We hear lots of stories from people when they walk through our doors and many remark that their first library memories are of attending story time when they were little. Skaneateles Library has hosted story times for decades in various forms. Years ago they were often led in the children’s room by volunteers, with kids and their caregivers packed tight around the reading chair. Since the library started receiving funding from school district residents in the fall of 2016, the number of hours allotted to youth services staff has been steadily growing, allowing for more consistent programming. This fall our Librarian for Kids & Teens, Mary Beth Schwartzwalder, began working full time and is now able to plan some wonderful new programs—including new story times! Over the past few years we’ve held story times twice a week. Preschool Story Time on Tuesdays at 10:30AM and Read, Sing, Play Story Time for Toddlers on Thursdays at 10:30AM. Starting in January we will host two new story times in addition to our existing offerings. We are adding another Preschool Story Time on Fridays at 2:00PM and also starting a new program called Baby Bounce & Rhyme on Wednesdays starting at 9:15AM. During Baby Bounce & Rhyme, parents and caregivers are invited to bond with their baby during a short program designed for babies from birth to 18 months old. The first 15 minutes will feature nursery rhymes, movement, books and finger plays. Then we’ll have open play where children and adults are encouraged to socialize. Siblings are welcome to attend and are encouraged to bring a stuffed animal or doll to follow along with our activities. No registration is necessary for Baby Bounce & Rhyme or any of our weekly story times. Story times are all fun and games, but they also serve a greater purpose. Stories, rhymes, songs and movement activities all help children learn important skills before they go to kindergarten. They learn to recognize letters, build vocabulary, develop fine motor skills, learn how to follow instructions and socialize with other children and adults in a group. Story times also help parents and caregivers learn how to model and support early literacy and learning activities that can be repeated at home. In 2019 we hope to make lots of new memories with the youngest members of our community at our story time programs. We want to see lots of new faces along with all our regular visitors. So come on over and read a story with us! Upcoming Events: Noon Year’s BINGO Monday, December 31st at 11:30AM Celebrate the new year with us at noon! We will play BINGO, win prizes and countdown to the new year together. For kids of all ages. Registration required. Afternoon Book Club: Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel Thursday, January 10th at 2:00PM Join our new afternoon book club! Our book this month is a remarkable tale of survival and solitude–the true story of a man who lived alone in a tent in the Maine woods, never talking to another person and surviving by stealing supplies from nearby cabins for twenty-seven years. No registration.