Ask a Storytime Ninja: Lightning Round – Roving School Librarian

Here’s our newest Lightning Round question! These questions are posed to all of our ninjas instead of just our featured monthly ones and are meant to be quick and efficient responses to some interesting inquiries. Here’s our question for this week which we’ve had a lot of responses for so this one’s a tid bit longer than most:




The Question:


“Hi everyone. I am facing an unusual challenge next school year. I will be teaching my K-5 library lessons from a mobile cart that I will roll into each classroom. There will be no library that the students can visit. I will be doing lessons, checking in, checking out and doing story time from a cart. I am absolutely overwhelmed by the very thought. Has anyone out there done this? Have any tips? Thank you!”


The Answers:


From Abby J. (@abbylibrarian,


I haven’t done this in a school librarian capacity, but as a public librarian when we do outreach, we’re often visiting multiple classrooms with just the stuff we’re carrying. What helps me keep everything straight is going in with a plan (usually written down) for each classroom and keeping my materials in the order that I’ll use them. We usually bring bags of books, props, etc. around with us, so I’ll try to arrange it so the book I need first is on top and I can just go through the bag in order. If I’m repeating the same storytime for multiple classrooms, it gets easier with each repetition. If I’m presenting different materials for each classroom, it really helps me to have a separate tote bag for each classroom so I can go straight for what I need without having to dig around too much. This could maybe translate into separate sections or shelves on your cart, or if your cart is full of books the kids can check out, you might think about using tote bags or rolling crates to keep your storytime/lesson materials separate and easily accessible.


From Soraya S. (@vivalosbooks):

I’m a Youth Services Librarian in a public library so I haven’t been in that situation before but I do go to schools regularly throughout the week and have done classroom to classroom visits. On days when I know I’m visiting more than one class, I bring a rolling cart separated by which materials I’m using for which classroom. So my storytimes are catered for each specific age group and I’m sure to separate the materials appropriately. That is such an interesting design and a challenge! I definitely think it’s manageable though as long as you know each day what grades/classes you’ll be at and can set up your cart to easily transition as you changes rooms. Organization is key and you’ll be fantastic!


Thanks for all the great responses everyone! Do you have any of your own? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Ask a Storytime Ninja: Lightning Round – Roving School Librarian

  1. Profile photo of BrytaniBrytani

    If it was me, I’d make a flannel board that could be magnetized and stuck on the side of the cart. I like the idea of separating what you need for each classroom, but if bags don’t fit well on the cart, you could just line up what you need on a row separated by bookends. I really like the idea of using file organizers, too, because then I could pick it up and set it down beside me or fill it up as I wander around the office. I don’t know if you use a cd player, but another option might be desk speakers that you can hook up to your phone or a tablet.
    If kids can’t visit the library, I imagine that you’re thinking of filling up part of the cart with items to check out. Your local public library might be able to help, too, by providing classroom sets. We bring them in bags, and ours aren’t a part of our system, so they don’t have to be tracked and returned by a certain date. (We just count it in our circ at the end of the year.) If they can work with you, that could save you one headache.

    1. Profile photo of BrytaniBrytani

      Oh, and I know in my local schools, there’s not always a nice space for kids to move around during storytime. I like to bring scarves and shaky eggs to classrooms because they can use them seated or at their desk if we need to. Some songs can be done while standing or sitting in one spot, too. Drive My Car by Laurie Berkner and Baby Shark come to mind.

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