Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for ...

eXtended Family!

I present an infant storytime to a crowd of over 80 people including children and adults. Most people imagine a room filled with mothers with babies on their laps, but this is not always the case. Although most parents are the primary caregivers, we have many extended family members that bring children to storytime. Grandparents and childcare providers sit and listen and sing. They point to the books and ask questions of the children. They move their hands during the fingerplays and raise their voices in song. Their encouragement and enthusiasm instills a lifelong love of reading at this crucial stage of early literacy development.

As I was writing this I was struck with the thought that as Youth Services Librarians we become extended members of the family. In my short tenure, I have seen kids move out of storytime and on to preschool. The families come back and I get to ask the kids how they are enjoying school. I was told the other day that I was a young girl’s favorite uncle. I have some afterschool middle school kids who are now dedicated Teen Volunteers. I have some kids who have moved from the Child/Parent Book Club to the Teen Book Club. We watch them grow. We watch them change. They enjoy telling us about their lives. We become part of the family. The family librarian.