This month, we tried something a wee bit different for the Photo Diary. Instead of asking you to share a first person photo of something to do with your library or storytime, we asked for submissions of stories of your zaniest storytime experiences–accompanied by ridiculous pictures and gifs, of course! As per usual, you did not disappoint.
Oh, my fellow librarians. The strange and wonderful things you’ve survived in your storytime tenure.
From an anonymous librarian who now lives in Nova Scotia:
When I was working in Oregon, I did outreach to Family Home Daycares. Once a month, I took a box of books and a storytime to home daycares and did storytime, then left the materials for the child care provider to use until the next month when I returned. Going into people’s homes is interesting, to say the least. Once while I was in the middle of reading Caps For Sale, one of the little girls just stood up and started peeing on the floor. Luckily, she was far enough away from me that the pee stayed off my books (and me). The woman in charge was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing. She just waited until she was done, and then wiped it up. I, of course, just kept reading the book.
From Lisa Mulvenna:
A couple of years ago the air conditioning went out at work during the middle of summer. If you haven’t experienced summer in Michigan, it is not unusual to have 90+ degrees and 100% humidity. Since we had storytimes running all morning, we propped open the outside door in the meeting room to let some air into the room while we set up. While this would seem like a good idea, multiple bees flew into the room and decided that they loved our fluorescent lights in the ceiling. We didn’t know this and they all decided to come out during the first program of the morning: baby storytime. The parents were pretty good natured about the situation, but in our 30-minute break between storytimes the two of us children’s librarians were trying to swat bees up in light fixtures in a 10-foot ceiling.
From Meagan Schiebel:
I’ve only been doing storytime for a couple years so I’m sure the worst of the horror stories is yet to come, but I had a failure of a storytime this past fall. It actually is the storytime that prompted me to completely redo my entire storytime.
I don’t even remember the theme or any of the books I read, probably because I was only about to get through about one book and then it all went downhill from there. It was a larger group than normal and all the kids who maybe aren’t on their best behavior (c’mon, I know you have some like that, too) were there. When you get one hyperactive kid around another hyperactive kid in a room with 15 other not hyperactive kids, then they all become hyperactive. The next part is expected: toddlers running around and screaming. Parents apologizing. Me struggling through, still attempting to sing and failing miserably. At one point the instigator of all this, a three year old girl, was running around with her pants around her ankles.
I closed up shop early and pulled a Merida in this GIF. Shock, tears, escape.