Category Archives: Photo Diary

June Photo Diary Prompt

SU Photo Diary Badge

At the beginning of each month, we post the Storytime Underground Photo Diary prompt for the month. Community members are invited to submit photos (and maybe a bit of text) to us, and we’ll feature all Photo Diary submissions in a roundup post at the end of the month. The idea is that we can share peeks into one another’s libraries and storytimes, hopefully finding some inspiration, ideas, and common ground along the way.

June Photo Diary Theme:

Share your go-to professional travel supplies. ALA Annual Conference is coming up, and that means plenty of library folks will be headed to Las Vegas to get their professional conference on. Whether you’ve never been before, or you’re a seasoned conference attendee, knowing what’s useful to pack with your luggage can be tough. We want to see your must-have item/s for conference travel–those supplies that make attending conference easier and more stress free.

How to participate:

Email your photo to us in either jpg or png format by June 21. We’ll let you know if we have questions.

The photo share:

Check back later in June for the photo roundup to see your fellow guerrillas’ must-have conference travel items.

Photo Diary: Zany Storytimes

This month, we tried something a wee bit different for the Photo Diary. Instead of asking you to share a first person photo of something to do with your library or storytime, we asked for submissions of stories of your zaniest storytime experiences–accompanied by ridiculous pictures and gifs, of course! As per usual, you did not disappoint.

Oh, my fellow librarians. The strange and wonderful things you’ve survived in your storytime tenure.

From an anonymous librarian who now lives in Nova Scotia:

When I was working in Oregon, I did outreach to Family Home Daycares. Once a month, I took a box of books and a storytime to home daycares and did storytime, then left the materials for the child care provider to use until the next month when I returned. Going into people’s homes is interesting, to say the least. Once while I was in the middle of reading Caps For Sale, one of the little girls just stood up and started peeing on the floor. Luckily, she was far enough away from me that the pee stayed off my books (and me). The woman in charge was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing. She just waited until she was done, and then wiped it up. I, of course, just kept reading the book.

zebra pee

From Lisa Mulvenna:

A couple of years ago the air conditioning went out at work during the middle of summer. If you haven’t experienced summer in Michigan, it is not unusual to have 90+ degrees and 100% humidity. Since we had storytimes running all morning, we propped open the outside door in the meeting room to let some air into the room while we set up. While this would seem like a good idea, multiple bees flew into the room and decided that they loved our fluorescent lights in the ceiling. We didn’t know this and they all decided to come out during the first program of the morning: baby storytime. The parents were pretty good natured about the situation, but in our 30-minute break between storytimes the two of us children’s librarians were trying to swat bees up in light fixtures in a 10-foot ceiling.

bee

From Meagan Schiebel:

I’ve only been doing storytime for a couple years so I’m sure the worst of the horror stories is yet to come, but I had a failure of a storytime this past fall. It actually is the storytime that prompted me to completely redo my entire storytime.

I don’t even remember the theme or any of the books I read, probably because I was only about to get through about one book and then it all went downhill from there. It was a larger group than normal and all the kids who maybe aren’t on their best behavior (c’mon, I know you have some like that, too) were there. When you get one hyperactive kid around another hyperactive kid in a room with 15 other not hyperactive kids, then they all become hyperactive. The next part is expected: toddlers running around and screaming. Parents apologizing. Me struggling through, still attempting to sing and failing miserably. At one point the instigator of all this, a three year old girl, was running around with her pants around her ankles.

I closed up shop early and pulled a Merida in this GIF. Shock, tears, escape.

May Photo Diary Prompt

SU Photo Diary Badge

At the beginning of each month, we post the Storytime Underground Photo Diary prompt for the month. Community members are invited to submit photos (and maybe a bit of text) to us, and we’ll feature all Photo Diary submissions in a roundup post at the end of the month. The idea is that we can share peeks into one another’s libraries and storytimes, hopefully finding some inspiration, ideas, and common ground along the way.

May Photo Diary Theme:

Share your zaniest storytime experience! We’ve all had them: storytimes that could have been perfectly normal, but that turn out unbelievably crazy and sound like an unrealistic sitcom scenario when you tell your non-librarian friends. We here at Storytime Underground believe all the strange things that may have happened to you in storytime, though, and we want to hear about them! We’d love for you to accompany your story with an image of some sort, too. Think ridiculous gifs, grumpy cats, etc.

How to participate:

Email your photo and story to us in either jpg or png format by May 17. We’ll let you know if we have questions.

