Outdoor Programming

Drive-in storytime (American Libraries, May 2021) is just one example of how children’s librarians can create new opportunities to engage with children and their families. It speaks to innovation in response to the challenges brought on by the pandemic. While virtual programming has helped bridge the gap caused by library closures, fair weather brings the promise of outdoor programming that can support the in-person connections that library patrons miss.

Whether families enjoy  storytime from their open tailgates in the parking lot or on the library lawn, plan to bring your outdoor storytime to life with props, puppets, and songs. Pop-up tents can provide shelter (on lawns and library grounds) and audio equipment can be used to enhance sound. Librarians should consider having more than one storyteller (as well as someone available to direct attendees). Finally, consider using thematic stories and providing take-home coloring sheets or crafts.  A well-planned outdoor storytime can be entertaining, engaging, and memorable!

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