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Youth Services

To the Parent/Caregiver:
Welcome to Story time at the La Crosse County Libraries! Story times are a wonderful way to help set your child on the road to reading and to loving books. We think you will find that our Story times are great fun, with a variety of activities to make books come alive, including dramatics, songs, crafts, games, puppets and more.

Story time Sign-up and Age Requirements
Our story times are geared for ages 3-6, but younger or older children are welcome. We do ask, however, that all attending children have the ability to sit fairly quietly. A minimum sign-up is required for a particular session to be held. You will be called prior to the first story time to let you know if enough children registered to hold the session. (Children younger than 3 or older than 6 should not sign up on the sheet but may still attend.) We encourage you to attend story time at the time and location for which you've signed up, but if you have an occasional conflict with a particular time, feel free to attend one of the others! We also understand that with busy schedules, children may not be able to attend all of the story times for which they have registered.

Storytime Behavior:
Is your child ready for story time?
If you're not sure, you're welcome to try it out! You may wish to let your child try a portion of the story time, and then lead him out if it becomes obvious that he is causing a distraction. You may also wish to sit with your child on your lap and participate with the child to keep him interested and to keep a watch on behavior.

Can toddlers and babies come into the story time room?
You are welcome to bring them into the story time room, but we ask that you take them out of hearing if they are causing a distraction. If you have an older child who is behaving well and is enjoying the program, you may leave her while you take out the toddler or baby, if you are comfortable doing so.

Where and how should the children sit?
In order to become engaged in the stories and to participate fully children should sit: on the floor whenever possible;close to the storyteller (the farther back children sit, the more difficult it is for them to focus on the stories);towards the center of the storytelling area (sometimes kids sit too far out to the sides because they all want to sit in the front row - however, just like sitting to the sides of the television set, they won't be able to see!

What are examples of distracting behavior in Story time?
  1. Crying or talking babies/children;
  2. Babies with jangling keys or other noisy toys;
  3. Children walking or moving about the room instead of sitting still or engaging in the group activity;
  4. Children lying on the floor instead of sitting up;
  5. Children playing with toys they brought from home. (Parents are also kindly asked not to talk while in the room - thanks!)
Program Schedules
Don't forget to check out the Youth Services Schedule. It contains:
  • weekly themes of story times;
  • information on school-age programs;
  • information on special holiday and seasonal programs.

Book Checkout
We strongly urge that children be encouraged to check out books before or after the story time - checking out books is part of the story time experience. What better way to teach children the joys of reading, than by letting them select a book to take home after they've been inspired by a great book in the program. You may even wish to look for a book by the same author that we featured in story time, or for a book related to the story time theme. What a wonderful enrichment activity that would make!

Adult Participation
You may watch from the back of the room, or you may join your child in the group activities if you wish.

We also encourage you to use the story time handouts to do the finger plays, songs, and other activities with your children at home.

Arriving on Time
We urge you to try to be on time for the program as late arrivals can distract the children.

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