Letters to the editor: Storytime at the library

A recent Park Bugle letter indicated that St. Paul Public Library would no longer have volunteers interacting with children.

The library regrets any miscommunication leading to this impression. The library values the contributions of more than 1,000 annual volunteers, over half of whom work with youth in a variety of programs and activities. For example, St. Anthony Park Library has benefited from Tom Foster’s decade as a volunteer engaging preschoolers and families each week with the delight of puppetry and reading. Other volunteers serve youth in activities ranging from snack and lunch programs to homework and reading tutoring.

What is new at the library is a focus on strengthening the role that professional library staff play in the delivery of storytime, one of our core services that is supported by intensive training and evaluation. This focus will not diminish or eliminate the important role that volunteers play in engaging youth in rich opportunities at the library.

For more information about the library’s volunteer opportunities, please visit sppl.org/about/volunteers.


—Kit Hadley, director, St. Paul Public Library

A poem in response to a letter in the last Bugle that indicated storytellers at St. Paul libraries will be replaced by “professional librarians.”

Leave it to credentials

One day, in order to help

Your own kid with homework—

Your own kid—legally

You will have to have

At the very least

A teaching certificate.

One day, in order to say

The sky is blue—whether or not

The sky is blue—legally

You will have to show

At the very least

A high school degree.

And one day, in order for me

To recite this poem—yes

To recite this poem—legally

I will have to have

What I do not have—

A Master’s in Fine Arts.

Warning: No professional

With the right credentials

Pre-approved this message.


—Michael Penfield, St. Paul

Leave a Reply