We have always struggled to get a well-attended Storytime. By contacting our local nursery to join in the BookTrust Storytime, we have now got a regular Storytime going even though we have finished the six books, which has encouraged a positive link with the nursery for other events
Working with partners (like children's centres and nurseries) to reach new families
- We know that building relationships with new families can take a while. That's why we've extended the BookTrust Storytime pilot from September 2022 until May 2023 to help you build important relationships with your local community.
- Last year, libraries found success in reaching out to local nurseries, children centres, local baby and toddler groups and more. Library staff last year found this worked because the partners have already built trust with families, giving you a head start when you're promoting your events.
- Here's how a library in Leicestershire organised pick-ups and drop-offs when working with a new community partner:
Getting the word out
- Use BookTrust Storytime posters to advertise your activities. Great places to display these include local supermarkets, parks and community centres. Posters are available to download here.
- Some libraries last year used social media to get the word out! Download our social cards here.
Excitement from the beginning
- We saw some great displays in entrance ways and crafty use of stickers to direct people to the children's library. We have posters for you to use inside the library (you can download these from our resources page). You could create a BookTrust Storytime display, or even put up some balloons!
- We've designed the BookTrust Storytime resources to be flexible - for example, the sticker books can be used when a child takes out their first book, and when they are invited to a Storytime event, they could collect a sticker for each book. It's up to you to decide how to use the resources as you know your community best - but we'd love to hear what's worked for you! Let us know by taking part in our learning activities.
- Sign up to our newsletter to hear about BookTrust webinars and join our BookTrust Voices platform to get inspiration from other libraries and partners, share your ideas, and give us feedback.
- Make families feel at ease. Set expectations early. For example, make sure that parents and carers know it's fine if their children aren't sitting still quietly.
- Think about the age range of the children at the session. If you have a lot of younger children attending, try sharing shorter stories.
- Mix it up. Be flexible - include a combination of interactive rhymes and stories to keep the energy levels up.
- Involve the children as much as possible. Whether it's getting them to sing along with a rhyme, do some fun actions or even turn the pages of the book you're reading, they'll love being asked to participate. On our resources page, you can find paddles that you can print off that are relevant to each story to encourage children to participate.