Timeless Tales Program

Cre­at­ing a Con­nect­ed Com­mu­ni­ty of Read­ers: Inter­gen­er­a­tional Storytime

After see­ing a hand­ful of arti­cles about nurs­ing homes open­ing up preschools in a shared space, as well as the ben­e­fits from this part­ner­ship, I want­ed to find a way to cre­ate the same inter­gen­er­a­tional con­nec­tion in a library set­ting. We already had a rela­tion­ship with our local retire­ment home as our Cir­cu­la­tion Super­vi­sor does month­ly out­reach and book check­outs for the res­i­dents, so I approached their staff with the idea.

I was for­tu­nate to have a very will­ing com­mu­ni­ty part­ner in Fran­cis­can Vil­lage Assist­ed Liv­ing at Our Lady of Vic­to­ry Con­vent, who could not have been more sup­port­ive of my vision for bring­ing fam­i­ly sto­ry­time to their facil­i­ty. Work­ing with their staff, we planned a day that worked well both for them and for our sto­ry­time fam­i­lies. The major­i­ty of our pro­gram par­tic­i­pants are preschool aged and younger. We also chose to have me present to their mem­o­ry care residents.

We adver­tised the pro­gram in our newslet­ter with the fol­low­ing descrip­tion: “Enjoy sto­ries, songs, crafts, and a spe­cial treat at an inter­gen­er­a­tional sto­ry­time with the res­i­dents of Fran­cis­can Vil­lage. Join us off­site at the Assist­ed Liv­ing at Our Lady of Vic­to­ry Con­vent.” We post­ed fly­ers in the library and on our dig­i­tal sig­nage, cre­at­ed Face­book events, and had the events list­ed on our online cal­en­dar. We are lucky to have a very involved patron base of fam­i­lies so with those pro­mo­tion­al items and word of mouth at oth­er pro­grams, word spread easily.

families attend Timeless Tales storytime

At this once-a-month pro­gram, I plan a reg­u­lar sto­ry­time with a craft, aimed at the kids that are going to be par­tic­i­pat­ing (because this is a reg­is­tered pro­gram, I have a gen­er­al idea of the ages of the par­tic­i­pants). So far our reg­is­tra­tion has been full for all ses­sions, but I do have a con­tin­gency should no fam­i­lies show up. This would con­sist of read­ing longer pic­ture books to the res­i­dents, so that they will still be pre­sent­ed with a program.

For our Decem­ber ses­sion, I chose four win­try sto­ries and we dec­o­rat­ed wood­en orna­ments with mark­ers and stick on gems. It was heart­warm­ing to see how quick­ly all the chil­dren took to the res­i­dents and how easy the inter­ac­tions were. When it came time for the craft, the kids and res­i­dents worked side by side, and any res­i­dent that need­ed help with the fine motor skills, the kids would step in and assist. There were some that even made the craft out­right for the res­i­dents so that they would leave with a fin­ished product.

Both our library and Fran­cis­can Vil­lage are very encour­aged by the start of this pro­gram and have dates planned into the Spring.

Please feel free to con­tact me with any ques­tions about the pro­gram: Rachel Sny­der, Children’s Ser­vices Man­ag­er, Lemont Pub­lic Library, [email protected].

Rachel Snyder, Lemont Public Library
Rachel Sny­der, Chil­dren’s Ser­vices Man­ag­er, Lemont Pub­lic Library
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Moira M. Willis
Moira M. Willis
4 years ago

Send­ing this arti­cle to my Chil­dren’s Librar­i­an at Mac­Don­ald Pub­lic Library in New Bal­ti­more, MI!

4 years ago

What a fab­u­lous pro­gram! I will be sure to have my sis­ter sign up her chil­dren for this pro­gram next month. I love that it ben­e­fits two com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent age groups. Great work!

Carrie Pearson
4 years ago

Such a great pro­gram. Love this!

4 years ago

I love that you are doing this and that your patrons have embraced it. It says a lot about your library and your com­mu­ni­ty. Thanks for shar­ing this ter­rif­ic idea!

4 years ago

WONDERFUL IDEA! Thanks for includ­ing the how-to details!