The photo share:

Check back later in May for the photo roundup to see your fellow guerrillas’ craziest storytime stories.

Photo Diary: Storytime Tools

This month, we asked to see your storytime tools. That’s your bag of tricks, physical or metaphorical, that you gather around you so that you’re ready for anything once storytime begins. Here’s what you ninjas had to share!

From Abby Johnson:

This is my setup for baby storytime, the whole shebang--the chair where I sit, the table where I keep my books & props, the teal tub of toys and the basket where I keep board books for our reading time.

This is my setup for baby storytime, the whole shebang–the chair where I sit, the table where I keep my books & props, the teal tub of toys and the basket where I keep board books for our reading time.

Where I stow my felt pieces--in the order that I'll need them so they're in each reach.

Where I stow my felt pieces–in the order that I’ll need them so they’re in each reach.

A close-up of my little table. I have a stack with the books/rhymes I'll be doing (in the order that I'll need them). On top of the stack is my storytime plan and the handout with all the words to the rhymes. In the box I keep the puppet we'll be using and my tambourine. You can see the CD player in the back and then behind the table, we have our bells and the bag with our scarves.

A close-up of my little table. I have a stack with the books/rhymes I’ll be doing (in the order that I’ll need them). On top of the stack is my storytime plan and the handout with all the words to the rhymes. In the box I keep the puppet we’ll be using and my tambourine. You can see the CD player in the back and then behind the table, we have our bells and the bag with our scarves.

From Angela Reynolds:

All ready for Milk & Cookies Tablet Time in Nova Scotia!

All ready for Milk & Cookies Tablet Time in Nova Scotia!

From Brooke Rasche:

Pillows & quilt for my infant storytime set-up. It's perfect because it keeps everyone corralled and makes it a more intimate storytime.

Pillows & quilt for my infant storytime set-up. It’s perfect because it keeps everyone corralled and makes it a more intimate storytime.

Setup

I include the song wall in all of my storytimes so the parents know the words to the songs. It really helps with participation.

I include the song wall in all of my storytimes so the parents know the words to the songs. It really helps with participation.

I use cushions with my toddlers. It helps direct the parents to sit with their children and stay engaged the entire storytime!

I use cushions with my toddlers. It helps direct the parents to sit with their children and stay engaged the entire storytime!

From Sue Jeffery:

The basket under the chair is how my story times get planned (and where I can keep things out of sight during story time).  Everything goes into the basket all week long and then I carry it into the room and spread out.  I have emergency teddys in case the toddlers want to grab my felts while I am story telling.  On the table are my bluetooth speaker, sample craft, stamp for everyone's hand, felts for the week, and a parent handout for reference.  On the other side we have my books, uke, feltboard, and in the little basket are Mr Potato Head felts to play with after.  The tapestry in the back represents all of Virginia Hamilton's life and works - as she is a local author.  The bunny teddys are thematic for this week.

The basket under the chair is how my story times get planned (and where I can keep things out of sight during story time). Everything goes into the basket all week long and then I carry it into the room and spread out. I have emergency teddys in case the toddlers want to grab my felts while I am story telling. On the table are my bluetooth speaker, sample craft, stamp for everyone’s hand, felts for the week, and a parent handout for reference. On the other side we have my books, uke, feltboard, and in the little basket are Mr Potato Head felts to play with after. The tapestry in the back represents all of Virginia Hamilton’s life and works – as she is a local author. The bunny teddys are thematic for this week.

My craft tables set up and my display with thematic books and my parent newsletters.

My craft tables set up and my display with thematic books and my parent newsletters.

From Shelley Black Holley:

IMG_0080 IMG_0081

From Amy Koester:

My weekend storytime tools include a variety of books--more than I'll need, for flexibility--a CD player, my song cube, and my ukulele; egg shakers; and an assortment of toys for free play time.

My weekend storytime tools include a variety of books–more than I’ll need, for flexibility–a CD player, my song cube, and my ukulele; egg shakers; and an assortment of toys for free play time. Also, I always have tissue on hand for storytimes. Even if my allergies aren’t acting up, it’s still pretty much a guarantee that at least one kiddo will have a runny nose.

April Photo Diary Prompt

SU Photo Diary Badge

At the beginning of each month, we post the Storytime Underground Photo Diary prompt for the month. Community members are invited to submit photos (and maybe a bit of text) to us, and we’ll feature all Photo Diary submissions in a roundup post at the end of the month. The idea is that we can share peeks into one another’s libraries and storytimes, hopefully finding some inspiration, ideas, and common ground along the way.

