Author Archives: Cory Eckert

The Coolest Things Happening IN VEGAS

YOU GUYS. It has been 1 year since we launched the first Guerrilla Storytime at ALA 2013. We will sure as hell be facilitating some in Vegas (see schedule below) but we are ALSO doing some other awesome stuff, and there is some other really, really cool stuff you don’t want to miss (with annotations by yours truly).


Our stuff:

Margaritaville Meetup

Thursday at 9:30 at the Flamingo Hotel

Guerrilla Storytimes in the Uncommons: 

Friday at 1
Saturday at 9
Sunday at 11:30
Monday at 3

Conversation Starter: Storytime: Not Just Reading Out Loud:

Saturday at 8:00
Convention Center

Ignite Session: Play, Baby, Play! (Kendra and Brooke):

Saturday at 11:30
Convention Center
N239/241 (Yep! Same room)

Conversation Starter: We Make Every Day: How you’re (most likely) already doing the Makerspace thing (Amy):

Monday at 1:30

Other Cool Stuff That Mostly Conflicts With Even More Cool Stuff:


Boba Fett at the Circ Desk: Library Leadership Lessons from The Empire Strikes Back, Sat@8:30 I KNOW THIS IS DURING OUR CONVERSATION STARTER BUT YOU GUYS. Bryce might skip our panel for this one.

Creating Fun, Accessible Programming for Youth with Disabilities, Sat@10:30

What, no Tchotskes? Creating an Experience-Based Summer Reading Program, Sat@10:30


More than Fun in the Sun! Building Collaborative Relationships and Using Real Data to Increase Summer Learning, Sat@1

Dynamic Duos: Collaboration Between School and Public Library Systems, Sat@4:30


Children’s Librarians In The Lead: Managing Change, Inspiring Innovation & Empowering the Next Generation Sun@ 10:30 SERIOUSLY THIS PANEL IS ALL STAR

So Long, Drive-By Storytimes; Hello, Focus and Impact! Sun@10:30

Conversation Starter: Change Does Not Suck, Sun@4 GO TO THIS ANGIE AND KATE AND DOLLY ARE ON THIS PANEL


ALSC Membership Meeting, Mon@10:30


Conversation Starter: What I Really Want to Do is Direct: First-Time Library Directors Discuss Their Experiences Mon@4 THIS IS ANOTHER ALL-STAR PANEL



Kirby did a brills job of highlighting how to do ALA right by night, and INALJ also posted a guide to socializing. For my money, ULU Dance Party and Mango are the two can’t-miss baller times.

Did I miss something? Leave it in the comments!

We’ll see you in VEGAAAASSSS!


This is Bruno Mars. Just FYI.


The Coolest Thing I saw on the Often Sexist Internet (This Week)

The Internet is a place full of wonder, cat videos, and some of the best social justice work being done today.

(Looking to follow more social activists on Twitter? Might I suggest Feminista Jones and Suey Park?)

It is also a place full of some of the worst scum of humanity, and profound, stultifying misogyny (and racism!!!).

You know what else is fully of misogyny? Y’all know what I’m going to say, right?

If you said LIBRARIANSHIP, you won. . . . a career where men are disproportionately in positions of power, and heinous male behavior is shrugged off at conferences because the perpetrators are special snowflake liBROrians (Shout out to Jesse Dangerously for the portmanteau).

Lisa Rabey (@pnkrcklibrarian) has not been quiet about this issue. She just published an article in American Libraries about sexism in tech, and you should FOR SURE go check it out ASAP. There’s no direct link so you have to flip through the current issue, but it won’t kill you.

In The Library With The Lead pipe recently published an article by Hugh Rundle about asking ourselves who we’re empowering, and how, and why. It’s long, but it has a lot to chew on. I would love for you guys who read it to talk in the comments about who YOU’RE empowering, and how.

We all know people who live in our neighborhoods aren’t using our services. Are they disinterested, or do they feel unwelcome?

So, what about Storytime?? Melissa wrote about how walking like animals can help kids develop strong shoulder muscles, which in turn helps them be ready to write. Say what?! So smart.

