Category Archives: Storytime Skills

Storytime For Social Justice Kit

This is the time of year when you normally see the SU community light up with resolutions to change our practices, learn something new, and improve our services. It’s a time when we ramp up our energy and set goals to smash expectations of what libraries should be. It’s a tradition we love and honor, but this year is different.

 

This year most of us in the library profession had our ethics, hearts, and years of work demolished by a perfect storm of bigotry, ignorance, and apathy. In the wake of endlessly disappointing legislation, devastating and infuriating election results, and ever-capitulating leadership (both in our government and in our profession), the Joint Chiefs are choosing to fight. Our weapon is something so innocent and so elegant that you may miss its power on first glance.

 

We’re fighting back with Storytime.

 

See, we think that when we are faced with fascism on a terrifying scale, it is radical to empower the public with messages of strength in community, empathy for those who are different from us, equality with those we cannot understand, and love without boundaries. We think it’s nothing short of sedition to sow the seeds of unity, equity, and power.

 

We think Storytime should make bigots tremble. It should establish a place of belonging and safety, raising up families who are willing to advocate for one another. It should normalize and celebrate diversity, dispelling all fear of differences. It should give children the foundation they need to have confidence in their ideas, pride in their ability to make and change things, and a place of acceptance for voicing their thoughts and feelings.

 

Storytime is social justice.

 

So, yes. This year is different. Instead of asking for your resolutions, we’re issuing a challenge to throw away your trusty road map and become an explorer again. Re-examine your mission and practices and choose the path to being a social justice warrior. We invite you to join us in reading diverse titles, using your songs and activities to create a sense of community and safety, and encouraging support and love among families and neighbors.

 

As always, we’re here to support you as you make this leap. Below you will find a kit complete with book suggestions, songs, flannels, and extension activities. We’ve also included some ideas for fostering constructive conversations in Storytimes and linked to other lists that may be helpful.

 

Click here to view and use our brand new Storytime for Social Justice Kit.

 

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If you’re ready to take a stand with us, shout it out. #storytimejusticewarrior

And, don’t worry. There is much, much more to come. Check back with us next week for more resources related to this challenge.

 

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!

 

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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 storytimeunderground@gmail.com
  • 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!

Guerrilla Storytime at PLA 2016

 

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Guerrilla Storytime at PLA and thank you to CLEL for partnering! We had a great turnout and got some amazing ideas! Because the summaries are so long (and have SO MUCH GREAT STUFF), I’m attaching them here as google docs. Andrea and I did our best to capture everything; I apologize if we missed something! Please comment if you have trouble accessing.

 

Summary for Thursday, April 7

 

Summary for Friday, April 8

 

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From the Archives- storytime behavior

Maybe you’re having some issues with storytime behavior. Or maybe you are new to the Storytime Underground Community. (Welcome! We’re so happy you’re here!) Either way, today I’m going to highlight some of the great content from our archives that you can use!

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You know about our Ask a Storytime Ninja posts, right? Check it out, there’s great stuff there!

Lately, I’ve been reading and learning from all the amazing ninja advice about behavior in storytime. First up, how do you set expectations and explain the rules? Our awesome ninjas address rules!

And what about parents who don’t follow the rules? You know, the ones who chat or play on their phones or treat you like a babysitter? Check out some ninja advice!

Got a question for our ninjas? Ask it here!