Sarah Kostin, Youth Services Librarian at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, leads Storytime for toddlers, ages one to three, every Tuesday morning. Kostin said Storytime provides early enrichment opportunities to pre-school children, exposing them to books, singing, movement, and dance.
“The benefits of Storytime include literacy, excitement, helping parents by giving them ideas on different reading methods, exposure to music and song and instilling the love of story,” said Kostin.
Kostin noted Storytime is a children’s program offered by all public libraries. Each program varies regarding style, but the core mission remains the same: exposing children to books at an early age she said. Kostin said the cycle of library users shows high usage at ages zero to five, and then once the children get in school, they turn to their school libraries.
Kostin said she sees a progression of the children’s behavior and interest from the first time they come to Storytime.
“Parents will say to me ‘I’m so sorry. My child can’t sit still for five minutes,’” said Kostin.
Kostin encourages them to keep coming and notes that those children are soon sitting and engaged for the full half-hour. Sophie Dingle, the mother of Everett Dingle, age 14 months, appreciates Storytime and says her son likes the socialization aspect of Storytime.
“He is active. He doesn’t want to sit, but he loves the songs, being with the others, and he especially likes the bubbles at the end,” said Dingle.
Kostin said she organizes Storytime around a theme, whether it is a color, an animal, her favorite book, or a sound. She utilizes a variety of props and activities to bring up the level of Storytime said Kostin.
Kostin recognizes each child receives information and learns differently, so she tries to structure Storytime to reach all of the learning styles.
“Storytime is valuable to all eight type of learning styles. For example, kinetic learners who learn by movement; auditory learners who learn by listening; visual learners who learn by seeing; and tactile learners who learn by touch all benefit from Storytime,” said Kostin.
Kostin’s goal is to make reading fun in hopes of teaching a love of the story at a young age said Kostin. “I feel that instilling a sense of love of the story at an early age will make a reader. It is the love or need of the story that will build into lifelong reading,” said Kostin.
The library holds Storytime every Tuesday, 9:30 am – 10:00 am and again from 10:30 am – 10:30 am.