Pop Goes the Page always features some INTENSE interactive storytime play. I am especially enamored of this mini magic show on the go, which would be great for outreaches.

SPEAKING OF INTERACTIVE PLAY. Little known (super widely known) fact about moi: I am obsessed with Elephant and Piggie. Like, Margaret Willison (@MrsFridayNext) recently said she identifies with Ruby Olivery (of the e. lockhart books) to a worrisome degree. Oh how I wish that were true. I identify with Gerald. There is some truly excellent interactive play happening to the tune of I Broke My Trunk, over at A Librarian Less Ordinary.

Stay Tuned Tomorrow, as our week of SO MUCH CONTENT continues with a rant by Amy about how not to be an asshole, and cite your colleagues.

baby book

I went looking for an Elephant and Piggy GIF and found THIS INSTEAD (thanks Obama?)

Do ALA Right: . . . and Night, by Kirby McCurtis

Angie told you how to make the most of every minute of your DAY at ALA, but y’all know some of the best networking, PLN building and unfortunate karaoke video evidence (Hi, Sophie!!) comes out at night. How do you know what parties to go to? How do you get invites?

Every great party I have ever attended at a conference, I got to by following Kirby McCurtis (@kirby_mcc) around. You guys know that Kirby is one of the best, right? She’s a killer storytime provider, social activist and friend. She is heavily involved in ALA and has impressed the hell out of a lot of really important people who might want to hire you someday. She is also more than willing to introduce everyone talented she knows to everyone important she knows. And she can dance. Basically, you need to cultivate her friendship, and then ask her about literacy outreach to teen moms, and then be in awe.

We asked her to tell us how you get into the best parties at ALA. Here’s what she said (GIFs, as per usual, are my own addition):

HOW TO DO ALA BY NIGHT, by Kirby McCurtis:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! No, not Back to School for all you readers with kids or Christmas/Hanukkah for all the “kids at heart.”  It’s Annual Conference time! Whether this is your first conference or you are a vet, remember one thing and one thing only: Ain’t no party like a library party. For reals. If you haven’t had the time of your life at at least one conference, where you woke up the next day with sore feet and no voice, then you have not been “conferencing” right. But have no fear! Me (Kirby) and Angie are going to give you a sneak peek at our social calendars for Vegas and you can join in the fun.

Angie and I agree that social success at conference comes down to two things:

1. Running your mouth and 2. Listening. That is it. No secrets other than talk to folks and listen to them. If you have something in common, fantastic! If not, move on.  Fake is not fun, and trust me–your kindred spirit is out there in the crowd.

I am heavily involved in ALA–I am on Council, NMRT board, and a few committees. Basically, for me conference is WORK time. I’m typically power walking from one meeting to another, trying to pop into a Conversation Starter or a Program as time permits. That means night time is my social networking time. I will go out every single night I’m in town, starting Thursday. This is the only time I can connect with folks that don’t have the same focus within ALA that I have and I cherish this time. If large groups are intimidating to you, bring a buddy. If you don’t think you will know anyone there, think of it as the perfect opportunity to meet someone new. And BE FLEXIBLE. This is what my schedule looks so far, but of course new invites can be accepted at any time 🙂


Thursday June 26, 2014

8:30 pm All Conference/ALA Think Tank Pre- Party Pub Crawl

This is the Conference kick off party and EVERYONE is invited. This is the only event that costs money (tickets are $42) but you get a heap of goodies for the cash, including:

  • Free Drinks
  • Drink specials
  • Menu discounts
  • Free appetizers
  • No cover charges
  • No lines to get in

If you have ever been the Vegas in the summer, and tried to hit a bar or club on the strip you know the no cover charges and no lines aspect of this deal is completely worth the money. Party starts at Blondies (Miracle Mile, Planet HWD)

Friday June 27, 2014

10:30 pm Urban Libraries Dance Party, Vince Neil’s Tatuado (Circus Circus)

This dance party happens every year and is always a good time, whether you are on the dance floor or not. This year’s host is Urban Libraries Unite, a group dedicated to reaching out into the community with creative tactics. I will be out on the dance floor so find me if Drake comes on.


