day and my infant storytime is almost full 2 days into sign-ups! I've never had an infant storytime fill up, so we're all feeling pretty happy about this.

Does your community have an outreach event like this? If not, you should convince your library to organize it. It is a great resource for new parents and it's a wonderful way to reach new patrons!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Baby Storytime –Farm

Opening Song
Welcome Song

Opening Rhyme/Movement
Hands are Clapping

Early Literacy Tip
If your child really loves a certain page of a book, then stay on it. When we all read our board book together we don't all have to stay on the same page. If your child really loves the black sheep or red bird then stay on that page a little longer and start talking about it! Every time you talk to your child you are introducing them to new words and building their vocabulary.

Shape Game
Today, I hid a cow. You can find out about this game here.

This is Big

Farm Animals by Simms Taback
All of these giant fold-out books are perfect for baby storytime! I use them often and they're always a winner.

Itsy Bitsy Spider


I Went Walking  by Sue Williams
The sing song rhythm is perfect for baby storytime. Plus there's plenty of opportunity for animal noises!

Giddy-up, Giddy-up

Where is Thumbkin

Choral Reading
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  by Bill Martin Jr.
Ten Little Fingers and Tel Little Toes by Mem Fox

Egg Shakers
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
The Egg Shaker Song

Closing Song
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom



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