Category Archives: Coolest Things

The Coolest Things We Saw on the Internet: Ethics Edition

Why hello there!


Today, we want to share with you some really great posts that have been floating around our world this week. They happen to be about the ethics of librarianship.


Your thoughts on librarianship values may be challenged over at Bryce Don’t Play and that is a good thing. Think about how your choices impact the service you provide in your community.


Julie from Hi, Miss Julie has been inspiring me/getting me off my butt on Twitter this week (and pretty often in general). She also reminded us of some great (and very applicable) posts she made a few years back. If you have ever wanted to rid the world of ‘bad’ librarians, but are too afraid to speak up, The Ethical Librarian is a must read.


Book Riot is focusing on literary activism this week, but my favorite has definitely been this post from Kristina Pino about relatively simple ways diversity, empathy, and kindness can be brought into the classroom.


Finally we need so many more library workers who ‘do everything wrong’.


(What, you don’t have dance parties in the aisles?)

Coolest Things I Saw on the Internet

So, if you’re like us, you might be taking a lot of breaks in your day to say things like:




Because, yes. Often.


But today we’re bringing you awesomeness in the form of the brilliant things our peers are doing on the internet. Maybe by the time you’re done reading, you’ll feel like at least your corner of the world is a little less suck-y.


Perspective-Altering Awesomeness (Maybe/hopefully)


First, of course, Bryce wrote this post about being an ally for people with disabilities in the library. This is something that I’m personally still learning about all the time. A lot of us don’t have loved ones with disabilities, so their struggles may seem a little foreign to us. Thankfully, we have professionals like brave Bryce to guide us.


Then Miss Julie gave us some examples of STEM and STEAM-related programs that she thought were well done and responsive to the community’s needs and used it as a way to help us think about how overwrought and tone deaf other programs and services can be.


If you haven’t read Jbrary’s article on the important issue of talking to kids about race, please do so now. I love how this post makes it clear that talking about race, even in storytime, is not pushing an agenda. Just like pointing out the differences in shapes or talking about being kind to the child with the helmet, it’s essential to development.


I loved when Abby wrote about feeling overwhelmed. Her first post was several months ago on the ALSCblog  and I hope you read that, too. It links to some of my favorite posts about burn out and I love how writing about it helped so many other people relax somehow. I have not been blogging as much because of my hectic summer, so I loved when Brooke chimed in too about her break from blogging.  It’s okay to stop, people!


One last thing:

Holly found this gem on Youtube. You won’t be sad you watched it.



The Coolest Things I Saw on the Internet Recently

Why hello there!


Yes, we have been slacking on the coolness collection lately. However, that just means that you are getting an eyeful today. Are you ready?


First, I am gonna toot the SU horn a bit. Cory took over the SU Twitter last week and while some may call it an epic rant, I prefer to call it TRUTH. We saw the need to officially  take the stance that we will choose a side when it comes to human rights. We ask you to to join us.


Yes, we felt a little famous after the thread had a ‘moment’ on Twitter and we watched with awe as our notifications began buzzing. We were inspired by many libraries and librarians and library staff and people who are simply amazing. Multnomah County Library hosts a Black Storytime as well as Storytimes in multiple languages. The Denver Public Library is asking users to join the conversation by submitting their race card. The Skokie Public Library created Black Lives Matter reading lists that allow families a chance to talk together about the movement.


and….yes, diverse books are exactly what our patrons need. Windows and mirrors for everyone, but be sure your ‘diverse’ display isn’t filled with just books about civil rights, pride, and Japanese lantern crafts. Make sure you show off those books that have diverse characters just being characters in a book. I loved this piece from Raych Krueger at Book Riot for spreading that sentiment: Picture Books With LGBTQ Parents Just Being Parents.


Talking is important. Taking a stand publicly is important. We know that so many of you are finding it hard to do so in systems that refuse your efforts. We are here for you. We got your back always. Now to more coolness:


Jbrary shared a fabulous list of non-librarian blogs that you must check out. I personally read Mama OT and this baby happens to really like all those tummy time tips.



Yes, I exploit my baby’s adorable face.


Roller Derby ladies invaded this library’s book club and our hearts went pitter patter.


Try a Rube Goldberg Machine program like Ms. Anna!


Check out Miss Julie’s Top Five Tips for Youth Reader’s Advisory. I now want to make a candy readalike list!


Go Pokemon Go.


Finally, some flannel fun with dinosaurs, monkeys, and tools.