Saturday June 28, 2014

9:00 pm Annual After Hours Party

If you’ve ever heard about a  Mango Languages party but didn’t get the invite, do a little happy dance, because this year you don’t need the VIP invite. Mango has joined with my favorite PAC EveryLibrary and Treehouse for the ALA14 After-Hours Party at The Arts Factory in Las Vegas.


Open bar and DJ courtesy of Treehouse and Mango. Bring your badge! Enough said.

The Arts Factory is conveniently located between the new strip and the old strip in the thriving Las Vegas Arts District. It’s public transportation and cab friendly. Donations for EveryLibrary are most welcome at the door.

Arts Factory Las Vegas
107 E Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89104

Monday June 30, 2014

5:30 pm Library Games

First there were the Olympic Games, then the Hunger Games became all the rage. Combine the two and you get The Library Games. Audience participation and voting will be crucial to the outcome, so make sure you are there!


8:00 pm Libraries Build Communities Social

Join Librarians Build Communities to enjoy laughs and conversation at the Laguna Champagne Bar on The Palazzo casino floor!

Do ALA right: Day, by Angie Manfredi

Ninjas, ALA is coming.

ron panic

You may be a first timer, hoping you can do enough networking to make the expense worth it. Or, you may have been to many conferences but feel like you always miss out on the cool shit everyone is talking about on Twitter the next morning.

We reached out to two geniuses of DOING ALA RIGHT, and they gave us their secrets to killing ALA.

Angie Manfredi (@misskubelik) is a woman who leaves ALA every year with no regrets. She knows EVERYONE at EVERY publisher. She has in depth MOMENTS with amazing authors. She goes home and is a ROCK STAR to the kids at her library. How does she do it?

HOW TO DO ALA BY DAY, by Angie Manfredi:

During one ALA Annual conference I spent just about two and a half hours waiting in line to get Rick Riordan’s autograph.  (When I actually got up to meet him, I almost wept with excitement but that’s a story for a whole other day.) Now, I am sure I could have spent that time in a meeting or a roundtable discussion or a workshop.  In fact, to many people the idea of spending that long just waiting in a line while so many other professional development activities are happening might seem nothing short of wasted time.

Yet these two and a half hours were invaluable to my library.  I came back with a signed Rick Riordan book to use as an end-of-summer prize and the sheer excitement of this HUGE incentive kicked up our summer reading participation for the entire month of July, with our patrons reading more than ever in an effort to win the book.

I often tell this story when people ask me for tips on how to get the most out of their ALA experience or how to “do ALA right.”  Why?  Mostly because it shows there is no one right way to “do” ALA.  But also because how it illustrates some of the biggest benefits I’ve ever reaped from ALA have come from walking the exhibit floor, an activity you might hear dismissed or disparaged.

I’ve served on committees and spent my days in meetings.  I’ve attended program after program.  These are experiences I cherish and experiences that make ALA unique.  But I list along with those experiences my exhibit floor experiences, which have helped connect me to publisher and vendors in a way I truly believe makes me better at my job.  I think this is the kind of networking and growing as a professional that I can’t do anywhere else.

How can YOU gain these benefits too?  Here’s a few tips that have helped me over the years.

1. Talk, talk, talk!

The people in the booths want to talk to you.  They want to tell you about their books and their programs.  In fact, they are there to talk to you.  Please do not think of the booths as a place you go to load up on free stuff.  If you do that, you might walk away with free stuff but you will never make connections. And the free stuff pales in comparison to learning people’s names, finding out what they read, and having them see YOU as a person.  Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had at ALA are with the people working in the booths.  They’ve read a lot of the same books you have and they relish discussing them in depth.  Oh, the pleasures of just talking about books!  Take advantage of this chance, it’s way more valuable than free stuff. (even if free stuff is books.)

2.Share what you do!

The reps working in booths also want to hear what their books actually do and mean to people.  Have you made a cool flannelboard based on one of their books?  Tell them about it, show pictures.  This is what THEY come to conference for and THIS is how you meet and connect with people.  Did they publish a book that makes your story time rock?  Share that with them.  Do you have a teen who gushed and loved a book?  Explain how and why.  You never know who you’re talking to – it could be someone who worked directly on the book or someone who is looking for exactly this kind of feedback as they work on other books.  This is how they connect with you as a person and a practicing librarian. This is how they come to know you and this is how they’ll remember you. (and yes, you should have cards with your info to hand out.

