Category: Announcements

*taps mic* Is this thing still on?

A screenshot of my WordPress posts page. It features 837 published posts and 208 drafts. The most current draft is dated 9/15/2020.

*quietly creeps into the blog*

Hey, y’all. Since the last time I blogged…I settled into my new job in my third library, WordPress changed the entire way to make a post, and we entered a global pandemic. Naturally, it seems like the perfect time to dust off the blog and return to posting on a semi-regular schedule.

I have to admit that I don’t entirely know what today’s blog readers are looking for. And I’m not even sure what would be helpful for me in the archiving aspect of my blog. But I do know that I have a pile of storytimes and themes, loads of new flannelboards, a laptop of my own again, and lots of opinions.

So, hang around and see what happens here…you know, if you still want to!

Caldecott 2018 Ballot

A picture of my favorite Caldecott winner to read in storytime...can you guess it?

A picture of my favorite Caldecott winner to read in storytime…can you guess it?

I’m standing for election on the Caldecott 2018 ballot. First of all, I’d like to say that I’m incredibly humbled and honored by this and still can’t believe that it’s happening.

But it IS happening, starting today. If you’re a member of ALSC (Association for Library Services to Children), you can vote as soon as your ballot is emailed to you. Here’s some links for information on the ALA Election process or the 2016 ALSC Elections.

So, just a few quick things about me and my qualifications:

Above all, I am committed to children’s librarianship and love to give back to the community. Being on the Caldecott Committee would, in my opinion, be the ultimate lasting contribution to the field. It would give me an opportunity to be a part of a decision that would change the lives of libraries, children, and illustrators permanently.

Thank you very much for reading this post.

If you’d like to know a lot more details about my involvement in the field, please visit my online resume.

Babies Need Words Every Day Blog Tour!


I’m so excited to be a part of the Babies Need Words Every Day blog tour! This initiative comes from ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) and was created by the Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee. A quick bit of background about the program:

ALSC has launched Babies Need Words Every Day: Talk, Read, Sing, Play. These shareable resources were designed to bridge the 30 Million Word Gap by providing parents with proven ways to build their children’s literacy skills. Babies Need Words Every Day resources include eight visually appealing posters that deliver simple, effective rhymes, games and other suggestions for immediate, enriching ways to communicate with babies. – ALSC’s Babies Needs Words page

bnwed_singToday, I get to talk to you about singing! Which is basically perfect for me since I don’t consider my day a success unless I’ve done some loud singing either with babies or in my car. My fabulous poster can be found here, with thank yous to Random House and illustrator Il Sung Na for the amazing artwork! (Seriously, I can’t get enough of the giraffe’s expression!)

Ideas for Encouraging Singing in the Library

  • Use a great resource like Jbrary to learn new songs to teach your patrons.
  • Sing a familiar song to a different tune. One of my favorites tips I’ve ever learned was from Melissa — you can sing the ABCs to “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to break up the potentially problematic LMNOP!
  • Host a Music and Movement program.
  • Play recorded music before storytime begins and afterwards during playtime.
  • Change it up in storytime and sing a book. Some of my favorites are Jane Cabrera books, Brown Bear, Brown Bear to “Twinkle, Twinkle”, The Babies on the Busby Karen Katz, Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley, and If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca and Ed Emberley.

Explain Why Singing is Important

  • Singing often breaks up the syllables in each word by assigning each syllable a different note like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” — we sing it “Mar-y had a lit-tle lamb” and that lets babies hear multiple syllables!
  • It’s a great way to bond with your baby and also to calm them down. Make a lullaby part of your bedtime routine.
  • Songs have a different kind of vocabulary than talking or reading; think of nursery rhymes and the great words in them.
  • Singing helps boost memory and attention in children. It can be a great way for a librarian to bring a crowd together during storytime or for a parent to get their child’s attention.
  • Most important, singing is FUN.

My favorite way that we’ve recently highlighted singing was through our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program. Our November theme (and booklist) was all about song books:


Some future plans for the Babies Need Words Every Day posters include hanging them up in our restrooms (pending administration approval!), and finding new partners to share them with.