The Coolest Things I Saw on the Internet This Week

Hey there, cats and kittens. Here we go with some more cool stuff from teh interwebz! PREPARE YOURSELVES!

giphy (3)


Poetry Paige shares how she includes poetry in her storytimes. I’ve used a little poetry in the past, but I’ve never been super intentional about it. This is a great and easy way to get the kids engaged in poetry!


More on the ALSC Blog: Parachutes! Who doesn’t love ’em? Here are some quick tips, with a shoutout to our own Joint Chief Kendra!


And yet more from ALSC: have you considered presenting at a conference? If not, it’s a great way to hone your public speaking skills and beef up your resume. Plus, I bet you have some kickass ideas! If you need a place to start, here’s a list of what ALSC members have said they would like to learn about at ALA Annual 2017. Go forth and propose. C’mon. You’ve got a whole year to make it awesome!


Speaking of conferences and presenting, the lovely and talented Marge Lock-Waters has been helping to develop a conference on management in youth services. I was fortunate enough to take one of her online classes in management a couple months ago and it was AMAZING. Want to get hands-on with Marge? Check out her announcement for Power Up: A Conference in Leadership for Youth Services Managers and Staff, submit your proposal, or plan to attend!


Dude. Check out this cool diorama to go along with a reading of Kate Messner’s Over and Under the Snow. The top has the…well, things that are on TOP of the snow, and you open it up and voila! The things that are under the snow. So. Amazing.


Here Megan Dowd Lambert recounts her experience using the “whole book approach” with Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask To Be In This Book) and a group of preschoolers. Their response to the book might surprise you!


My friend Melissa (I love telling people she’s my friend; she’s more like my mentor but she’d deny it) posted about having done storytime for 20 years and how she’d change her first storytime plan (which she still has!). I’ll go her one better and say that when I started doing storytime I knew NOTHING other than to read a book aloud. I’ve learned about fingerplays/songs/early literacy/etc. all along the way. My first storytime must have been miserable (but I’m pretty sure I read Very Hungry Caterpillar).


Have y’all seen the illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? Yes? Well guess what!? Chamber of Secrets is coming out in October!


Finally, because my fellow Joint Chiefs Brytani and Cory insisted, I’ll plug my own blog series on “soft skills” and how we develop them in storytime. Because yes, we are helping children with cognitive skills, colors, numbers, alphabet, rhyming, etc. – but we are also helping them grow self-control, communication skills, perspective-taking, and more. And researchers are finding that those skills are equally important in becoming a successful adult. Go, us! Stay tuned for more in the series!


I’ll leave you with an image of the President of the United States and First Lady roaring their terrible roars and gnashing their terrible teeth. Because awesome.





The Coolest Things I Saw on the Internet While on Maternity Leave

Everyone…..I had a baby! Introducing Lilah Sue!


side eye

Marvelous side eye.


When I returned to work from the depths of spit up, I had quite a bit of catching up to do in my Feedly. After two days back, my library flooded and was closed indefinitely. Luckily, I have finally made it through hundreds of blog posts and pulled the following gems for you, my darling friends.


Rachel Fryd must have known that I needed to prioritize my productivity when she created this piece on scheduling tips.


While the move happened in October, I just recently discovered that Matthew Winner, the Busy Librarian, co-founded the fanciful site: All the Wonders.The fantastic Let’s Get Busy podcasts are still happening, but the new site includes book related crafts, song adaptations from Emily Arrow, and whimsical insights into the world of children’s books. As a new mom, I loved their recent interview with Sara O’Leary and Karen Klassen about their new book, You Are the One.


Our very own Holly created a delightful Choose Your Own Adventure program that had me thinking about a way to use that concept for the Storytime crowd. Katrina at Keen Librarianship must have read my mind! I have fallen in love with the Storytime – You Choose idea!


I will leave you with this happy baby and a ton of quick picks!


Disco Baby

Disco baby!


Should we add velcro mittens to our toolkit?


Texture blocks a la Library Bonanza.


Fun With Friends at Storytime showed off this barn door folder prop.


Flannel Friday celebrated their 5th Birthday!!!!


The San Francisco Public Library hosted a Drag Queen Story Hour.


Lindsey at Jbrary thought more about Storytime intentions.


You must see The Big Pegboard in the Wonder Ground over at Storytiming.


Fight Club rules for all grown-ups attending a dance party.


Unicorn Storytime. Miss Meg. Enough said.