MASSENA — One-on-one story time will begin in February at the Massena Public Library.
Youth Services Librarian Ronnie Tatro said she was looking for a way to better connect with her reading audience and came up with a program called “Dial a Story.”
“I was trying to think of ways to connect with more than just doing Facebook Live story time,” she said.
During those story time sessions, the participants can see Ms. Tatro, but she can’t see them.
“I wanted that interaction that I used to have” during story time sessions at the library, Ms. Tatro said. “I encourage them to talk and act out the story with me.”
She said the participants in her story time sessions need socialization.
“It’s so critical for development for all of them. Even my tweens loved having that personal interaction as well,” she said.
They’ll have that with Dial a Story, which will be a 15-minute one-on-one story reading done via Google Meetings. Ms. Tatro will send an email on the day of the reading with a link to join a Google Meeting, which will be a digital voice/video meeting. The sessions are available to children from ages 1 to 12.
The program will run for two hours, starting at 10 a.m. every Tuesday morning in February. There’s a five-minute break between sessions.
Participants need to register by sending Ms. Tatro an email at email@example.com. The email should include the parent or caregiver’s name, the child’s name, the child’s age and the email they would like to register for the meeting. Once Ms. Tatro has that information, she can let them know which times are available. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. She said half of the sessions for the first week are already booked, so the earlier a child registers, the better.
For each session, she’ll read a book that is of interest to that child.
“If they have a special interest, I can pull a book on that. I try to pull things that are very interactive. Not every book lends itself to an interactive story,” Ms. Tatro said.
Following the book reading, participants will take a virtual mini-tour of the library to choose their own books for curbside pickup. Book selections will be bundled and checked out on the person’s library card for curbside pickup.
She said they’ll gauge the success of the program in February and, if it’s going well, will keep it going.
“If not, we’ll try something new,” she said. “We’ve never had to experiment like this before.”