Category Archives: Photo Diary

May 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.

May Photo Diary Theme:

Share you zaniest storytime experience! We’ve all had them: storytimes that could have been perfectly normal, but that turn out unbelievably crazy and sound like an unrealistic sitcom scenario when you tell your non-librarian friends. We here at Storytime Underground believe all the strange things that may have happened to you in storytime, though, and we want to hear about them! We’d love for you to accompany your story with an image of some sort, too. Think ridiculous gifs, grumpy cats, etc.

How to participate:

Email your photo and story to us in either jpg or png format by May 17. We’ll let you know if we have questions.

The photo share:

Check back later in May for the photo roundup to see your fellow guerrillas’ program advertisements.

Photo Diary: Storytime Tools

This month, we asked to see your storytime tools. That’s your bag of tricks, physical or metaphorical, that you gather around you so that you’re ready for anything once storytime begins. Here’s what you ninjas had to share!

From Abby Johnson:

This is my setup for baby storytime, the whole shebang--the chair where I sit, the table where I keep my books & props, the teal tub of toys and the basket where I keep board books for our reading time.

This is my setup for baby storytime, the whole shebang–the chair where I sit, the table where I keep my books & props, the teal tub of toys and the basket where I keep board books for our reading time.

Where I stow my felt pieces--in the order that I'll need them so they're in each reach.

Where I stow my felt pieces–in the order that I’ll need them so they’re in each reach.

A close-up of my little table. I have a stack with the books/rhymes I'll be doing (in the order that I'll need them). On top of the stack is my storytime plan and the handout with all the words to the rhymes. In the box I keep the puppet we'll be using and my tambourine. You can see the CD player in the back and then behind the table, we have our bells and the bag with our scarves.

A close-up of my little table. I have a stack with the books/rhymes I’ll be doing (in the order that I’ll need them). On top of the stack is my storytime plan and the handout with all the words to the rhymes. In the box I keep the puppet we’ll be using and my tambourine. You can see the CD player in the back and then behind the table, we have our bells and the bag with our scarves.

From Angela Reynolds:

All ready for Milk & Cookies Tablet Time in Nova Scotia!

All ready for Milk & Cookies Tablet Time in Nova Scotia!

From Brooke Rasche:

Pillows & quilt for my infant storytime set-up. It's perfect because it keeps everyone corralled and makes it a more intimate storytime.

Pillows & quilt for my infant storytime set-up. It’s perfect because it keeps everyone corralled and makes it a more intimate storytime.

Setup

I include the song wall in all of my storytimes so the parents know the words to the songs. It really helps with participation.

I include the song wall in all of my storytimes so the parents know the words to the songs. It really helps with participation.

I use cushions with my toddlers. It helps direct the parents to sit with their children and stay engaged the entire storytime!

I use cushions with my toddlers. It helps direct the parents to sit with their children and stay engaged the entire storytime!

From Sue Jeffery:

The basket under the chair is how my story times get planned (and where I can keep things out of sight during story time).  Everything goes into the basket all week long and then I carry it into the room and spread out.  I have emergency teddys in case the toddlers want to grab my felts while I am story telling.  On the table are my bluetooth speaker, sample craft, stamp for everyone's hand, felts for the week, and a parent handout for reference.  On the other side we have my books, uke, feltboard, and in the little basket are Mr Potato Head felts to play with after.  The tapestry in the back represents all of Virginia Hamilton's life and works - as she is a local author.  The bunny teddys are thematic for this week.

The basket under the chair is how my story times get planned (and where I can keep things out of sight during story time). Everything goes into the basket all week long and then I carry it into the room and spread out. I have emergency teddys in case the toddlers want to grab my felts while I am story telling. On the table are my bluetooth speaker, sample craft, stamp for everyone’s hand, felts for the week, and a parent handout for reference. On the other side we have my books, uke, feltboard, and in the little basket are Mr Potato Head felts to play with after. The tapestry in the back represents all of Virginia Hamilton’s life and works – as she is a local author. The bunny teddys are thematic for this week.

My craft tables set up and my display with thematic books and my parent newsletters.

My craft tables set up and my display with thematic books and my parent newsletters.

From Shelley Black Holley:

IMG_0080 IMG_0081

From Amy Koester:

My weekend storytime tools include a variety of books--more than I'll need, for flexibility--a CD player, my song cube, and my ukulele; egg shakers; and an assortment of toys for free play time.

