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Nobody Puts Baby In the Corner!


Bibliobop: Family Dance Parties at Niles Public Library

I am not one of those grrrls who goes out dancing with her grownup friends.  It’s not like I’m a party-pooper or anything, (I’ll make the best of it if I have to) it’s just not my preferred method of “letting my hair down”.  Add kids to the mix, and I’m a total party animal.

The idea for library dance parties  sprouted back in library school, but I shelved it when I first started working at Niles Public Library to focus on other things.

Summer Reading is a huge event in our department, and make a special effort to load up our calendar with fun programs. But registered storytimes, such as toddler, preschool, and big kids’ storytimes only run during the school year. We offer a couple of year-round drop-in storytimes, which are particularly well-attended during the summer.  Four members of the YS staff share these storytimes on a monthly rotation. When I realized I would be cutting back from from 2-3 storytimes per week to 2-3 per month, I got sad; and maybe even a little panicky. In order to scratch the itch,  my decided to revisit the dance party idea.

We scheduled them for the second Friday morning of each month.  Attendance has varied wildly from month to month.  One week we only had 10 people attend, but the last one of the summer we had 71 people attend.  On average we have about 35 people. The response from patrons has been very positive, and I see a lot of families coming back week after week, so we decided to continue this program throughout the year.

This is a very easy program to run (however, I do recommend getting a goodnight’s sleep the night before)

Update: I finally posted my Bibliobop Mix. Enjoy

What you need:

  • YSD ipod touch (see Bibliobop Playlist)
  • song list for patrons to take home
  • Scarves
  • musical instruments
  • One Picture book about dancing, parties, music or singing
  • Kleenex
  • Bubbles (*optional*: kids love them, sometimes they’re a little too much)

Here’s how it works

9:30-10:00 SET UP

  • Gather supplies in LMR
  • Sound Check: plug in YSD ipod touch or insert mix  cd, check volume (play, then walk around to room to make sure it sound ok in different parts of the room.)
  • Lay out Instruments on the stage

10:00-10:05 OPEN DOORS and let people get settled

10:05-10:10 INTRO:

  • Greetings (I am DJ Ms Cate, the hostess with the mostest! I hope you brought your wild and crazy mover, shaker, wiggles and giggles with you today because we are going to party up (I stretch up) party down (I bend down) and party all around (I spin)!
  • The Rules:There are 3 rules in bibliobop:
    • “Dance anyway you want! Silly crazy, fast or slow, but no kicking, biting or shoving. Bigger kids, please be careful around the smaller kids. Parent, please stay in the room the whole time”
    • “As you can see we have lots of musical instruments (I hold them up as i describe them) We’ve got jinglers, janglers, click-clackers, and rattlers. And If you need something softer and quieter, take a breather with these colorful scarves. Please take turns and share…No hoarding or snatching.”
    • Have Fun Fun Fun!

10:10-10:15: Readaloud

10:15-10:55 Hit Play and watch ’em go!

I stay in the room the whole time. So far the parents have been super. I haven’t had a single parent try to drop off a child and leave, but you never know. However since “bop” is literally (part of) the name of the game, I try to keep an help parents out by being an extra set of eyes, especially when parents of multiple children and or toddlers who are just starting to walk.

10:55-11:00 Good-bye

The mix CD is long, so we don’t run out of music. At 10:55 I wait for whatever song is playing to end, and then I skip to the last song #25: “Goodbye Song” by Yo Gabba Gabba.

11:00-11:20 Clean up

  • Gather supplies. Dump instruments, flyers, mid cd in blue bin.
  • Turn off PA system
  • Clean up LMR
  • Lock up
  • Power nap.
Over at the Castle Ashburn Boni J/P
Title Author First Call #
Tuba Lessons Bartlett T.C. J/P
I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More Beaumont Karen J/P
Over in the Arctic Berkes Marianne J/P
What a Wonderful World Bryan Ashley J/P
Jazzmatazz Calmenson Stephanie J/P
Penelope Jane Cash J/P
Ruby Sings the Blues Daly Niki J/P
Rapataptap Dillon J/P
Cha-Cha Chimps Durango Julia J P
Summertime Gershwin J/P
Soup Opera Gill Jim J/P
Teddy Bears Picnic Hague Michael J/P
Got to Dance Helldorfer M.C. J/P
Soon Baboon Soon Horowitz Dave J/P
Horace & Morris Join the Chorus Howe James J/P
Baby Brains Superstar James Simon J/P
Pigs Rock Jones Melanie J/P
Whistle for Willie Keats J/P
This Little Chick Lawrence John j/P
Geraldine the Music Mouse Lionni J/P
Remarkable Farkle McBride Lithgow J/P
Froggy Plays in the Band London J/P
Boom Baby Boom Boom Mahy Margaret J/P
ChickaChicka Boom Boom Martin Bill J/P
Barn Dance Martin J/P
Maestro Plays Martin J/P
Baby BeeBee Bird Massie Diane ST
Our Marching Band Moss J/P
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands Nelson Kadir J/P
Ten Monkey Jamboree Ochiltree J/P
Roll Over Peek J/1-2-3
Max Found Two Sticks Pinkney Brian J/P
Five Little Ducks Raffi J/P
Raffi books Raffi J/P
Lizard’s Song Shannon George J/P
Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp Shields Carol J/P
Play, Mozart, Play Sis Peter J/P
Five Nice Mice Tashiro Chisato J/P
Itsy Bitsy Spider Trapani Iza BIG
Over in the Meadow Voce Louise BIG
Tanka Tanka Skunk Webb Steve J/P
Ugly Pie Wheeler Lisa J/P
Jazz Baby Wheeler Lisa J/P
Punk Farm Krosoczka Jarret J/P

11 thoughts on “Nobody Puts Baby In the Corner!

  1. Pingback: Dance Party Program – hspls Juv Services

  2. I noticed you mentioned you stayed in the room while it was going on. Do you participate or lead the group or just hang out?

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  8. What age group did you focus on for this event? Great post btw, very detailed. Thanks so much.

    • We advertise it as a family event. It’s a great opportunity for large families to get together and play. We have pretty large space that can fit up to 150 non-dancing people. We have had as many as 70 patrons in attendance. It was wild, but in a fun way. We had kids of all ages showing up, especially over the summer, when kids are on break. We’ve had infants, toddlers, preschools, and kids as old as 3rd show up without younger siblings or cousins. But some older kids have shown up to dance and goof around with their little brothers/sisters. But they seemed pretty into it. Since school started the biblioboppers have been very young: crawlers to pre-k. But recently we’ve had tons of requests from parents of school-aged kids to either switch the time, or add a late-afternoon (3:30-4:30) Bibliobop to the library’s program calendar. I’m all for it in the near future.

      I try to choose music that everyone can rock out to, which is getting easier and easier. First I combed our children’s collection for the truly toe-tappingest tunes we own. It was a big project, but I found a ton of great stuff sitting on our shelves. After the librarian who used to be in charge of the music collection left, I took this on. There is some great stuff out there, and it’d adding more to the playlist easy. PLUS my department just bought a new ipod touch!!! wahoo, and I will be using it for the first time this friday. So I will finally get my playlists posted very soon. I promise!

  9. Hi there, great post! Would you be interested in sharing your playlist? I would love to start something like this in the summer at my library!

  10. I would love to attempt this program during Summer Reading…would you be willing to share your song list? Sounds like great fun!

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