April Photo Diary Theme:

Show us your storytime tools! Gathering everything you’ll need in any given storytime is part of the prep. We want to see your final setup just before the kiddos join you. (Need a sample? Check out Anna’s pictures on her Storytime Set Up post.) What does your spread of storytime tools look like?

How to participate:

Email your photo to us in either jpg or png format by April 19. (Please refrain from sharing photos with identifiable children’s faces.) We’ll let you know if we have questions.

The photo share:

Check back later in April for the photo roundup to see your fellow guerrillas’ program advertisements.

Photo Diary: Program Advertisements

This month, we asked you guerrillas to share examples of how you advertise your programs. In my admittedly limited library experience, I have noticed that most libraries have a program ad strategy they’ve been using for years–perhaps successfully, perhaps less so. I, for one, am pumped to get some new ideas from y’all.

From Allison Murphy:

A copy of the poster for our Break It-Make It workshop.  It’s super fun and a great partnership between our town’s recycling center and our library.

A copy of the poster for our Break It-Make It workshop. It’s super fun and a great partnership between our town’s recycling center and our library.

From Nicole Thomas:

A calendar that we use to promote our programs. There are always two months displayed (front and back), but everything is also available on our events calendar online. Many of us at my branch still make separate flyers for our programs to highlight them a little more and post them on a bulletin board. We do a little bit of everything around here.

A calendar that we use to promote our programs. There are always two months displayed (front and back), but everything is also available on our events calendar online. Many of us at my branch still make separate flyers for our programs to highlight them a little more and post them on a bulletin board. We do a little bit of everything around here.

From Bridget Wilson:

For special events, I create large flyers (8.5 x 11) and mini flyers (6 per 8.5 x 11). These are handed out to my regulars and sent to schools. Large flyers are posted in the children's section, on bulletin boards, at the circulation desk, etc. The mini flyers serve as a reminder...parents & caregivers can stick them on the fridge to help them remember.

For special events, I create large flyers (8.5 x 11) and mini flyers (6 per 8.5 x 11). These are handed out to my regulars and sent to schools. Large flyers are posted in the children’s section, on bulletin boards, at the circulation desk, etc. The mini flyers serve as a reminder…parents & caregivers can stick them on the fridge to help them remember.

kit mini srp

For storytime, I create a seasonal schedule (Jan-May, June-Aug, Sept-Dec) that lists all storytimes (and school age events, special events, etc. if it's summer reading) and breaks for those months. These are 2 per 8.5 x 11 page and for the Summer reading Program, I send one for each student in every school in the county.

For storytime, I create a seasonal schedule (Jan-May, June-Aug, Sept-Dec) that lists all storytimes (and school age events, special events, etc. if it’s summer reading) and breaks for those months. These are 2 per 8.5 x 11 page and for the Summer reading Program, I send one for each student in every school in the county.

From Dana Sheridan:

Most publications are delighted to include the photo with your event listing, which really increases visibility. This photo is from a Treasure Island event our library hosted. I believe it was published in 6 local papers and on scores of websites.  It definitely got the word out – event attendance was 4,500. Yo ho ho!

Most publications are delighted to include the photo with your event listing, which really increases visibility. This photo is from a Treasure Island event our library hosted. I believe it was published in 6 local papers and on scores of websites. It definitely got the word out – event attendance was 4,500. Yo ho ho!

From Rebecca Brooks:

Here's what I do: I create (using either Photoshop or Microsoft Word) a normal copier-paper sized flyer to display (definitely on our bulletin boards, sometimes windows, and sometimes around town). I then use that same image to create postcard sized flyers (cut to size) for people to grab and stick in their pockets. I then convert that same image to a jpeg and post it on our website (after Pixlr-ing it a bit) - and even onto our social media sites. It's all about branding each event. We used to be able to give out our postcard-sized flyers to our schools (which we only did for special occasions like SRP), but they created a policy against anyone advertising anything directly to the students (apparently they felt overwhelmed by scout groups and the like sending them stuff to give out). But, I can email the principals my jpegs and they'll get them into their electronic parent newsletter, and possibly post them on a community bulletin board if they have one. A coworker creates the monthly calendars that come out (ideally) two weeks before the next month. I write a letter to parents/guardians on the back highlighting anything or just explaining the theme of our library that month. We print those out and have them available at our circ desk. I then convert the calendar to a jpeg and post it online (along with a downloadable pdf version as well). The whole goal is to get this information out in a visually consistent manner, and in as many forms as possible to give our patrons as many options for reminding themselves of events they want to attend. It's also super-fast once you have the system down. Sometimes we do use a whiteboard to add to the overall theme of the month or to highlight a particular event (we have an awesome artist on our staff who works magic with dry erase markers and crayons). If you want a pic of that, then let me know. I feel like I've already been rather overwhelming in my email! Oh - here's a breakdown of my picture collage: Top Image Our calendar surrounded by our postcards - this is at our Children's Library's circulation desk Left Image Our full-sized flyers posted on our Children's bulletin board Center and Right Image Snaps of our website - front page with events, and then our calendar page - all using the same original flyer as their basis.

