Category Archives: Storytime University

Storytime University: Thrive Thursday Badge!

A while back, Lisa, creator of Thrive Thursday, asked if there might be a place in Storytime University for a Thrive Thursday badge, much like the one existing for Flannel Friday. At first thought, if might not seem a perfect fit since Thrive Thursday is all about after school programs, while storytime is usually about children who are not yet in school. In fact, for many librarians storytime is about helping children gain skills they need to be successful when they enter Kindergarten. So why a badge about school age programs?


Because literacy skills don’t stop developing once children start school. The programs you hold in your library after school help children continue to develop the literacy skills they need to learn to read and strengthen their already existing literacy skills. They stimulate their interest in learning and discovery of information, and hopefully help them know the library as a fun, safe, welcoming place for them to visit for all their information needs now and forever. For many children they may also be the only source of extracurricular entertainment and socialization, also a part of literacy development.


Plus, with this age we’re able to do more elaborate programs for their young, inquisitive minds!  We can expose them to more complicated science concepts and even larger vocabulary pools and terminology; stimulate intricate creative processes through art to get them curious and reading about different movements throughout history; work with tech and engineering materials that have more complex processes and comprehension levels that toddlers and preschoolers are simply just not ready for yet.  The potential is tremendous!


And because most of you don’t work solely with the under 7 age group. Your jobs include programming for all ages and we want to make sure you have the tools and training you need to make your jobs as easy and excellent as possible.  Thank you, Lisa for the marvelous suggestion and for creating a great resource for this age group.


Now, go forth and badge!







Storytime University: Make Your Resolutions Happen, plus Videos!

The last couple weeks we have seen many of you declare your resolutions for this year. Haven’t seen any yet? Check our round up here.


Ok, so you’ve made your resolution (If you haven’t, go for it! No resolution is too big or too small.) but now how about keeping it? If your resolution involves professional development we hope Storytime University can help with posts these, including ideas for free professional development. And, we’ve decided to reward you for making and keeping your resolutions with our brand new Resolve to Rock badge.




All you have to do is share your resolution(s) either on a blog, in the comments on the Resolve to Rock round up, or on the Storytime University Facebook page. AND, comment on someone else’s resolution or in some way support someone else in making their resolutions happen. Submit your successes and support to earn the badge. Let’s continue to strengthen our amazing, supportive community.


Now for some resources! Today I wanted to highlight some of the videos folks have been watching in order to complete a task for the Grasshopper badge.


This amazing video from Lisa and Thrive After Three.


Jbrary. These and this and this and omg, just watch them all because there are too, too many to link here!


This one of a Toddler Storytime.


This one about puppetry.


King County Tell Me a Story. You should watch all of theirs, too. I’d like to give a big shout out for KCLS because so many librarians with so many styles are showcased. There really is something for everyone.  This one and this one were watched among others.


Storyblocks! This one and this one and so many more!


Sleeping Bunnies!


Denver Public Library’s Read Aloud YouTube channel


There’s a Spider on the Floor. With a giant spider!


More puppets! Steven Engelfried has lots and they are all really awesome.


Deschutes Public Library. I am selfishly very excited to see SO MANY west coasters in video. Go us! Its most likely the air. Or the water. Or something.


Intellidance. There was a crocodile. This is the first I’ve heard of these. Excited to watch some more!



Free Training Resource(s): Webinars

Usually we only share one free resource, but this month we are making an exception and sharing some webinars that have been submitted by you and your colleagues in exchange for a badge from Storytime University. “View a Webinar” is one of the 5 tasks to complete in order to earn the Grasshopper Badge. Only a few have done it. Will you be next?




Watch one of these webinars and you will be well on your way! When you’re finished, come back here and submit the link to the webinar you watched.  Then wait for your shiny task badge to arrive in your inbox.


Beyond the Rhymes: Rethinking the Who, Where, and How of Storytimes by Patrick Remer and Heidi Dolamore

Storytime is the most vital early learning program in your community. This series of three webinars (People, Place, Package) will introduce techniques to achieve bigger outcomes for more of your community through storytime. The ideas presented will move beyond the nuts and bolts of storytime delivery to look at big picture concepts that influence strategic decision-making about storytimes.


Beyond Storytime: Creative Ways to Support Early Literacy in the Children’s Department and the Home by Melissa Depper


Storytime is an excellent way to support children’s developing early literacy skills, but not all children attend storytime! What can you every day to help families read, write, sing, talk, and play together in the library and at home? And why should you?


In this program, we’ll talk about how your existing youth services programs and services already support early literacy, then practice using an easy “remixing” tool to help you identify new strategies–targeted to your needs–to boost the early learning potential in your children’s department.