Once I spent fifteen minutes rhapsodizing to a booth rep how much I loved the book Essex County by Jeff Lemire.  At the end of my reverie, he pointed to the guy next to him. “This is Jeff Lemire,” he said calmly.  I gaped.  “Hey. that was cool,” said Jeff Lemire.

rainbow vomit

(How I imagine Angie coming face to face with authors -C)

One year when Jon Klassen was signing, I carefully cut a small piece of red paper to look like a hat. This was a simple take-home craft I’d done for my story hour kids when we read I Want My Hat Back I brought this one all the way to ALA. When I pulled it out and posed with it to show him just how much I loved his book, how much my kids loved it, how I made it real for them – he laughed with sheer delight.

And what did Jon Klassen do next, you ask?


Authors, illustrators, editors, publishers – THIS is what they want to know their books do. WE are the ones who do it and we should share it not just with our peers, but with them too.

3. Do things on your terms

Sometimes the best times to talk with people, to browse slowly, to go to the Demco booth and have them demo things for you is during sessions.  But I’m not telling you to skip sessions to go to the exhibits or to a signing.  UNLESS that’s what works for you.  UNLESS that’s a decision you make for a certain time or a certain reason because you think you’ll get the most benefit out of it.  You’ll get the most out of ANY aspect of ALA, exhibits included, if you do it on the terms that work for you and your objectives.

4. The buddy system works

Do you have a friend or colleague who has been to ALA before? Do you have an online network you’ve never met in person?  ALA is your chance to make all that gel in real life.  I’ve had some of my best experiences wandering the exhibit floor with colleagues – it makes everything less intimidating and more fun. Are you on social media?  Ask to meet your social network in real life!  Ask someone you know who has been before if they want to take a walk around with you.  Ask if they know booth reps and can introduce you or have tips about what works for them. Or take another ALA newbie with you and just start walking and talking.  I’ve even been helped by friends who aren’t present: “My friend Kelly says this book is just amazing.  She reviewed it on her blog and was tweeting about it and I can’t wait to read it.  Do you have any advance copies?” Not only was this a true statement but it, again, made me into a real person who has real colleagues active in these conversations.  It makes me more than just another pushing face shoving books into a bag – it makes a connection they’ll remember.

All of my conference experience begins and ends with the same advice: just try to be a person.  Better still: try to be the person you really are, the person you are when you love your job and you love librarianship more than anything.  That shines through.  That makes people remember you.  And that’s when the fun really starts happening.

cat dj

(This is the fun starting -C)

Even if you find yourself standing in front of Rick Riordan unable to form complete sentences… (ah, story for another time, as I said.) Please feel free to ask me any ALA related questions (I’ve been attending Annual since 2006 and have only missed one annual conference in that time) I didn’t answer here or about any other thing!  I hope to meet up with many of you face to face at our Guerilla Storytime sessions as we shake, shake, shake our sillies out.


The Complete Massachusetts Guerrilla Storytime!!!

Remember how I told you guys about the AWESOME Guerrilla Storytime at the Massachusetts Library Association conference? Rachel Keeler and Ashley Waring sent us an amazing write up AND PICTURES. After you get done reading it, if you haven’t already facilitated a Guerrilla Storytime, you’re going to want to. I cannot WAITTTT for Vegas, personally.

Here’s what they wrote:

On Wednesday May 7th at the Massachusetts Library Association annual conference in Worcester, MA, the Youth Services Section sponsored a Guerrilla Storytime. Rachel Keeler of the Boston PublicLibrary and Ashley Waring of the Reading Public Library rallied together and led over 45 youth services librarians as they shared songs, fingerplays, problem solving ideas, and more. We gathered in the convention center hallway during lunch. Many librarians were with us from the start, but more and more kept joining us as they walked by after lunch. Quite a few library administrators got to see all the action, too.


Rachel started us all off by singing her favorite hello song:

If you’re wearing red today, red today, red today

If you’re wearing red today, stand up and shout “hooray!”

