Dear Editor:

If you walk into the Blount County Public Library and hear a horde of dinosaurs roaring, don’t worry about it, we’re just learning.

As a youth services specialist at the library, I have the honor of helping these amazing little humans who come to our storytimes learn to love reading by throwing out the idea of sitting quietly. That thought is the kind of thing that makes parents of kids who aren’t able to sit still or stay quiet think that they aren’t welcome, and we want to make one thing clear: All kids are welcome, regardless of their attention span or fidgeting or tendency toward outbursts.

During storytime at our library, we believe that staying still and quiet can be overrated. We consider a lot of factors — diversity and emotions and learning and laughter — and what’s best for kids who are shy and kids who can’t sit still and kids who want to ask questions. We do our best to make our programs interactive. We do sound effects, sing songs, dance, jump and turn everything into a collaborative experience; the kids give back as much as we give to them.

We encourage kids to ask questions because, after all, the kid who stands up to point out a picture and ask about it or yell out a question in the middle of the book aren’t causing trouble. They’re engaging.

We’re so proud of the kids who attend our programs and so pleased to be a part of their path to being lifelong readers, creators and questioners. So, if you’re worried about bringing your kid to storytime because they might be disruptive, please know that we’re here for you. We can be a little disruptive, too. Just follow the dinosaur roars.

Chelsea Tarwater

Boyds Creek Highway


(1) comment


Chelsea and all our fabulous library staff are so wonderful and building creative, lifelong learners among our youngest Blount County residents. I have never lived anywhere with a library program like ours! The library has been like a second home for us since my younger daughter was a toddler! We are so proud of our library's welcoming and diverse programs!

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