Thursday, September 08, 2005

Library Instruction with Children

I taught a library instruction session for a Philosophy class last night. It was a little different than normal though. I brought my two sons with me.

The class only meets on Wednesday nights. My wife has a class on Wednesday nights. When the instructor requested the session, I said I couldn’t do it and I would find another librarian to conduct it. However, the instructor insisted that I teach the class and he offered to keep my kids entertained. So I agreed.

My oldest son is Calvin. He is 7. My youngest is Caleb who is 2 ½. I brought toys with me and also sat them each at a computer to play at pbskids.org.

Class started out well. Caleb kept chattering as he played but I talked over him and everything seemed to be going well.

About 15 minutes into class, Calvin got up and announced, “Daddy, I am bored!” The whole class laughed. I responded, “I am sure you are not the only one.”

The instructor got up and took Calvin out of the classroom to walk around the library. He asked if he should take Caleb too. The little one was listening and he responded, “I am playing with toys!” So Caleb stayed in the classroom.

About 10 minutes later, Caleb got up and said, “Daddy, I have to use the potty.’ The class lost it and laughed for a good minute. I excused myself, took him to the restroom, and then returned and finished the class.

I got a nice note today from the instructor thanking me for the session and commenting on how much he liked my boys.

This will go down as one of my most memorable library instruction sessions I think.

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