(continue with other colors)

Then she started pulling questions from our sparkly and be-ribboned question jar.

1) What’s your favorite shaker song?

We shake our eggs together, together, together

We shake our eggs together because it’s fun to do

We shake them up high, up high, up high,

We shake them up high because it’s fun to do (down low, behind your back, in a circle, etc)

Take your eggs and shake with me, shake w me, shake w me,

Take your eggs and shake with me, it’s easy as can be

Take your eggs and shake them high, etc etc

(sung to London bridges tune)

Throw in a “stop” to surprise the kids and make sure they’re paying attention!

Laurie Berkner “Popcorn Calling Me” song – super fun to act out

Laurie Berkner “I Know a Chicken” song


2) A firetruck pulls up outside and everyone gets up to look, what do you do?

Sing a firetruck song.

Hurry hurry fire, firetruck, hurry hurry fire, firetruck etc.

Change words to “hurry hurry let’s go sit down”


3) What are your favorite websites for ideas/help:

Evernote for planning

Mel’s desk

Storytime Katie


Storytime Underground website / facebook group


4) No one is dancing with you. What do you do?

Keep dancing but change it up so they want to join you. Make it a challenge. “I am going to dance

slow…” “I am going to dance fast…”

Ask people to get up. Don’t start song until they stand up!


5) What’s your favorite fingerplay

2 blackbirds sitting on hill (hands behind back)

one named Jack and one named Jill (bring one hand out with finger up, then other hand)

fly away Jack, fly away Jill (put one hand behind back, then other hand)

come back Jack, come back Jill (bring them back out again)

Can change where they’re sitting to change the action rhyme: on cloud=quiet and loud, in snow=fast

and slow, or high and low

10 snowflakes blow into town (put up two hands with all fingers out)

5 were square and 5 were round (hold up each hand)

They drifted up, they drifted down (shake hands up and down)

And then they drifted out of town (shake them behind back)

(can also do leaves, horses (black/brown), whatever you want as long as you can make a rhyme with

town and down)

We have 5 eggs and 5 eggs and that makes 10 (hold up each hand then both hands out)

and on top sits mother hen (cup one hand on top of fist)

crackle crackle crackle (clap clap clap)

and what do we see

10 little chicks happy as can be (hold up ten fingers and shake them, say “cheep cheep cheep”)

This is big big big (open arms wide)

This is small, small, small (put hands close together)

This is short, short, short (put hand close to ground)

This is tall, tall, tall (reach hand up high)

This is fast, fast, fast (roll hands quickly)

This is slow, slow, slow (roll hands slowly)

This is yes, yes, yes (nod head)

This is no, no, no (shake head)

These are my glasses and this is my book (makes rings with fingers for glasses, open hands for book)

I put on my glasses and I open my book

I read read read and I look look look

then I take off my glasses and I close my book (clap during close)


6) How do you handle siblings in storytime?

– Tell parents to have older sibling bring their own babies (ie: dolls, stuffed animals)

– Make extra props to engage older kids and have them on hand just in case (ex: star wars characters

jumping on the bed)

– Have them be “helpers” and model for younger babies how to sit, listen, etc.

– If old enough, talk to them about how they are older and smarter and need to let younger kids answer

questions and have a turn. Remind them it takes about 9 seconds for little kids to process and respond

to questions, so ask older kids to slowly count to 9 in their heads before answering.

– Have older kids who are readers read a short poem to the group at the beginning and/or end of

storytime (a funny one is good).


7) What is your favorite felt or flannel prop/story?

Take a tissue box, decorate it, and put different colored felt animal shapes inside.

Ask “What’s in the mystery box?” Hold it up and makes a sound clue (ex: meow if cats are inside).

Do a little rhyme as you take them out of the box and put them on the felt board:

So many fish in the deep blue sea, what color fish do I see?

Blue, blue this fish is blue

Continue thru all animals in the tissue box.

To clean up, at the end ask the kids to help scare away the felt animals – count to 3 and say “boo!” and

quickly scoop up felt animals when kids yell out.