Booklist Webinar—Let’s Read! New Books for the Newest Readers by Ilene Cooper


Get children excited about reading with an impressive array of picture books and early readers from Capstone Publishing, HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Holiday House. Find books that readers can love for a lifetime in this free, hour-long webinar, moderated by Booklist Books for Youth senior editor Ilene Cooper.


Every Kid Ready to Read: Tech Tools for Early Literacy


When used the right way, technology can increase early literacy skills. Hear best practices, resources, and ideas to help you effectively bring technology to your library’s early literacy programming.


Integrating STEAM into the ECE Classroom: Finding and Utilizing the Right Resources for Your Center by Amy Koester

This webinar will explore the variety of options available for integrating STEAM into the ECE classroom, allowing attendees to determine what method is most appropriate for their individual centers. We will also consider a range of age appropriate STEAM elements that can be integrated into the ECE classroom, both in the form of new activities and as modifications to existing classroom activities. ECE professionals will be introduced to a variety of resources they can utilize to add STEAM elements to their classrooms, including books, blogs and websites, and community partners like the public library.

Storytime University: Updates and New Badge!

It has been a little over 5 months since Storytime University was launched. Apparently I should be spending less time ranting about holidays, taking a new job and moving, and selling a house (just don’t ever, btw) and more time sharing all your Storytime University accomplishments because I’m way behind! Sorry, friends!


We have about 320 participants so far!!!!! And there are many more pending (which, hey, if you tried to register and haven’t tried logging in to the site yet, do it and let us know if you have any difficulty). Hooray! I’m beyond thrilled with the response and hope everyone is learning a lot.


There have been so many tasks completed, I cannot even begin to recap all of them this time. You have all been very busy! Here are some stats, though, for those of you who love them as much as I do. The rest of you, just skip down to the NEWS part.


Flannel Friday: 7 have completed all tasks.  A total of 122 tasks have been completed in this category.


Foot Soldier: 0 have completed all tasks. FIX THIS!!! There are only 7 submissions so far, and we just can’t have that. We are all advocates! Everyone, go talk to Jenna Nemec-Loise about Everyday Advocacy and get involved there, and here.


Grasshopper: 8 have earned this badge. 61 conferences and trainings attended! 16 blogs read and commented on! 23 webinars viewed! 26 storytime content videos watched! We’ll be sharing links for some of the content viewed soon.


Guerrilla: 5 have earned this badge. 29 Guerrilla Storytimes attended and hosted. Though we know there have been more. Tell us where you attended or hosted and earn the badge.


Ninja: NO ONE HAS EARNED THIS BADGE! But lots are close- 15 tasks completed thus far.


Samurai: 3 have earned this badge! 22 tasks have been completed.


Sensei: Woohoo! Go, Lisa Shaia! She is the only one to earn Sensei status so far. You’re awesome. 31 tasks have been completed.


Warrior: this badge has been in flux as we settle in to some new regular posts going. So, keep your eyes peeled for new tasks to complete for this badge.




And now, for the news! OMG you guys, I’m so excited! Thanks to the help of the one and only Soraya Silverman-Montano, we now present to you…


Storytime ABCs badge! 

To earn this badge you must complete 8 tasks: La La La, Parachutin’, Props, Puppeteer, Scarf Love, Shake It Up, Talk It Up, and Tap It Out (on a drum or rhythm stick-geez, get your mind out of the gutter). You will received a pretty, bright and happy badge for completing each of these tasks along the way. Let this badge be your courage to try something new, or revisit an old standby. Whatever you do, we want to hear about it. When you submit a task, be sure to include details for what you did.


Ok, now stop reading this because…




Free Training Resource: “Zoning in on Children’s Spaces” from Demco

Last month, I asked readers like you what new types of regular features you’d like to see here on Storytime Underground. One of the two top requests was for free training resources. Starting today, you’ll get links and information about a free training resource every month.


November’s free training resources is a webinar sponsored by Demco: “Zoning in on Children’s Spaces: Engaging Your Youngest Visitors” given by Kimberly Bolan Cullin. I had the opportunity to see Bolan Collin speak a few ALAs ago, and I was fascinated by all she had to say about creating deliberate spaces in the youth areas of the library. I’m excited that everyone can take advantage of this archived webinar–and all the accompanying resources!


Click on this screen grab to access this webinar & resources!

Click on this screen grab to access this webinar & resources!

So take a bit of time to engage with this webinar and think about how you can thoughtfully and deliberately create spaces that your target audiences will use. I, for one, love this idea of zoning spaces for specific ages of library users. Go forth and get ideas!


* Don’t forget that viewing a webinar counts toward the Grasshopper Badge in Storytime University! Create a Storytime University account and log all of your awesome professional development work, you stellar youth services ninja, you.