Children’s Story Time is a mainstay of public libraries and continues to be a popular program in many St. Lawrence County libraries.
Libraries host storytime for a wide variety of reasons that may include entertainment and community outreach. Beyond the fun, however, are the more serious goals of engaging children in the written word, helping children develop creative imaginations, and encouraging early literacy skills.
Reading aloud to children helps enhance language proficiency by introducing new words and phrases. Many stories are written in rhymes or use repetition to help children model pronunciation, recall what has been read, and predict what is coming on the next page. Reading aloud helps children see the way a story develops through structure and sequence, broadens horizons by exposing children to different cultures and stories, and creates real-world connections.
Storytime helps promote communication skills by encouraging children to sing, repeat rhymes, answer questions, and talk about their ideas. Listening to a story helps children focus, and allows them to improve their memory by engaging in meaningful conversations about the characters and actions in the story. Looking at pictures and talking about what they see encourages imagination and creativity.
Depending on the target age, storytime activities often include singing, rhyming, and playing with musical instruments. Other activities include finger plays, flannel board stories, and simple crafts that tie into seasonal or holiday themes.
Storytime at the library lets children of similar ages get together and play before or after the event, allows parents to meet and socialize, and introduces families to the wide variety of library books and other materials geared specifically to children and families.
Within St. Lawrence County, we have a wide variety of early literacy and storytime programs at our public libraries. Some programs are drop-in, and others require pre-registration. Please contact the individual library for more information.
On Mondays at 10:30 am, the Canton Free Library offers Toddler Storytime for ages 18-35 months. Children and their caregivers enjoy books, flannel board stories, finger plays, music, and craft activities.
The Hepburn Library of Lisbon offers Storytime on the third Monday of each month at 6:00 pm. The focus is on reading several books and doing a craft.
On Tuesdays, the Hepburn Library of Waddington offers Tot Time at 10:00 am for ages 0-2. Everyone gets to hold their own simple board book which they read. After the story, the children get to play, color, and put a puzzle together.
Also at 10:00 am on Tuesdays, the Ogdensburg Public Library offers Music and Movement for toddlers age 2-4. The program focuses on teaching social skills and following directions.
A third choice on Tuesdays at 10:00 am is at the Canton Free Library. Baby Storytime is geared for birth-18 months and a caregiver. Participants read books, perform bounce rhymes, sing songs, do finger plays, and socialize.
One Tuesday a month, the Canton Free Library offers Books and Beyond for Kindergarten-2nd grade. The program features books, games, and crafts.
The Hepburn Library of Norfolk offers storytime geared for ages 3-5 every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. The program includes stories in flannel or book form, coloring sheets, songs, rhymes, poems, finger plays, and crafts.
On Wednesdays at 10:00 am, The Reading Room Association of Gouverneur offers a storytime with stories and crafts. Their program targets babies to pre-schoolers.
At 10:30 am on Wednesdays, the Hopkinton Reading Center hosts a preschool storytime for ages 2-5. They sing songs, read stories, do finger plays, and flannel boards. There is a craft related to the theme each week plus time for free play and picking out books to take home.
The Canton Free Library offers Preschool Storytime for 3-5 year olds and a caregiver every Wednesday at 10:30 am. The program includes books, flannel board stories, songs, finger plays, movement, and crafts.
Also on Wednesday at 10:30 am, the Potsdam Public Library hosts Storytime (ages 2 and up) where they enjoy stories, songs, and movement activities that match the ages and attention spans of the children attending.
Another choice on Wednesdays at 10:30 am is at the Ogdensburg Public Library. Storytime for ages 3-5 starts with playtime and includes books, songs, and crafts.
On Fridays at 10:00 am, the Waddington Library offers a Pre-K Storytime for ages 3-5. After a story is read aloud, the children do a craft, followed by time to play, color, and work puzzles.
The Norwood Public Library offers a weekly Read, Sing, Play program on Fridays at 10:30 am. All ages are welcome and they read books, do fingerplays, flannel boards, songs, and sometimes use simple instruments.
Also at 10:30 on Friday, the Potsdam Public Library hosts Storytime where children ages 2 and up are introduced to books and reading.
On Saturday at 10:30 am, the Ogdensburg Public Library offers Storytime for ages 3-5. The program strives to encourage a love of reading in young children. .
The Potsdam Public Library offers Library Babies on Saturdays at 11:00 am. This program is for infants aged 6-24 months and their caregivers. Caregivers sit with babies and actively participate in songs, fingerplays, tickles, rhymes, and simple books. Following circle time, children play while adults have time to chat.
Some libraries offer special programs throughout the year. The Waddington Library offers a Family Story Hour on certain Wednesdays. The Lisbon Library offers extra storytime activities during school breaks or holidays. Many libraries offer additional literacy programs during the summer.
We encourage you to visit the library for early literacy programs – there’s something almost every day at one of our county libraries. Each library offers something different, targeting different age groups and interests. Most libraries maintain program schedules and registration information on their website or Facebook page. Check us out….there are plenty of activities for all ages at your local public library!