Peek a boo game for babies/toddlers:

Print out clipart pictures of things babies know (ball, cat, flower, etc. – things you’d see in a “My first

words” type board book). I do 4 pictures each storytime.

Tape picture to the feltboard and cover with a blanket draped over the board.

Peek a boo! I see you! (cover eyes and play peek a boo with kids)

Peek a boo! I see… (lift the blanket to reveal the picture)

Repeat 4 times or for as many pictures as you have.

Hide felt mouse behind 4 colored houses and have kids guess

Little mouse, little mouse, are you in the red house? Little mouse little mouse are you in the blue house?

Can take same concept and have mouse hide behind different colored shapes.

Little mouse, are you behind the red circle? Little mouse, are you behind the green square? Etc.


8) Do you do any signing in storytime?

The colors of the rainbow sign language song is great for many ages. Little kids may just do the signs for

“color” and “rainbow,” but older kids like learning signs for the colors.


9) All the kids have the wiggles. What do you do?

Sing “Head shoulders knees and toes!” Sing it slowly and quickly.

Wiggle rhyme:

I wiggle my fingers, I wiggle my toes, I wiggle shoulders, I wiggle my nose

now no more wiggles are left in me, so I will sit still, as still as can be

Sing “Shake your sillies out”

Do the Hokey Pokey – change up the lyrics to your storytime theme (ex: put your right claw in for

dinosaur storytime)

One clever librarian just hums and wiggles her fingers at the group. It is intriguing and unexpected and

always gets the kids’ attention (parents’, too!)

Sing “The wheels on the bus” and end with “shh shh” verse


10) What is your favorite book for audience participation?

Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett

Dinosaur vs Bedtime by Bob Shea

Early Bird by Toni Yuly

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

Can You Make a Scary Face? (and almost any other title) by Jan Thomas

Wiggle by Doreen Cronin

There Are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams

I Am a Backhoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines

Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald

Press Here by Hervé Tullet

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson

Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt


11) Do you use wordless picture books in your storytimes? How? Which ones?

Yes, I just share the book and ask what kids see or notice.

A good feature of doing wordless books is that kids come up to you to and want to be more involved.

You can model these concepts with all books – like “What do we see on the cover? On the endpapers?”

Someone did a themed PJ storytime with all wordless books. At the beginning she did a mini-lesson on

how to “read” wordless books. So the storytime was a nice teaching moment for parents and kids.

Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage

Tuesday by David Wiesner

Chalk by Bill Thomson – do in summer and follow with chalk outside

Wave by Suzy Lee


12) What are your favorite book to use with babies?

Favorite authors:

Karen Katz

Sandra Boynton

Jane Cabrera

Todd Park

Nancy Tafuri

John Butler illustrations


Yawn by Sally Symes

Diggers Go by Steve Light

Hello, Day! by Anita Lobel

Sleepytime Rhyme by Remy Charlip (can sing to Twinkle Twinkle melody)

Big Bug by Henry Cole

Dancing Feet! by Lindsey Craig

10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes by Mem Fox


13) What are Your Favorite Props?


Bubble gun


Guess box – kids reach hand in and feel what I’ve hidden inside. They make a guess based on


Song sheets for parents and caregivers to sing along

Song cube

We ended with some fun songs:

Mr. Sun Song with sign language


Fruit Salad song


Banana chant:

Bananas unite! (clap hands over head)

Peel banana, peel peel banana (peel)

Slice banana, slice slice ban (pretend slice)

Mash banana, mash mash banana (smash hands)

Eat banana, eat eat banana (pretend eat)

Go….. bananas! (crouch down then shimmy up high and wave arms around)



The Coolest Thing I Saw on Facebook

The absolute best stuff I saw this week was on the SU Facebook group. Y’all are talking up a storm, and all your ideas are genius. If you’re not a member of the group yet, readers, you are missing out on the best professional community on the internet.

Some other cool stuff happened, too!

Katie did a presentation on the hows and whys of flannel boards. I definitely got involved with the larger online storytime community to begin with because I could not figure out how the hell flannel stories worked, so I think this is a great resource. 