I hope I’ve give you some ideas for embracing the Babies Need Words Every Day campaign and for getting started singing to your patrons. For more information about the Babies Need Words Every Day tour, visit the round-up at Reading With Red.

ILA Presentation: Tiny Crafters


Kelsey from Library Bonanza, Heather from Little Literacy Librarian, and I are presenting a program at Illinois Library Association Conference TODAY all about art with small people!

Here are links to my posts all about art:

Little Hands Art

Ping-Pong Ball Painting
Paper Collage
Model Clay
Bubble Wrap Painting
Coffee Filter Art

Kids Art

Flower Painting (Forks)
Coffee Filter Rainbows
Heart Painting (Toilet Paper Rolls)
Marble Painting
Nightscape Finger Painting
Paper Plate Planets (Sponge Painting)

If you’re in Peoria, I hope you stop by to hear us speak! We have special busy bags to everyone to take home!

Happy 5th Birthday!


Can you believe that I’ve been here for five years? I really, really cannot.

I missed the actual anniversary (which Facebook says is September 17th), but it’s still anniversary month so it counts, right?

This is my 609th post on Storytime Katie. SIX HUNDRED AND NINE POSTS. The number just boggles my brain.

I’d like to thank the wonderful people who come here daily to read, the amazing people who check in every now and again, and all of my fantastic friends that I’ve met through this fabulous adventure! Readers are why I’ve kept blogging so long and make me feel like a true rock star every day. I cannot say thank you enough. Pretend I just wrote thank you 609 times.


In unrelated news…

You’ll likely notice a decline in the amount of posts as we near the end of the year. I actually scheduled nearly all of the summer’s posts back during my May auntiecation (vacation with the dogs — my fabulous nephews) and only managed to write up a few in August’s auntiecation. But fear not, storytime resumes in October and I’ll have some more amazing ideas to post and discuss once I’m back to Toddler & Family Storytimes. I’ve got a new program to debut on the blog and a new series all about the kits that I’ve spent the last year creating with Target grant funds.

Here’s to another five years or 609 posts — whichever comes first!


Step Up Readers: a website devoted to all things beginning readers. And that’s all I’m going to say here. If you want to know more, click on over!

Storytime Katie: Facebook Page

In case you were looking for another way to read the blog, I made a Facebook page yesterday, which you can find here: Storytime Katie on Facebook.

It’ll be a round-up of the blog posts and I may consider adding original content like sneak peeks at flannelboards and links to relevant library posts/issues.

Like if you’d like!

Resolve to Rock in 2015

This year, Storytime Underground is asking anyone who wants to participate to set goals for 2015, write about them, and support one another.

At least my resolutions have nothing to do with procrastination…


Library Life

1. Stop checking my email first thing every morning. I get bogged down so fast by email and it just frustrates me. I’d rather accomplish something large every morning before the little stuff starts.

2. Start delegating more. My biggest adjustment that I’m still working on at my new (ten months in) job is learning that I am no longer a one librarian department. That we have building/maintenance staff around the clock. That I have two other coworkers that just do storytimes and early lit work.

3. Continue getting to know the patrons and the collection. I’m finally in a good ordering routine, but I need to up my readers advisory game, particularly in middle grade.

4. Actually practice and learn the ukulele. I’ve had one for two years and kept thinking “one day” and “when I have time”. I need to *make* time.

Professional Life

1. Keep up with committee work. I’m chairing Popular Paperbacks for YALSA, am on the Public Awareness Committee for ALSC, Illinois’s K-3rd state choice award (Monarch Committee), and YALSA’s Summer Reading and Learning Taskforce.

2. Answer email immediately after opening even if it’s an “I’m working on it”. I feel this is especially important as a chair.

Blog Life

1. Post a Flannel Friday submission every week. I have so many flannelboards that have never gotten their own posts simply because I have gotten around to it. I’ve been working on this for a week or so and am scheduled through April.

