Sing Out Loud!

When I first became a children’s librarian, I knew one of my biggest hurdles was going to be singing in front of people. I had this vision of myself at the front of the room, having to sing even something as simple as Itsy, Bitsy Spider, and my voice cracking because I started too high, or sang out of tune, or couldn’t remember the words. It was VERY intimidating to think people were going to listen to me. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t a performance–I still felt like I was going to be bad, and people would judge me for it.

10 years later, I sing in almost every single program I run. Sometimes, I’m the only one in the room singing. Sometimes, everyone joins in. But it still becomes obvious to me how nervous people get singing in front of others, especially when the program consists of not much more than songs.

Here’s why it’s good to sing in front of children (and anyone else, really), and why nobody really cares:

  • Unless you’re doing karaoke, don’t worry about knowing all the words, singing out of tune, or finding the right rhythm. Just sing. It feels good, it’s fun, we used to do it fearlessly as children for both of those reasons.
  • Singing to children is a form of early literacy. Children love to hear music. Singing songs with them as you do things (driving, cooking, cleaning the house), is helping them to learn the sounds of words, the way words are split apart into syllables, and it’s a good way to bond with your child.
  • When you sing during a program at the library, nobody is listening to you. Trust me…everyone around you is thinking and worrying about the same things—how do I sound?
  • Your child has no judgement toward how you sing. You could be an opera singer, or a woefully out of tune shower crooner…..they have no idea. Honestly. They’ll think you’re great. They just want to sing along…and they’ll learn to do it, but you have to try, too.
  • Dads….if you’re in a room full of women and children for a program, and there is singing involved, do it anyway. Yes, we can hear you. Yes, you’re probably the one we’re all listening to. And yes, we’re aware of every single note you sing.  BUT…’s awesome to hear dads sing! That tenor or bass in a room full of female voices only makes us feel more confident. There’s no hiding your voice, so we can all sing a little louder. No one hears us. So, in the end, we all end up winning!

And a tip for singing with your child…..make sure you sing in a higher voice than you might normally. It’s going to sound funny to you, and maybe you won’t be able to reach all the notes, but children have naturally higher voices, and they don’t know how to sing the same notes in a lower pitch. They’ll try to match your notes, so sing up high and you’ll raise a reader!


Calling All Babies!

Babies…bring your moms along for our last Babytime Drop In session of the fall season. It’s a quick, painless version of our regular babytime session, and we still makes sure there is plenty of time for some socializing.

Join us at 1pm…and please use the side entrance (just up the ramp).

Babies, Babies, and more Babies

This fall, we’re running our usual Babytime session, which means we’re welcoming the babies back to the library! We sure missed them this summer! And to make it a little more exciting, we’re also going to have monthly Babytime Drop Ins….but more on that later.

First up, now is the time to register your baby aged 0 – 12 months for our Thursday morning session, which runs from Sept. 14 – Oct. 19. At 9:30am, we start our songs, tickle rhymes, and bonding, and each morning runs about 20 minutes—just the perfect time for a baby’s attention span. After, parents are welcome to stay and chat, take out books, museum passes, dvds and more. We like to encourage parents to chat, learn about other programs running in the area, and basically just get out of the house for a while. (We don’t even care if you come in your pajamas…..just come!)

Registration takes place now, and sign up early, because spaces are limited. (We only have enough room for about 15 babies and parents in the room when everyone has their gear all spread out.)


What if you have to miss a session? Or what if you can’t register at all? Don’t worry—-we’re having a monthly Babytime Drop In!

Monday, September 25, October 30, and November 27th, join us for a babytime Drop in!  That’s right, just drop in with baby around 1pm and we’ll have a quick session before the library even opens to the public! This will be a slightly different version of babytime, but we’re hoping it might allow you to get out of the house a bit more, or come at a time when baby isn’t napping. Give it a try…it’ll be fun.

Babies, babies and more babies. We love them!

And the Babies are Coming Back, too!

BabytimeWe LOVE babies at the library, and one of our most popular programs ever is Babytime! Join us for five weeks of songs, tickle rhymes, books, and lots of pre-literacy skills during the 25 minute session.

Registration begins today for this fun program, and we hope to see lots of new moms, as well as moms from past sessions…and of course, the babies!

How does a session work?

Parents will start arriving only a few minutes before the sessions, typically. Bring a blanket, diapers, food…whatever you might need for a comfortable stay. We have a changing table available in the public washroom to make things easier, and we welcome nursing moms to feel free to breastfeed before/during/after a session.

