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Second Generation Librarian.

This fall brings about a whole new challenge: BABIES. After MPL’s new “out in the open” mandate, we have two separate baby times, Baby Goose (out in the open) and Books and Babies (the closed-off original version of the program). Lois, the full-time library assistant at Angus Glen, is the source of all this programming originally. As in, she personifies “Mother Goose.” So she was pretty upset when management harpooned her original program, for the “out in the open” version – something that is… “inadvisable” to do with babies.

As a disclaimer: The Out in the Open initiative is incredibly successful in our branch for other programs like Tales for Tots (Ages 2-5) and Family Story Time (All ages). Markham, as a community is full of (and growing with) many new families who are generally newcomers to Canada. This initiative was created with the intention to promote library services to people who might not normally seek them out, such as newcomers. Yes, it has the best of intentions, but all early childhood literacy studies show that for infantliteracy, you basically need to keep them in lock-down so they can properly focus on going the 15 miles from Wibbleton to Wobbleton.

So, I compromised with Lois, she is doing a paid program in the room, as well as one section of Baby Goose, and I’m doing the other one. I’m learning fairly quickly, but a baby story time is a beast the kind of which is very different from a regular preschool story time, which I enjoy very much. 30 min. of rhymes and songs? The parents are the main audience? You depend on their participation for the babies to enjoy it? For realz? It’s tough.

I’m not completely un-prepared, Ontario Early Years, the early literacy program for which I’m a liaison is 0-5 years, with a fair amount of babies… and I have seen people do Baby Goose… but so far (2 programs in) I’ve come away with a sense of inadequacy and embarrassment. We’ll see what works and what changes! At least the babies seem to like me.

Here are some of the songs and rhymes I’ve been using:

The More We Get Together (You can make this song muccccchhhhh longer by adding verses like “the more we sing together/read together/share together” etc.)

Open Them, Shut Them (Extra verse: Creep them, creep them, creep them creep them/ Right up to your cheek/ Open up your little eyes and through your fingers peek)

We’ll see how the other sessions go… 🙂

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