Here’s what I do: I create (using either Photoshop or Microsoft Word) a normal copier-paper sized flyer to display (definitely on our bulletin boards, sometimes windows, and sometimes around town). I then use that same image to create postcard sized flyers (cut to size) for people to grab and stick in their pockets. I then convert that same image to a jpeg and post it on our website (after Pixlr-ing it a bit) – and even onto our social media sites. It’s all about branding each event.
We used to be able to give out our postcard-sized flyers to our schools (which we only did for special occasions like SRP), but they created a policy against anyone advertising anything directly to the students (apparently they felt overwhelmed by scout groups and the like sending them stuff to give out). But, I can email the principals my jpegs and they’ll get them into their electronic parent newsletter, and possibly post them on a community bulletin board if they have one.
A coworker creates the monthly calendars that come out (ideally) two weeks before the next month. I write a letter to parents/guardians on the back highlighting anything or just explaining the theme of our library that month. We print those out and have them available at our circ desk. I then convert the calendar to a jpeg and post it online (along with a downloadable pdf version as well).
The whole goal is to get this information out in a visually consistent manner, and in as many forms as possible to give our patrons as many options for reminding themselves of events they want to attend. It’s also super-fast once you have the system down.
Sometimes we do use a whiteboard to add to the overall theme of the month or to highlight a particular event (we have an awesome artist on our staff who works magic with dry erase markers and crayons). If you want a pic of that, then let me know. I feel like I’ve already been rather overwhelming in my email!
Oh – here’s a breakdown of my picture collage: Top Image Our calendar surrounded by our postcards – this is at our Children’s Library’s circulation desk | Left Image Our full-sized flyers posted on our Children’s bulletin board | Center and Right Image Snaps of our website – front page with events, and then our calendar page – all using the same original flyer as their basis.

From Jess Mowery:

Our main source of advertising is program flyers. Short and sweet letting everyone know all the dates and times for all our storytime sessions. I also have pictures of our storytime bulletin boards at my blog http://fromtheliberryof.blogspot.com.

Our main source of advertising is program flyers. Short and sweet letting everyone know all the dates and times for all our storytime sessions.
I also have pictures of our storytime bulletin boards at my blog http://fromtheliberryof.blogspot.com.

From Abby Johnson:

I copied this idea from the children's department at the Jefferson County Public Library in Madison, IN. We purchased a librarian's desk calendar from Upstart and hung it up on the side of our children's reference desk. I write in our programs (just basic info - program name and time) each month and it gives patrons a nice view of what's being offered. It's right there at the reference desk, so if they have questions they can ask us. The calendar is obvious and eye-catching, so it reminds patrons that we offer lots of activities, which may prompt them to pick up one of our program flyers for more information.

I copied this idea from the children’s department at the Jefferson County Public Library in Madison, IN. We purchased a librarian’s desk calendar from Upstart and hung it up on the side of our children’s reference desk. I write in our programs (just basic info – program name and time) each month and it gives patrons a nice view of what’s being offered. It’s right there at the reference desk, so if they have questions they can ask us. The calendar is obvious and eye-catching, so it reminds patrons that we offer lots of activities, which may prompt them to pick up one of our program flyers for more information.

Photo Diary March Prompt

SU Photo Diary Badge

At the beginning of each month, we post the Storytime Underground Photo Diary prompt for the month. Community members are invited to submit photos (and maybe a bit of text) to us, and we’ll feature all Photo Diary submissions in a roundup post at the end of the month. The idea is that we can share peeks into one another’s libraries and storytimes, hopefully finding some inspiration, ideas, and common ground along the way.

March’s Photo Diary Theme:

Show us your program advertisements! Do you create flyers for your programs? Calendars that list multiple upcoming activities? Do you use a dry erase board or some other changeable way of sharing upcoming programs? We want to see (and maybe steal some ideas)!