Each babytime begins with a welcome song, then moves into a few fun tickle rhymes and various action songs. We’ll slip in a book, maybe use shaker eggs, scarves, or bubbles, and then begin another round of songs, rhymes and more. There are puppets, balls, and the last session always involves our super huge parachute. We finish off with a goodbye song, and a visit from our puppet pal, Baby Bunny.

Can I take out books?

Of course! You’re welcome to take out any items while you’re here. Just because we’re not open to the general public at that time doesn’t mean the desk is off limits. Stay after and look for books, DVDs, or take out a museum pass to make the day even more fun.

What if I don’t know anyone else?

We have a lot of new moms who come to babytime because they need to get out of the house. Everyone is always friendly, and often, parents will offer suggestions to others about playgroups, fun places to trade baby clothes, coffee meet ups, and more. Come and meet new people….babytime is often more about being able to socialize for a while, than focus on the babies 100%. Stay after as long as you want….we won’t kick you out of the library!

What if I can’t make all the sessions? Or what if my baby is sleeping at that time?

We’ll be honest and say that more than a few moms have attended all or almost all of the sessions with a sleeping baby. That’s okay…come anyway. We can’t stress enough how important it is to get out of the house and meet new people. If your baby wakes up during the meeting, great!  If not, well, we hope you’ll sing extra loud anyway.

If you can’t make each session, that’s okay. Sign up, and attend as many as you can.

Registration begins now, so call and sign up ASAP.  This session will fill up fast and we have limited spaces!


-POPWe’re getting ready for another round of Babytime! We always love seeing these new faces and meeting new parents, and getting them excited about using the library. Each session is filled with songs, rhymes, cuddle time and more, and is aimed at baby bonding with parents.

This program runs Thursday mornings from Sept. 15 – Oct. 27, at 9:30am, for children aged 0 – 12 months. Registration is required, as it is usually a very popular program. Don’t worry if you can’t attend all of the sessions, just come when you can. Registration begins today, so give us a call or drop by the library for more information. 257-2702

The sessions are about 20 minutes long, and there will be plenty of time afterward to look for books, or socialize with other parents and babies. We want our young patrons to start out with a good feeling about the library, and babytime sessions do just that!

Babies are Back On!

BabytimeAfter a quick start and then a long-ish break, Babies are back on at the library this week. We’re looking forward to seeing all of these cutie pies giggling, cooing, and smiling as we learn songs, read books and more.

If you registered for babytime, but didn’t make it to the first session in early March, feel free to come on Thursday morning at 9:30am. We have a nice large group this time, but we can always squish in one more.

This session is a lot of fun for babies zero to twelve months, but it’s aimed at moms and dads who want to have a little more bonding time. Plus, you’ll get to meet other parents, and the babies can make new friends. This is always a popular program, and many groups end up meeting outside of the sessions, or after the program is finished, so don’t be afraid to try it.

If you’re still not sure if this program is for you and your baby, drop in, or give us a call at 257-2702 to ask some questions.  In the meantime, check out the FAQ’s below for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I have to stay for the whole session? And how long is it, exactly?
    1. No, you can stay the whole time, or just for a few minutes. If baby is fussy that day, or sleepy, you’re welcome to leave whenever it is best for you. We don’t judge. And the session usually lasts about 20-25 minutes, but we often have parents who stay for an hour or more to chat.
  2. Can I breastfeed during a session?
    1. Of course! If you feel more comfortable leaving the room, we have comfy couches just outside our program area where you can sit for as long as you need to. The library is not open to the public during Babytime, so it can be a peaceful area during that time.
  3. Do you have a changing table? I’d rather not change my baby in the middle of the room.
    1. We have a family washroom that has a changing table available. If you have soiled diapers to dispose of, we’d appreciate it if you’d deposit them in the garbage can just outside our main library doors, or let us know so that we can change the bag at the end of the babytime session.
  4. I have an older child and no daycare available. Can I bring them along, too?
    1. Absolutely. Have your child bring along a favourite stuffed animal to participate with the group. This can be a lot of fun for everyone. Or, if they’d rather sit and look at books, they’re welcome to bring one of our bean bag chairs into the room along with some books to keep them occupied while we run babytime.
  5. I don’t have a library card. Do I need one? Do we have to take out books?
    1. You don’t need a library card to join babytime, and no, you don’t have to take out any books while you’re here. But it’s a great time to pick up books about parenting, making your own babyfood, and fun board books for the little one to flip through all week. It’s easy to get a card…just ask us how at the front desk.