My weekend storytime tools include a variety of books–more than I’ll need, for flexibility–a CD player, my song cube, and my ukulele; egg shakers; and an assortment of toys for free play time. Also, I always have tissue on hand for storytimes. Even if my allergies aren’t acting up, it’s still pretty much a guarantee that at least one kiddo will have a runny nose.

April 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.

April Photo Diary Theme:

Show us your storytime tools! Gathering everything you’ll need in any given storytime is part of the prep. We want to see your final setup just before the kiddos join you. (Need a sample? Check out Anna’s pictures on her Storytime Set Up post.) What does your spread of storytime tools look like?

How to participate:

Email your photo to us in either jpg or png format by April 19. (Please refrain from sharing photos with identifiable children’s faces.) We’ll let you know if we have questions.

The photo share:

Check back later in April for the photo roundup to see your fellow guerrillas’ program advertisements.

Photo Diary: Program Advertisements

This month, we asked you guerrillas to share examples of how you advertise your programs. In my admittedly limited library experience, I have noticed that most libraries have a program ad strategy they’ve been using for years–perhaps successfully, perhaps less so. I, for one, am pumped to get some new ideas from y’all.

From Allison Murphy:

A copy of the poster for our Break It-Make It workshop.  It’s super fun and a great partnership between our town’s recycling center and our library.

A copy of the poster for our Break It-Make It workshop. It’s super fun and a great partnership between our town’s recycling center and our library.

From Nicole Thomas:

A calendar that we use to promote our programs. There are always two months displayed (front and back), but everything is also available on our events calendar online. Many of us at my branch still make separate flyers for our programs to highlight them a little more and post them on a bulletin board. We do a little bit of everything around here.

A calendar that we use to promote our programs. There are always two months displayed (front and back), but everything is also available on our events calendar online. Many of us at my branch still make separate flyers for our programs to highlight them a little more and post them on a bulletin board. We do a little bit of everything around here.

From Bridget Wilson:

For special events, I create large flyers (8.5 x 11) and mini flyers (6 per 8.5 x 11). These are handed out to my regulars and sent to schools. Large flyers are posted in the children's section, on bulletin boards, at the circulation desk, etc. The mini flyers serve as a reminder...parents & caregivers can stick them on the fridge to help them remember.

For special events, I create large flyers (8.5 x 11) and mini flyers (6 per 8.5 x 11). These are handed out to my regulars and sent to schools. Large flyers are posted in the children’s section, on bulletin boards, at the circulation desk, etc. The mini flyers serve as a reminder…parents & caregivers can stick them on the fridge to help them remember.

kit mini srp

For storytime, I create a seasonal schedule (Jan-May, June-Aug, Sept-Dec) that lists all storytimes (and school age events, special events, etc. if it's summer reading) and breaks for those months. These are 2 per 8.5 x 11 page and for the Summer reading Program, I send one for each student in every school in the county.

For storytime, I create a seasonal schedule (Jan-May, June-Aug, Sept-Dec) that lists all storytimes (and school age events, special events, etc. if it’s summer reading) and breaks for those months. These are 2 per 8.5 x 11 page and for the Summer reading Program, I send one for each student in every school in the county.

From Dana Sheridan:

Most publications are delighted to include the photo with your event listing, which really increases visibility. This photo is from a Treasure Island event our library hosted. I believe it was published in 6 local papers and on scores of websites.  It definitely got the word out – event attendance was 4,500. Yo ho ho!

Most publications are delighted to include the photo with your event listing, which really increases visibility. This photo is from a Treasure Island event our library hosted. I believe it was published in 6 local papers and on scores of websites. It definitely got the word out – event attendance was 4,500. Yo ho ho!

From Rebecca Brooks:

Here's what I do: I create (using either Photoshop or Microsoft Word) a normal copier-paper sized flyer to display (definitely on our bulletin boards, sometimes windows, and sometimes around town). I then use that same image to create postcard sized flyers (cut to size) for people to grab and stick in their pockets. I then convert that same image to a jpeg and post it on our website (after Pixlr-ing it a bit) - and even onto our social media sites. It's all about branding each event. We used to be able to give out our postcard-sized flyers to our schools (which we only did for special occasions like SRP), but they created a policy against anyone advertising anything directly to the students (apparently they felt overwhelmed by scout groups and the like sending them stuff to give out). But, I can email the principals my jpegs and they'll get them into their electronic parent newsletter, and possibly post them on a community bulletin board if they have one. A coworker creates the monthly calendars that come out (ideally) two weeks before the next month. I write a letter to parents/guardians on the back highlighting anything or just explaining the theme of our library that month. We print those out and have them available at our circ desk. I then convert the calendar to a jpeg and post it online (along with a downloadable pdf version as well). The whole goal is to get this information out in a visually consistent manner, and in as many forms as possible to give our patrons as many options for reminding themselves of events they want to attend. It's also super-fast once you have the system down. Sometimes we do use a whiteboard to add to the overall theme of the month or to highlight a particular event (we have an awesome artist on our staff who works magic with dry erase markers and crayons). If you want a pic of that, then let me know. I feel like I've already been rather overwhelming in my email! Oh - here's a breakdown of my picture collage: Top Image Our calendar surrounded by our postcards - this is at our Children's Library's circulation desk Left Image Our full-sized flyers posted on our Children's bulletin board Center and Right Image Snaps of our website - front page with events, and then our calendar page - all using the same original flyer as their basis.

