Week 5 – Program Review

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    • #1160
      Shannon Franzway

      My favourite part of the parenting thing?  Reading to my little ladies and engaging them with books and reading from an early age.

      I’m glad I enjoy it for a couple of reasons:

      1. I already have, and will continue to spend, a lot of time reading to them throughout their formative years.  I will consider it an investment into their future reading success as research shows, children who fall behind in reading acquisition do not catch up.
      2. I don’t know that I will enjoy all the things in which my girls will wish to participate – ballet recital anyone?

      So I figured there was no better way to review a library program than to inflict my small people on a public library for story time.  We’ve been to plenty of baby rhyme time sessions for my youngest daughter (aged 1) so I won my 4 year old daughter over with the promise of “special” story time so off we trotted to the session designed for 3-5 year olds.

      We arrived with a few minutes to spare and needed to ask where exactly it would be held at the information desk.  The staff were friendly and approachable and directed us to the meeting room. We entered the room and there were tables set up for craft to the left, the middle of the room was set with colourful, child-friendly mats on the floor and 2 staff members sat on chairs at the front.  There was a third staff member sitting on a chair to one side.

      The really good bits

      Themed story selection – the theme for the day was families and the story contents were varied with wide appeal – a story about brothers and sisters, a story about a mother and child and a story about dads. The staff read with enthusiasm and made particular effort to make it interesting and engaging for the children.

      Format – songs and nursery rhymes were interspersed with stories and interaction was encouraged from the children.

      Craft activity – the end of the session was a craft activity related to one of the stories.  The children had the opportunity to practice their cutting out skills, lay out their page, glue and colour.

      Reading Passport – each child was provided with a stamp in a reading passport.  If they didn’t already have a passport, they were provided with one for next time.

      The bits I thought need a bit more thought

      Late start – the session started almost 10 minutes late and while I personally wasn’t in a particular rush, I would have appreciated an acknowledgement as I did spend time standing  around in the YA fiction area with a 1 and 4 year old trying to avoid explaining the vampires on the book covers.

      Lack of introduction – I could read the name badges of the staff members from where I was sitting so I knew their names, but I think the session would have benefited from a, “Hi, I’m Librarian 1 and this is Librarian 2 and welcome to our story time.  Today we will be…..” There was also a third library staff member in the room but again, there wasn’t an introduction and it wasn’t entirely clear why there was an extra person attending.  I’m sure she was probably just learning the format, it just would have been nice to know that.

      Ending the Program – even though it was obvious the session was over as the staff began to pack up the room, I think it would have been suitable to make a casual announcement to let parents know it was time to start packing up the craft.  Sometimes small children can require lots of, shall we say, encouragement, to finish up something they are enjoying.

      Would I go again?

      For sure, it was an experience worth repeating – I enjoyed watching my daughter enjoy it.  And there’s no denying the evidence that library storytime provides an excellent opportunity to introduce children to early literacy skills.  My daughter talked about it for the rest of the day so I’m pretty sure she thought it was just a bit better than average.  Ok, maybe I overdid it a little with the “special” story time bit – she may be less than impressed when we’re back to baby rhyme time again. I loved the story selection and the craft activity at the end was unexpected and a great bonus.

      General Comment on the Library

      Parking was limited at this particular branch.  It is located adjacent to a busy shopping district and within a very busy community and council building – I had to do a few laps of the car park before I found a space.  There seemed to be additional parking on a grassed area beside the car park but this could prove difficult for those with small children, people with mobility issues or during inclement weather.

    • #1177
      Georgia Pardey

      I enjoyed your review, Shannon! There were a few points you made that I didn’t consider when I wrote my own. I like that you organised your assessment into pros and cons.

      I also took a look at your week three post and thought I could shed some light on how to include images, if you hadn’t found out elsewhere. When you’re in the ‘Text’ tab of the post, select the ‘IMG’ button. You will then need to provide a hyperlink to the image itself, not the website hosting it. You should be able to do that by right clicking the image and opening it in a separate tab. Content in articles only accessible to students may not show up since you would regularly need to log in to gain access. There may be simpler methods to insert images, but this is the one I found useful. I hope this helps!

    • #1314
      Shannon Franzway

      Thanks for the feedback Georgia!  I will definitely go back and investigate your tip for inserting images.

    • #1423

      Thanks for your reflection Shannon. It seems like yesterday my boys were the age of your kids and we lived in a community where there were no library services for children at all, so I did all the pre-kindy literacy stuff myself with the kids. I think they would have appreciated some other input sometimes! Your analysis of the service was thoughtful and interesting, contrasting the perspective of the children with the perspective of the parent – both being users of the service. It seemed this library was a more focussed on the kids but maybe would appreciate hearing about dealing a little better with parents. Did they have a suggestion box or something similar where you could record your experiences?

      Anyway, when the kids spend a lot of time talking about an adventure, as yours did, you know you’ve done something positive and they’ve had a positive experience. That’s always a good feeling 🙂

    • #1568
      Clare Thorpe

      Hey Shannon,

      Your links give me expired messages. Can you update these so I can confirm your references when I mark in a couple of weeks?




      • #1578
        Shannon Franzway

        Well, that’s a little embarrassing, Clare!  I have updated all the links and they seem to be working ok at my end – hopefully it was just me having done something silly the first time.  Thanks for letting me know!



    • #1596
      Saurav Khadka

      Hi Shannon,

      It is a nice post, the information you provided was structured, and the flow of your writing (presenting things one after another) was good. I was imagining myself being present in the program as I went through your post. It is a well-description of the program you attended! Likewise, “lack of introduction” and “ending the program” has link that directs to a broken link page. Is that a really broken link problem or you were trying to do something else and ended up with something else? (not a big issue, but just letting you know)


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