Category Archives: Photo Diary

Photo Diary: Your Storytime Face

Our final Photo Diary entry (for now) is the idea that started it all: to share your storytime face. We only got two submissions, but I hope the camaraderie of sharing your at-work visage will inspire YOU to share a photo in the comments or on our Facebook group page.


From Erin Davison:

Miss Erin Scary Face
I thought I’d submit this little picture from our SRP2014 Kickoff Party that made it into the local paper. I am reading “Can You Make A Scary Face” and..well..making a scary face.

The photographer should get an award for capturing that one.

I didn’t even know about it until a coworker from another department brought a copy to my desk. Her comment? “It’s not a very flattering picture.” My response: “You’ve never seen one of my storytimes and it captures the essence of a Miss Erin storytime perfectly! I LOVE IT!”

From Kendra Jones:

My “get them excited to start the book” storytime face at a Fancy Nancy party.

July Photo Diary Prompt: or, the last photo diary (for now)

SU Photo Diary Badge

We’ve been doing Photo Diary for the better part of the time Storytime Underground has existed. And while we still love the idea behind it, we’ve got some other ideas up our sleeves that we’re itching to try.


And so this July Photo Diary will be the final photo diary, at least for now. The prompt is the one that initially launched the Photo Diary concept, and I do hope lots of you will participate.


July Photo Diary Theme:

Show us your silliest storytime face. It could be a face that you make on purpose to elicit laughs and participation. It could be a face that you make inadvertently as you’re in the midst of a really killer storytime. Whatever its cause, we want to see it.

How to participate:

Email your photo to us in either jpg or png format by July 19. We’ll let you know if we have questions.

The photo share:

Check back later in July for the photo roundup to see your fellow guerrillas’ most ridiculous storytime faces.



Photo Diary: Professional Travel Supplies

Our Photo Diary prompt for June was all about your go-to items to take along on professional travel. What do you and your colleagues consider must-take supplies when going to conference? We’re reporting back just in time for your ALA Annual packing lists.


From Angie Manfredi:

Angie Manfredi 1
Now that we can’t live without our devices, I think traveling anywhere should require a back-up battery power pack. But while these devices are always useful, during conference they’re essential. They can keep you connected throughout the whole day without ever needing to plug in. I first found out about the PowerGen from Kelly Jensen and I’ve taken it to conferences and on travel for over a year now. While I was live-tweeting the Best Fiction for Young Adults feedback session in Philadelphia my phone’s battery actually died, but the PowerGen kept it live the whole time. You can recharge the PowerGen and when it’s fully charged I can get at least two full charges for my phone out of it. It comes with many different interchangable adapters to fit lots of devices. The one I bought is at the low end of the PowerGen family, so it has that dangling cord, but more expensive versions have a wrap-around cord.  You can read more about PowerGen here.

I have a new addition to my battery pack family for this conference: this smaller Rayovac booster.  It has a much shorter charge life – you basically get about an extra hour or two of charge out of it, but it’s more compact and the unit itself recharges must faster.  It’s cheap too and I found mine at Lowe’s!

Angie Manfredi 2 Another conference must-have is a good lanyard/badge holder.  I got this one over six years ago at conference and now I always travel with it and use it.  Not only do I not have to struggle with the cheap plastic ones they have at every conference but this one is more sturdy, gives me lots of room for my buttons, and as you can see from the back side, has pockets that fit everything from business cards to a few dollars in cash and even my phone in a hurry. This works as a wallet during the day and keeps everything secure and in reach.  As I said, this was a freebie (lucky!) but I’ve looked at similar ones used for international travel – I’ll be investing if this one ever gives up!


From Brooke Rasche:

business cards I have 2 must-haves for any conference I attend. Business cards for obvious reason. Also, a cute holder so they don’t get all mangled in my bag.


I think the most important thing to bring is snacks! I love snacks and usually think I’m starving if I haven’t eaten in more than 2 hours. It can be pricey to buy snacks at convention centers though, so I always make sure to bring my own.


From Amy Koester:

Conference Networking

I never go to conferences without my networking supplies–professional business cards, my new personal blogging cards (from moo cards), and Storytime Guerrilla conference ribbons to share with all you BA ninjas.


June Photo Diary Prompt

SU Photo Diary Badge

At the beginning of each month, we post the Storytime Underground Photo Diary prompt for the month. Community members are invited to submit photos (and maybe a bit of text) to us, and we’ll feature all Photo Diary submissions in a roundup post at the end of the month. The idea is that we can share peeks into one another’s libraries and storytimes, hopefully finding some inspiration, ideas, and common ground along the way.

June Photo Diary Theme:

Share your go-to professional travel supplies. ALA Annual Conference is coming up, and that means plenty of library folks will be headed to Las Vegas to get their professional conference on. Whether you’ve never been before, or you’re a seasoned conference attendee, knowing what’s useful to pack with your luggage can be tough. We want to see your must-have item/s for conference travel–those supplies that make attending conference easier and more stress free.

How to participate:

Email your photo to us in either jpg or png format by June 21. We’ll let you know if we have questions.

The photo share:

Check back later in June for the photo roundup to see your fellow guerrillas’ must-have conference travel items.

Photo Diary: Zany Storytimes

This month, we tried something a wee bit different for the Photo Diary. Instead of asking you to share a first person photo of something to do with your library or storytime, we asked for submissions of stories of your zaniest storytime experiences–accompanied by ridiculous pictures and gifs, of course! As per usual, you did not disappoint.

Oh, my fellow librarians. The strange and wonderful things you’ve survived in your storytime tenure.

From an anonymous librarian who now lives in Nova Scotia:

When I was working in Oregon, I did outreach to Family Home Daycares. Once a month, I took a box of books and a storytime to home daycares and did storytime, then left the materials for the child care provider to use until the next month when I returned. Going into people’s homes is interesting, to say the least. Once while I was in the middle of reading Caps For Sale, one of the little girls just stood up and started peeing on the floor. Luckily, she was far enough away from me that the pee stayed off my books (and me). The woman in charge was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing. She just waited until she was done, and then wiped it up. I, of course, just kept reading the book.

zebra pee

From Lisa Mulvenna:

A couple of years ago the air conditioning went out at work during the middle of summer. If you haven’t experienced summer in Michigan, it is not unusual to have 90+ degrees and 100% humidity. Since we had storytimes running all morning, we propped open the outside door in the meeting room to let some air into the room while we set up. While this would seem like a good idea, multiple bees flew into the room and decided that they loved our fluorescent lights in the ceiling. We didn’t know this and they all decided to come out during the first program of the morning: baby storytime. The parents were pretty good natured about the situation, but in our 30-minute break between storytimes the two of us children’s librarians were trying to swat bees up in light fixtures in a 10-foot ceiling.


From Meagan Schiebel:

I’ve only been doing storytime for a couple years so I’m sure the worst of the horror stories is yet to come, but I had a failure of a storytime this past fall. It actually is the storytime that prompted me to completely redo my entire storytime.

I don’t even remember the theme or any of the books I read, probably because I was only about to get through about one book and then it all went downhill from there. It was a larger group than normal and all the kids who maybe aren’t on their best behavior (c’mon, I know you have some like that, too) were there. When you get one hyperactive kid around another hyperactive kid in a room with 15 other not hyperactive kids, then they all become hyperactive. The next part is expected: toddlers running around and screaming. Parents apologizing. Me struggling through, still attempting to sing and failing miserably. At one point the instigator of all this, a three year old girl, was running around with her pants around her ankles.

I closed up shop early and pulled a Merida in this GIF. Shock, tears, escape.