Here’s what I do: I create (using either Photoshop or Microsoft Word) a normal copier-paper sized flyer to display (definitely on our bulletin boards, sometimes windows, and sometimes around town). I then use that same image to create postcard sized flyers (cut to size) for people to grab and stick in their pockets. I then convert that same image to a jpeg and post it on our website (after Pixlr-ing it a bit) – and even onto our social media sites. It’s all about branding each event.
We used to be able to give out our postcard-sized flyers to our schools (which we only did for special occasions like SRP), but they created a policy against anyone advertising anything directly to the students (apparently they felt overwhelmed by scout groups and the like sending them stuff to give out). But, I can email the principals my jpegs and they’ll get them into their electronic parent newsletter, and possibly post them on a community bulletin board if they have one.
A coworker creates the monthly calendars that come out (ideally) two weeks before the next month. I write a letter to parents/guardians on the back highlighting anything or just explaining the theme of our library that month. We print those out and have them available at our circ desk. I then convert the calendar to a jpeg and post it online (along with a downloadable pdf version as well).
The whole goal is to get this information out in a visually consistent manner, and in as many forms as possible to give our patrons as many options for reminding themselves of events they want to attend. It’s also super-fast once you have the system down.
Sometimes we do use a whiteboard to add to the overall theme of the month or to highlight a particular event (we have an awesome artist on our staff who works magic with dry erase markers and crayons). If you want a pic of that, then let me know. I feel like I’ve already been rather overwhelming in my email!
Oh – here’s a breakdown of my picture collage: Top Image Our calendar surrounded by our postcards – this is at our Children’s Library’s circulation desk | Left Image Our full-sized flyers posted on our Children’s bulletin board | Center and Right Image Snaps of our website – front page with events, and then our calendar page – all using the same original flyer as their basis.

From Jess Mowery:

Our main source of advertising is program flyers. Short and sweet letting everyone know all the dates and times for all our storytime sessions. I also have pictures of our storytime bulletin boards at my blog http://fromtheliberryof.blogspot.com.

Our main source of advertising is program flyers. Short and sweet letting everyone know all the dates and times for all our storytime sessions.
I also have pictures of our storytime bulletin boards at my blog http://fromtheliberryof.blogspot.com.

From Abby Johnson:

I copied this idea from the children's department at the Jefferson County Public Library in Madison, IN. We purchased a librarian's desk calendar from Upstart and hung it up on the side of our children's reference desk. I write in our programs (just basic info - program name and time) each month and it gives patrons a nice view of what's being offered. It's right there at the reference desk, so if they have questions they can ask us. The calendar is obvious and eye-catching, so it reminds patrons that we offer lots of activities, which may prompt them to pick up one of our program flyers for more information.

I copied this idea from the children’s department at the Jefferson County Public Library in Madison, IN. We purchased a librarian’s desk calendar from Upstart and hung it up on the side of our children’s reference desk. I write in our programs (just basic info – program name and time) each month and it gives patrons a nice view of what’s being offered. It’s right there at the reference desk, so if they have questions they can ask us. The calendar is obvious and eye-catching, so it reminds patrons that we offer lots of activities, which may prompt them to pick up one of our program flyers for more information.

Photo Diary March 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.

March’s Photo Diary Theme:

Show us your program advertisements! Do you create flyers for your programs? Calendars that list multiple upcoming activities? Do you use a dry erase board or some other changeable way of sharing upcoming programs? We want to see (and maybe steal some ideas)!

How to participate:

Email your photo to us in either jpg or png format by March 22. (Please refrain from sharing photos with identifiable children’s faces.) We’ll let you know if we have questions.

The photo share:

Check back later in March for the photo roundup to see your fellow guerrillas’ program advertisements.