How to participate:

Email your photo to us in either jpg or png format by March 22. (Please refrain from sharing photos with identifiable children’s faces.) We’ll let you know if we have questions.

The photo share:

Check back later in March for the photo roundup to see your fellow guerrillas’ program advertisements.

Photo Diary: Books you LOVE for storytime.

February is a month when lots of folks talk about what they love, so what better time to share books that you LOVE to use in storytime? And not only do you get to see the books your fellow guerrillas love, you can use this post as a sort of storytime bests list.

From Jennifer Wharton:

Jan Thomas is my go to author when groups show up unexpectedly, when I have to sub for someone else's storytime, and when I have to do storytime for kids from the special education school, with a really wide range of cognitive development.

Jan Thomas is my go to author when groups show up unexpectedly, when I have to sub for someone else’s storytime, and when I have to do storytime for kids from the special education school, with a really wide range of cognitive development.

From Renee Grassi:

One of my favs!

One of my favs!

From Shelley Holley:

A wonderful quirky story of friendship.  I like to use this book for friendship and cat storytimes.

A wonderful quirky story of friendship. I like to use this book for friendship and cat storytimes.

My go to book for scout groups or grade school classes that drop in to the library.

My go to book for scout groups or grade school classes that drop in to the library.

From Anne Clark:

My favorite storytime book (at the moment. For winter.).

My favorite storytime book (at the moment. For winter.).

From Alex Byrne:

A great book I like to share with littles.

A great book I like to share with littles.

Photo Diary February Prompt

SU Photo Diary Badge

At the beginning of each month, we post the Storytime Underground Photo Diary prompt for the month. Community members are invited to submit photos (and maybe a bit of text) to us, and we’ll feature all Photo Diary submissions in a roundup post at the end of the month. The idea is that we can share peeks into one another’s libraries and storytimes, hopefully finding some inspiration, ideas, and common ground along the way.

February’s Photo Diary Theme:

Show us a book you LOVE to use in storytimes! What book do you turn to when a group suddenly shows up at your library? What book brings you absolute joy when you share it with kids? Show us a storytime book you love!

How to participate:

Email your photo to us in either jpg or png format by February 15. (Please refrain from sharing photos with identifiable children’s faces.) We’ll let you know if we have questions.

The photo share:

Check back later in February for the photo roundup to see your fellow guerrillas’ go-to reads.

Photo Diary: Show us your workspace!

It’s time to share on what side of the line you fall: are you a messy desk person, or an organized desk person? The truth shall out! All things considered, of course, the state of your desk doesn’t mean a thing when you’re consistently offering kickass services to your customers. Which you are.

From Angela Reynolds:

More madness than tidy, for sure. But I know where things are and since my desk is never seen by the public, I get to be messy!

More madness than tidy, for sure. But I know where things are and since my desk is never seen by the public, I get to be messy!

From Lisa Mulvenna:

My desk, where most of the magic happens.

My desk, where most of the magic happens.

Shared work space

Shared work space

From Marge Loch-Wouters:

The Marge Cave!

The Marge Cave!

From Anne Clark:

This is my third library and I finally have an off-desk space to work! It is a dream come true.

This is my third library and I finally have an off-desk space to work! It is a dream come true.

Anne Clark 2

The children's department workspace houses our book club inventory, a mini-fridge, our reference picture books, flannel collection, and craft supplies.

The children’s department workspace houses our book club inventory, a mini-fridge, our reference picture books, flannel collection, and craft supplies.

From Jennifer Wharton:

My office/desk (which also incorporates storage space)

My office/desk (which also incorporates
storage space)

My office/desk (which also incorporates storage space)

My office/desk (which also incorporates
storage space)

Space where my teen aides work (die cuts and paper cutting)

Space where my teen aides work (die cuts and paper
cutting)

My desk in the children's area

My desk in the children’s area

From Laura Polak:

I blame Life Size Candy Land for the chaos that is now my desk.  At least I have a mason jar of glitter to brighten my day!

I blame Life Size Candy Land for the chaos that is now my desk. At least I have a mason jar of glitter to brighten my day!

From Amy Koester:

Pretty messy, but at least there are no papers half-covering my keyboard!

Pretty messy, but at least there are no papers half-covering my keyboard!

From Kendra Jones:

My office

My office

The YS workspace

The YS workspace

From Alex Byrne:

Alex Byrne

A panorama of cell-phone quality of the space that I have in our staff area. Notable highlights include the large amount of kitsch, the general tendency of every available inch of space to be used, and the knowledge that there are storage spaces other than here that are also in use for supply and other things.

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