Category Archives: Storytime University

Storytime University: Email Us. No, Really. Email Us.

We have seen a fabulous increase in interest and participation in Storytime University, but it hasn’t been so easy to accomplish for many of you. Thanks for being patient with our plugin issues!


There are still a LOT of you who appear to have registered but for one reason or another your account has not been activated.  If you think you registered but you have not been able to log into the website, or have not activated your account here is what you need to do: Email us.

Send an email to storytimeunderground at gmail and include your name and the email you used to register.


We will get in touch with you as quickly as possible to resolve the issue so you can start earning badges.


If you are getting emails when we post new content but cannot log into the website or earn badges, and you would like to do those things, please email us.


If you aren’t sure if you have registered, email us.


If you are sure you registered but can’t remember your password, email us.


If you have any doubt or question about your registration, at all, email us.


If you want to say hello, email us.


Moral of the story, email us. And we’ll even send one back!


Storytime University Badge Spotlight: Samurai

Badge icon "Samurai (1990)" provided by Simon Child, from The Noun Project under Creative Commons - Attribution (CC BY 3.0)

Wouldn’t you love to earn this super rad badge? It’s not hard! Here’s how.


First, make sure you’re enrolled in Storytime University. Just click Register at the top of the site and give us your info. Then, you should receive an activation key in your email. IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE AN ACTIVATION KEY PLEASE LET US KNOW!!!! There are still 37 “pending” registrations on our end of things. I have emailed each of these accounts but if you have been waiting for a key or have not been successful logging in to the site, please let us know. We can fix it! Also, be sure to type your email address carefully. Several accounts have not been activated because there are typos in the email address. I’ve also done my best to hunt these folks down and let them know. Ok, so, this might be the hardest part of earning this badge!


On to the fun stuff! Complete the following 3 tasks, in no particular order, to earn the Samurai badge.


Task 1: Submit a Cool Thing 1 time.


Basically, send us an email with a link to something super amazing that you saw on the internets this week. It can be an article, website, or blog post but it should be related to early literacy, storytime, child development, or libraries. And it should be current. After you email us, go here and submit the same link you emailed to earn your first task badge.


Task 2: Featured in Coolest Thing 1 time


Did you write about something awesome that made it into the weekly Coolest Things post? Did we thank you for sharing a cool thing in a weekly Coolest Things post? Then get a badge for being so damn cool! Go here to submit for the badge. Just tell us in the submission box which week you were featured.


Task 3: Post on SU Facebook Page


Oh, now I KNOW you can all do this. Head over to the Facebook page and post a question, a link to a cool blog post, or comment on someone else’s post, then paste your post in the submission box here to earn the task badge.  Please make sure your posts are relevant to storytime, early literacy, libraries, etc. And remember, the Facebook page is meant to be a productive, supportive community!


Go forth and badge!




Storytime University: Education Badges

With Fall just over the horizon there are a lot of opportunities for continuing education. I’m going to share some opportunities below, but be sure to look in your area for other opportunities. Completing these tasks will get you closer to earning the coveted Grasshopper badge! Only 8 of your peers have earned this badge. Will you be next?





Earn the webinar badge and don’t spend a dime.


Storytime Underground: A Peer-Created Community

Want to learn more about SU? Sign up for the webinar!


Urban Libraries Council has some that might be relevant.




Check with the youth division of your state’s library association. Many divisions hold Fall and Spring workshops which might be of interest to you.  These are sometimes free, or very inexpensive and are fabulous for learning and networking. Take this chance to get to know other youth services folks in your state! And, earn the local training badge!




In Washington we have two conferences in October that would be relevant to the work of youth services staff of all levels. You probably do in your state, too. One for teacher librarians/media specialists (they do storytimes, too, you know!) and one for all library employees (CROSS TRAINING OPPORTUNITY!). Conferences like these won’t be free, but if you can make your case to attend you are guaranteed to learn something new and build stronger relationships with library staff who work in different parts of the library world. Earn the conference badge for this one.


Don’t forget to check out local early learning affiliates!

In my state we have WAEYC (the WA affiliate of NAEYC) and you likely have an affiliate in your state, as well. The WAEYC Conference is in October and while I’ll be presenting this year, I have attended in the past and always come away with loads of great ideas and information. AS is the case in many professions, we sometimes forget to look outside of our own profession’s bubble for learning opportunities. Other fields have a lot to offer us and vice versa. I encourage all of you to attend a non-library training or conference if you get the chance. You’ll learn a LOT, plus, it’s a great chance to network and do some outreach and advocacy work. Earn the local conference badge for this one.


Know of any free or inexpensive learning opportunities in your area? Please share in the comments!

Storytime University Update

SUniv Banner

It has been a while since I’ve posted anything about Storytime University and I was so afraid to look through the badge submissions and discover that it just wasn’t being used. Quite to the contrary, there have been 778 badge submissions since Storytime University began just over a year ago! YAYAYAYAYAY!!! I’m so glad this has been a fun and useful resource for so many of you.


For those of you unfamiliar with Storytime University, you can read all about it here and see all the badges you can earn here. The TL;DR is that you can earn digital badges for participating in professional development activities. You can earn most badges without spending any money (the exceptions being attending conferences and trainings because we know many of you have to pay for those out of pocket) and we guarantee you will learn something new. Go sign up now!


Here are some stats for the year. You have all been busy! 


Flannel Friday: 187 tasks completed.


Grasshopper:  213 tasks completed.


Guerrilla: 46 tasks completed.


Ninja: 39 tasks completed.


Samurai:  31 tasks completed.


Sensei: 162 tasks completed.


Storytime ABCs: 172 tasks completed.


Thrive Thursday: This is our newest badge and we’re happy to see people working on it! 19 tasks completed.


Warrior: 3 tasks completed.

Storytime University: Scarf Love

It’s time for another Storytime University recap! This time I’m sharing the submissions from those who completed the Scarf Love task (part of the Storytime ABCs badge). As more submissions come in I will add scarf activities to this post, so check back! And, if you have a fabulous scarf song, register for Storytime University and complete the Scarf Love task found here.


Scarf Love

Use scarves in storytime. Tell us what you used to complete this task.


There are 14 of you who have completed the Scarf Love task, sharing a scarf song in your storytimes. Here are the activities you used.


Use with “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” (can be found on Kimbo Musical Scarves & Activities) to help kids settle in to starting storytime or as a scarf activity during storytime.


“We Are Waving Up and Down” to the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down.”


A weather song made up on the spur of the moment where our scarves were the rain falling, the wind blowing, and and sun rising, and a sort of scarf obstacle course where we waved the different coloured scarves in different hands or put them on our heads, or ran around the room screaming and waving them!


Jbrary’s scarf songs. Little Bo Peep: sing or chant the lyrics and when you come to part that she can’t find her sheep, the kids must hide the scarf. The 2-3 year olds loved it so much, that I know do this scarf song on a weekly basis. Thanks Jbrary for the new fun activity! Also use “Popcorn Kernels” and “We Wave Our Scarves Together” from Jbrary.


It’s easy to dance along with recorded music, but the Mix a Pancake rhyme is my favorite.


With a bugs storytime theme use scarves as butterflys to Marah Carey’s “Butterfly.”


We used scarves with R week. We sang a song about colors, and then waved the scarves to make our own rainbow.


Use with the story Freight Train by Donald Crews.


Our favorite song with scarves is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. We also have multiple CD’s that have voice followed directions for scarves and/or beanie babies.