Category Archives: Motivational

Storytime for Social Justice Blog Challenge

You may recall our Resolve to Rock blog challenge from the last couple years in which we challenged librarians to blog about their professional goals for the new year.


This year, we have a new blog challenge for you: the Storytime for Social Justice Challenge.*


Image by the amazing Rebecca at Hafuboti

As youth librarians we have a lot of influence and a large captive audience of small children, and now more than ever it is vital that we do our part to make the world a better place. We offer services to make our communities — ALL members of our communities, from those we see to the marginalized faces that don’t use the library, — feel represented, welcomed, and appreciated.


Take a moment to think about what you can do to help teach empathy and inclusiveness in your programming, your displays, your space, your services. Check out Julie’s post for some inspiration and examples, take a look at our new Storytime for Social Justice  kit, and then tell us what YOU are committed to doing for your community!



Write a post on your own blog using this image**, share with the hashtag #StorytimeJusticeWarrior, and
post a link in the comments here.  If you don’t have a blog, we are happy to host guest posts! Get in touch via email at storytimeunderground (at) gmail (.) com and we will share your post on this site.


Once you’ve written a post and made a commitment to social justice, I encourage you to print it out and post it by your desk, or in your planner. Maybe make it the background on your computer. Whatever will help keep these ideas in the forefront of your mind. Because supporting Storytime for Social Justice is great, but only if you actually do it.


*Wondering why social justice belongs in Storytime Underground? Just a reminder that Storytime Underground is NOT neutral. We were built on social justice, and we continue to serve that purpose. If you don’t like it, you do not have to participate, but this is NOT and has never been a place for only storytime ideas.


** Our blog challenge image was lovingly created by Rebecca at Hafuboti. Thanks Rebecca!!

Motivational Monday: November Shout-Outs

Here at SU, we think that it’s up to every member of a team to encourage and lift up your peers. It’s why we started things like Guerrilla Storytimes and our Local Chapters. We want YOU to have the power to learn from each other, connect, and grow.


Today, we’re introducing a new feature that we hope will become a staple in our blogging content. For the first time, we put all of YOU in charge of publicly recognizing the teammates and peers in your lives who are doing great work. We want to regularly reward the workers who are making a difference every day and we want you all to feel seen and appreciated.


So, here goes! Our first round of shout-outs is small but mighty.




First shout-out comes from our friend, Rebecca McCorkindale aka Hafuboti. She’s lifting up her whole team today!


I want to give a HUGE Shout-Out to my Children’s Library team. Jennifer, Natasia, and Ashlynn have created such a positive atmosphere for both each other and the public. When I was gone for almost half of a month recently, I was able to have two wonderful vacations knowing that these three ladies were keeping things going.
Jennifer, our Children’s Librarian, oversaw everything along with my Director (who would also deserve a GINMOURMOUS shout-out on her own for her support and encouragement). Super-fabulous early literacy and just straight-up fun events were prepped and executed. She resolved issues, and if she felt I needed to know something, she left me clear notes. She did a lot more, but I don’t want to bog-down my Shout-Out with a list.
Natasia, our Technical Services Librarian and my “Marketing Minion” made sure that November’s theme and decor would be ready to go when I came back on November 1. Although she’s headed up planning and execution of our monthly themes, this was this first time that I gave her a theme and then basically left. Her creativity, artistic skills, and teamwork attitude add to my joy when I come to work every day and not just when I come back from vacay.
Ashlynn, our Technical Services Librarian with diverse interests and a generous heart, helped out in any and every area that she could. She created November’s scavenger hunt, and stayed vigilant to others’ needs. She also came up with one of my all-time favorite passive programs: leaf piles on our lawn. She took a problem that we’ve had since opening the Children’s Library (fallen leaves getting everywhere) and solved it in a creative and memory-making way.
Upon my November 1 return, I had the easiest reentry into work-world that I can remember. Things felt great, I knew what had been going on, and things were in a great place for me to take up my tasks and duties again. It was more like returning to my family than coworkers. And for all this and more, I want to shout to world at how awesome these ladies are.
Next, we have Kaitlin Frick calling out a co-worker, Grace Zell, for going above and beyond.
I’d like to give a shout-out to my work twin, Grace Zell. She’s all-around an incredible children’s librarian who seems to know every name, has a kind and warm personality, but steps up to handle tough situations when necessary. This past couple of weeks in particular, she’s been working her butt off to put in a grant proposal for a project we want to put together here at our library. We didn’t receive word until very last-minute that we needed to make changes to the proposal, and she took time outside of work to make those changes happen and (hopefully) get the funding to create some incredible children’s programming. Basically, she’s amazing and I aspire to be more like her in so many ways.
That’s all for now, but we hope that you will continue to send us your shout-outs and dazzle us with the dedication and passion that you admire in your teammates.

Motivational Monday: November’s Awards

I’m so excited to bring back a feature that means a lot to me. I can remember so many days that have been discouraging to me in my career, and on those days it really helped when I had teammates and peers who reminded me of something I did well or something that made a difference.


That’s what this month’s awards are about. They’re about noticing when someone is down and reaching out with a little bit of encouragement. I hope you consider printing these for one of your co-workers, and even writing a note about a specific story or time on the back.




#ilovemylibraryjob Round-Up: Summer

Do you need a pick me up? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered.

Here are your bright beams of sunshine collected over the summer.

Okay, well first is this beautiful creation from Angie. YOU ARE SO WELCOME.




Drinking with friends and reading picture books is totally professional development.




Being recognized for your hard work always feels amazing!




Nothing like spectacularly odd children to make you smile.




And I just love stories of outreach storytime success!





#ilovemylibraryjob March and April Highlights

Last month, Soraya introduced a hashtag movement to boost morale and promote the pure magic of our work. #ilovemylibraryjob is all about the small acts of kindness, funny happenings, bizarre events, and heartfelt conversations that keep us going when times get tough. Let’s see how it’s going! Here are some things you can find using the hashtag.