Category Archives: Storytime Badassery

Sunday Storytime Challenge

Every other week, we will post a Sunday Storytime Challenge. The goal is to encourage the SU community to try new things and share out those adventures. Challenges will vary widely and can include craftiness, elevator speeches, networking, professional development and beyond!


So here is this week’s challenge!




It has been a few years since I first was inspired by Rebecca at Sturdy for Common Things to present a spontaneous Storytime. (Storytiming also had a wonderful take on this!)


Basically, there can be times when your library is flooded with people, but there is no programming going on. Perhaps you are like my library and you have LONG breaks between Storytime sessions. Why not put a sign around your neck and offer a story at 1:47 pm? Get on you intercom and invite the whole library to wiggle with you at 9:15 am! Did a fabulous new perfect-for-Storytime book just touch your hands? Go test it out on that one family that is in the building at closing!


Did you fashion a bright sign to wear on your head? Did you sing your heart out for a family that had no idea the library offered Storytimes? Make sure to come back and share with us! There are so many ways you can share:


  • Simply comment to this post!
  • Email us at
  • Tweet it out using #storytimechallenge
  • Do you have a kick-ass blog? Share your challenge story there and send us the link!


There is no concrete timeline for you to complete the challenges and they will always remain open.


We can’t wait to see what you can accomplish!

Resolve to Rock 2016

Many of you participated in our 2015 invitation to Resolve to Rock and shared your professional goals for the year, and many more of you followed along in support.

Resolve to Rock meme image

At this time last year, I was seven months into my first librarian job, still discovering all the amazing YS librarians and blogs out there, and didn’t have a blog of my own.

So this  year, I am going to Resolve to Rock 2016 by letting go, slowing down, and making sure to take time to just be me. AND I invite you all to join me!

If you participated last year, how did your year go? You might want to write a reflection of what did and didn’t work. Maybe you want to share new (or the same!) goals for 2016. If you’ve never made (or shared) professional goals, consider thinking about a few things you want to focus on for the coming year.

Please feel free to use our rock image on your own blog posts as you consider these questions, and share your thoughts and links in the comments below! We’ll be collecting rocks all month (so if you’re going to Midwinter, no pressure!) and we will happily share a round-up at the end of January.

Rock on, you awesome librarians!

Stories of Impact: Storytime Makes a Difference!

Today, instead of an advocacy tool box post, I’d like to share with you a letter one of my library’s storytime providers received from a grandmother who regularly brings her granddaughter to storytime. It’s a wonderful reminder that YES our storytimes work and YES the grown-ups are understanding the parent messages we’re sharing – and that our patrons are some of our BEST advocates. If you ever get a letter like this, be sure to share it with your supervisors and other higher-ups! They need to know (if they don’t already) that storytime makes a difference!


What we do makes a difference, friends, and here’s the proof! I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Shared with permission.


Thank You Letter


(In case the pdf won’t open, here’s the full text:)


Dear [librarian],


I just want to thank you for the wonderful story time sessions you provide on Wednesday mornings for the two to three year olds. It’s not an easy session to plan and/or to implement, but I have to say it is, as far as I’m concerned, a wonderfully valuable time for the children, parents and grandparents who attend. I’ve learned a lot about how young children learn, and I think I’ve finally got the “Hokey Pokey,” “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and a few other songs under my belt. I’m a little tired of waking up in the middle of the night with these tunes/ear worms in my head, but [grandchild] and the other kids clearly enjoy them.


[Grandchild] is obviously not the best behaved participant, but that’s some of why I think the program you provide is so valuable. She is an only child and an only grandchild of five grandparents, who make quite a fuss about her. That’s both a plus and a minus, but the pluses of your program include the following benefits for her and the other kids:

  • Learning to listen
  • Learning to follow directions
  • Experiencing the joy of controlled physical movement
  • Learning to share
  • Learning to interact with peers and adults appropriately
  • Learning to behave appropriately/respectfully
  • Building pre-reading skills
  • Getting a positive introduction to a library
  • Having a positive experience with an adult in a teacher role
  • Being exposed to stories that aren’t part of the home library


I also appreciate the short parenting lessons you present, so that we adults can better understand how to support the children under our care. When you say that “Research shows” I think you get everyone’s attention. Last week, for instance, you talked about the value of being present with our children when they are playing with apps. Even more to the point, you told us that these children benefit most from spontaneous play. I’m sure I’m not the only grandmother who tells my grandchild’s parents the pithy lessons you impart during these valuable sessions. So when you tell me these things, you should realize that the adults in attendance during one of your lessons might well be sharing the lessons with one or more other adults that are concerned with the development of the children in attendance. Thank you for what you do so well. The proof of the value of these sessions is in the number of children and caregivers who return week after week.