The Huntington Beach Public Library (HBPL) is thrilled to announce it has been recognized as the “Best Storytelling Time” in Orange County by Parenting OC Magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards for the second year in a row!
The library commemorated this honor on Tuesday, September 12, with an award presentation for storytime staff at the Central Library. Members of the community joined staff and City administrators in honoring our storytellers, sharing thank you cards, and signing a congratulations banner for the six-member 2022-23 storytime team.
A casual observer might believe that storytime is simply reading a few books and singing a few songs, but there is a fine art and scientific method to crafting the perfect session for families. Storytime staff members have extensive knowledge, training, and experience in program facilitation, early childhood development, and children’s literature, and use this expertise to plan and present early literacy-enhanced storytimes for the community. Each storytime at HBPL contains elements supporting the development of six early literacy skills for pre-readers, which are foundational to the process of learning how to read. The six skills include print motivation, print awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, narrative skills, and phonological awareness. In simplified terms, our storytellers weave in talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing in to every session they facilitate, incorporating learning objectives for children and their families that blend seamlessly into the fun of storytime.
HBPL offers 15 storytimes system-wide each week, as well as a variety of outreach storytime opportunities for local schools, youth-serving organizations, and nonprofits. During the 2022-23 fiscal year, the library offered 567 storytime sessions, which served a total of 30,645 community members. The Central Children’s Library offers families extensive resources to continue the learning they begin at storytime in their own home, with more than 58,000 books, including over 12,000 picture books and 7,500 books for beginning readers. While the children’s book collections at the system’s four branch libraries are smaller, they are uniquely tailored to the diverse neighborhoods that each facility serves.
Wondering what the library is serving up for storytime next week? Sign up for the weekly Storytime Corner newsletter through the Children’s Library website to preview the themes, books, and songs our storytellers will share during the following week. For the full schedule of upcoming storytimes at your favorite library location, be sure to visit our online calendar at hbpl.libcal.com and search for “storytime.” We hope to see you at the library this fall!