2. Actually write my series on favorite storytime tools. I’ve had the logo designed for over a year and no posts. Tons of ideas and I hope it will be a great resource to share outside of my storytime theme posts.

3. Get better about commenting. I read nearly 100 storytime and library blogs and I’m awful at commenting on them.


They always say that resolutions work better with concrete goals, so here are the ones I can assign numbers to:

1. Read one middle grade book a month for fun. This will be a nice break from YA novels and picture books.

2. Learn and perform three uke songs.

3. 52 Flannel Fridays.

4. One storytime series post a month.

5. Five meaningful comments per month.

I think I’ve got this, but I’m always optimistic when setting goals…

Good luck to everyone participating!

In Case You Missed It: Spring 2014


Welcome to the Spring Edition of “In Case You Missed It”! Now that we’re clearly in summer, I thought it was time to do the round-up!

    Early Literacy

  • 4.7.14 Lisa at Libraryland has a truly enviable project going on — early literacy kits. I am so excited for her and her patrons — what a great idea! Also see: round two.
  • 4.8.14 Brooke at Reading With Red updated part of her library’s section to include an early literacy alphabet station!
  • 4.21.14 & 4.22.14 Marge and Brooke tag-teamed and wrote a two-part series on how they updated their early literacy area.
  • 4.24.14 Lisa at Libraryland completely revamped her Parent/Teacher collection and I love it!

    Recognizing AMAZING Colleagues!

  • 3.11.14 Bryce at Bryce Don’t Play has the best, most amazing tribute to moving-and-shaker Cory for her awesome idea of Storytime Underground and Guerrilla Storytime. Guerrilla Storytime is my ABSOLUTE favorite part of conference now!
  • 3.27.14 Dana and Lindsey at Jbrary celebrated ONE YEAR. What would we do without you ladies teaching us all the bounces, songs, rhymes, tickles, and more? (I, for one, would cry.)
  • 5.13.14 Marge reminds us to nurture ideas and each other.

    Preschool Programming

  • 3.20.14 Marge at Tiny Tips for Library Fun and the rest of the amazing staff members at La Crosse Public Library celebrated the THIRD BIRTHDAY of “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” — their community has read 257,200 books!!!
  • 3.25.14 Meg at Miss Meg’s Storytime hits a slam dunk (in my opinion) with her Pete the Cat party! I’m toying with the idea of doing a book celebration once a month in the fall and you can bet I’ll remember this Pete party.
  • 6.10.14 Brooke at Reading With Red writes about the biggest baby shower ever: a community outreach program. I can’t even believe the awesomeness that is going on here.
  • 6.11.14 Angie at Fat Girl, Reading knocks everyone’s socks off with her description of her library’s Music and Movement program — aka BABY DANCE.

    School-Age Programming

  • Thrive Thursday round-ups for March, April, May, & June!
  • 3.13.14 Lindsey at Jbrary hosted a spring break Superhero Training program! For everyone planning to do the 2015 CSLP theme, bookmark this now!
  • 3.31.14 Angie at Fat Girl, Reading completely revamped her library’s American Girl program and she tells you how in a follow-up post!
  • 4.1.14 Marge at Tiny Tips for Library Fun shows us how an Elephant and Piggie party is really done!
  • 4.7.14 Anne at So Tomorrow’s Dr. Seuss celebration is absolutely wonderful and creative and I just love it so very much.

    STEAM Programming

  • 4.7.14 Abby at Abby (the) Librarian has some weather science in her Preschool Lab.
  • 4.8.14 Lisa at Libraryland has a way cool and inventive science program — Peep Science.
  • 4.22.14 Abby at Abby (the) Librarian is also growing things at Preschool Lab!
  • 6.10.14 Abby at Abby (the) Librarian has one more Preschool Lab for us this ICYMI — ocean animals!

Announcing: ALSC Afternoons!

This weekend I noticed that I stopped linking up my ALSC posts on this blog, so I spent some time scheduling links to post every afternoon for the next few weeks until I’m caught up. Enjoy!