Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chapel Hill Public Library & Storytime

Updated 12/2011:  The Chapel Hill Library has moved to a temporary location.  The old building closed up and the collection was moved to a spot in University Mall while a new library is being built.  This happened a little later than originally planned, but is underway.  The pictures below are updated to the new location as is the contact information at the bottom.  The new location is small.  The collection of books, DVDs, and CDs still remains fantastic, as does the offering of stortyimes and kids' activities.  However, the space itself is limited.  So we don't spend much time in there these days lounging and exploring books, but we do head in for storytime and to take books home.  We'll be looking forward to the new location and building in years to come.  

The Chapel Hill Public Library is one of my favorite libraries and is currently conveniently located off of Estes Road. However, by the end of 2010 it is moving to University Mall for a few years while the library is renovated. So get to the old Library while you have a chance! Below, blog reader A.G. provides us with her thoughts on the Time for Toddlers. MiCHill has been told that all storytimes and programs will continue even after the move and throughout the Library's temporary stay at U Mall.

There are shelves and shelves of books and a couple of kid-sized tables. There is also a huge activity block, which looks new, that C enjoyed. But I can see how, after having gone to Durham's Main Library, this is a smaller area. And since there is so much here, it is getting a little cramped feeling. It makes me look forward to renovations.

The selection of books is good, but we also appreciated the great collection of kids music, audiobooks, and DVDs.

An additional note: if you haven't been to the Library's website yet, you should check it out. There are links that are great resources for parents; links about books and stories for kids as well as Internet safety precautions to take.

And now, from A.G. on storytime:
I took my 16-month-old son N to Time for Toddlers at the Chapel Hill Public Library (targeted at 18-36-month-olds). Technically his age would suggest we should go to Baby Time (for 6-18-month-olds), but I had been told by a friend that that time was geared towards non-mobile babies, and that her daughter had been bored.

We haven't had a ton of success with story times due to N's appropriately short attention span, so I was a bit nervous. Storytime is 10:15 am Thursdays - the website suggests getting there early. I, being a little confused and totally out of character, got there at 9:45 since I thought it started it at 10. Unfortunately, the library doesn't even open until 10, so we had to spend a bit of time waiting in the heat, but there were several other kids that kept N very entertained.

After the doors opened, we signed up for Time for Toddlers at the desk in the children's section of the library and spent a few minutes reading and playing with toys before we headed into the story room. This carpeted room is very basic and has very little that my son could destroy (though he did manage to find the one cabinet that wasn't locked and kept going back to it!). The librarian put some fun music on a few minutes before 10:15, and N and a few of the other kids had a bit of a dance party before things got started.

There were about 15 kids there. Because there were a lot of sibling pairs, we weren't the youngest, and there were kids older than 3 present as well.

It's a themed storytime, and the focus was birds that day. We read about 5 books and sang corresponding bird songs. The librarian did a great job keeping the kids engaged and followed the book with a counting game using birds and another song.

Overall, it was super fun - I think the confined space makes it great for toddlers (as opposed to storytimes at bookstores, where there are so many other fun things to do). The librarian was wonderful and did a great job of gently chastising a child who was um, harassing, another child, eventually asking the mother to take him out because he was being disruptive (in the nicest possible way). I really appreciated that they provided a handout with the lyrics to the songs that they incorporated into storytime. I would definitely go back!

The library offers many storytimes for various ages and has an active teen program. They are also doing a summer time family movie matinee series that looks like fun but almost over. It runs through the summers, every Friday, at 2 pm. The last one is Aug 13th, though.

Chapel Hill Public Library
University Mall
201 S Estes Dr
Chapel Hill



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