I clipped this post of Bryce’s weeks ago and it got lost in the shuffle. It’s amazing, though. I think we’ve all picked out books for a program only to have the totally wrong age of kids show up. Bryce brings her regularly scheduled brilliance to talk about differentiated instruction as it applies to public library programming. 

SPEAKING OF BRYCE: I got you this GIF, which made me giggle:


Welcome to the storytime blogosphere, Jane! Every Day Is Storytime has some truly phenomenal ideas about integrating storytime principals into home life. I can’t wait to see what else she posts!

SLC Book Boy has a really fracking cool idea for a pocket on an apron, and all sorts of messy storytime brilliance to go along with it. I also like his brief reviews of how the kids responded to each book. 

Loons and Quines is back with a new post!!!! Thank God. 

Kendra wrote about how she tweaked her storytime to work for 1 year olds. It’s brilliant enough to make me break my rule about posting stuff from the Joint Chiefs. 

That’s it for my, Ninjas. Keep rocking your shit out



The Coolest Thing I Saw — Spoiler! Guerrilla Storytime! — On the Internet This Week

Massachusetts Library Association’s annual conference is going on RIGHT NOW and they had a Guerrilla Storytime today. Rachel had this to say on Twitter: “If I could just do guerrilla storytime every morning, I wouldn’t need to eat or sleep. I’d just live off that crazy GS energy.” and here is a video from the blessed event of her singing our all time favorite, the FRUIT SALAD SONG. Also she made BUTTONS: 



In storytime news: 

Abby put up a transportation themed plan with soooo many good literacy tips. 

Dana gives details on how she planned a multilingual storytime, even though she’s not multilingual. 

Anne incorporated digital storytelling and traditional flannels to make one really fun BOATS storytime, and build vocabulary.

I love this frog storytime from Cultivate Wonder, with letter and number knowledge built in! 


Congrats to all our friends who were elected to Caldecott, Newbery, and Printz and EXTRA SUPER SPECIAL congrats to our amazing Mel, who is embarking on a fantastic new adventure


And, to welcome Amy home from Abroad, she asked for a Jane Austen GIF. I spent like 5 hours looking at GIFs of Alan Rickman and various Darcys (OH WHAT I DO FOR YOU) and this was the clear and wonderful winner: 



The Coolest Thing I Saw On The Internet This Week

This week, Amy’s taking the waters of Bath (no, seriously, that’s what she’s doing) so feel free to direct jealous pains of frustrated Austen fandom in her direction.

What is happening in the world of youth services librarianship while the rest of us are stuck in our everyday superhero lives?

Kim over at Literary Commentary brought Guerrilla Storytime to Ohio, and did an AMAZING write up afterward. As usual for a GS, it has great tips AND Kim has posted links for songs, etc that were shared! Welcome to the revolution, Ohio!!

Sophie Brookover took the idea of Guerrilla Storytimes and RAN WITH IT and made a crazy/beautiful tech training/GS mashup and pretty much the greatest moment of my existence was when I realized that I had invented a training methodology. I AM THE GREATEST. Ahem. It’s exactly what we wanted, when we made this site, was for people to go crazy with the Guerrilla Storytime idea and change it up to suit their needs. This is amazing and I’m so excited that Sophie is such a ballsy genius.

Miss Meg posted about how her Personal Learning Network helped her feel comfortable doing baby storytimes, including some wise words by our resident babytime expert, Brooke. Use your PLN! We’re here for you! And now Meg is one of May’s Storytime Ninjas, so YOU can ask for HER help with YOUR storytime problems!

Michelle Kilty wrote a really smart guest post for Little eLit about using Evernote for storytime collaboration and to increase parent participation. It’s excellent problem solving!

Keren at Intentional Storytime really spends time with why she chose each element and how it worked, which I appreciate. This post on an Egg Storytime is pretty excellent in part because it uses one of my favorite flannels, Miss Mary Liberry’s egg game, but also because it’s clear how deeply Keren understands early literacy elements and how to use them while keeping kids engaged.

Andromeda Yelton, all around bad ass tech lady librarian, posted about being inspired by Danish librarians to do a Waste Lab with her kid, and the results are pretty phenomenal. Also Andromeda shouts out youth services librarians for starting the whole Maker thing about 50 years ago, and we always appreciate the recognition.

Also from Sophie, this brilliance:


You’re welcome.

Guerrilla Storytimes are 1 Year Old. How Did This Happen?!?!

It’s been a little more than a year since I started my mad scheme to steal all your storytime ideas, and a little bit less than a year since we started planning Guerrilla Storytimes in earnest. Now that Guerrilla Storytimes have become not just an international phenomenon but a training methodology that other types of librarians are using (!!!!! More on this in Coolest Thing) I thought it would be awesome to look back on my own genius. . .er, the amazing journey my little idea has taken over the past year.


3/19/13 I tweeted this series:

@MelissaZD @sotomorrow I feel like there’s a bit of storytime magic in things like transitioning smoothly to a new activity or incorporating

@MelissaZD @sotomorrow learning opportunities into a book (what color is this? What shape is this? etc) that feels overwhelming to new ppl

@MelissaZD @sotomorrow and that’s why I’d like to watch a few whole successful sotrytimes start to finish, although obvs copyright issues

@MelissaZD @sotomorrow Um. . .could we stage guerilla storytimes in the uncommons? I just want to watch y’all make magic + steal it.

chris greatest idea


Thanks, Chris! I liked it, too.

The next day, I hashed out the idea.


@meghancnyc @MelissaZD @klmpeace @sotomorrow Oh that’s true. I just love the idea off ppl walking by uncommons mid-shaking sillies out

@MelissaZD @meghancnyc @klmpeace @sotomorrow I have this mad idea abt a battledecks format. Here’s Donald Crews’ Freight Train, incorporate

@MelissaZD @meghancnyc @klmpeace @sotomorrow 5 learning tips, 3 body movements and 2 audience participation noises, GO!

@MelissaZD @opinionsbyanna @meghancnyc @klmpeace @sotomorrow So maybe a little of both? “A kid wants to tell you 85 stories about his cat. .

@MelissaZD @opinionsbyanna @meghancnyc @klmpeace @sotomorrow . . .what do you say? GO! + Each person acts out the response?

This is almost exactly the format we ended up running with.

Melissa got on board RIGHT AWAY and was really excited and retweeted like crazy. Because she had just gotten Movers and Shakers, and had been building her PLN for a lot longer than I had, she had a much wider audience than I did. People started getting excited.


At the beginning of May, Anna Haase Krueger (@opinionsbyanna) started a Google group for us to plot this thing out. Amy, Kendra, Katie Salo, Meghan Cirrito all joined. . . basically a dream team. We got ourselves on the Uncommons Schedule. Amy made blog badges. We got into the ALSC blog. THINGS MOVED FAST.

During the Google group conversations, I brought up that I wanted to start a grassroots advocacy network, called the Storytime Underground. Amy and Kendra were like

bring it on

We had our first Guerrilla Storytime at ALA 2013, and as you know, the rest is history.

I adore and am infinitely gratefuly for each and every one of you who has made this phenomenon possible. In the words of another Cory,

emotional rollercoaster gif

But in a really great way. Let’s see what happens THIS year. Are you with me?

Coolest People We Haven’t Seen In Awhile

I was going through my own archives this week to see who I haven’t talked about in awhile, because, let’s face it, the internet is SO FULL of great storytime stuff, sometimes I miss things! Great things.

What is Librerin up to these days, I thought to myself? Hosting (and blogging about) a great Getting Dressed storytime, including fine motor skill-building activity. Storytime: It’s not just for language literacy, but also life literacy. 

Over at Library Bonanza, check out these SUPERCALIFRAGILISTIC Busy Bags, which are just, seriously, the smartest. Interactive! Tactile! Imaginative! Pocket Sized! You’re going to want some. 

Amy at Catch the Possibilities did a PI DAY PROGRAM with PRESCHOOLERS. !!!!! Just go over there already. 

Another old favorite? I’m The Biggest Thing In The Ocean, my all time favorite storytime book. Here is a VIDEO of a PUPPET SHOW of it’s GENIUS. You’re welcome.  


Did you see something great this week that I missed? Email me, tweet me, or comment!

%d bloggers like this: