Category: Announcements

Beyond Duct-Tape Wallets!

PLA Logo

While I don’t often post about my other programming and librarianing other than storytime here, I did want to take the time to highlight the AMAZING time that I had presenting at PLA this past week. I am so very lucky to count Angie, Drea, and Kelly as wonderful collaborators and great friends and I really think we nailed our presentation.

Here’s the official presentation description:

Beyond Duct Tape Wallets: Dynamic, Effective, and Community-Centered Teen Programs – PROGRAM
Thursday, March 13, 2:00–3:15 PM

Seeking new life for programs in your teen department? Trying to jumpstart teen programs with small staff and little experience? Join this panel of four seasoned teen programming librarians to find out how you and your library can create and maintain successful, dynamic, and cheap teen programs for a wide range of users. It can be done and this session will help you launch your next generation of programming for teens today!

We had a great time talking about our successes (Lock-Ins, Passive Programming, Partnerships), our failures (Anime Club for me!), and our collaborations (yes, we all took/borrowed/adapted Kelly’s chocolate wars event).

I wanted to take a few moments to highlight some programming write-ups that I did on Drea’s blog, Book Blather.

I also talked about a lot of other programming — if you were at the presentation and want a write-up, Drea has again offered to generously host my teen program write-ups. As I’m doing with my old storytime files, I’m also cleaning out my old teen files now that I’m in my new job, so now is the time to ask!

Our 300+ crowd at PLA.

Our 300+ crowd at PLA.

Thank you to everyone who did come; you were a great, interactive, participatory audience and I can easily say that I had the most fun ever presenting in Indy!

I’ve creating a Storify of all the tweets that used our hashtag, you can read that here.

I’ll close with a picture of all of us right outside the room:

Me, Drea, Sign (haha, I'm so funny), Kelly, Angie

Me, Drea, Sign (haha, I’m so funny), Kelly, Angie

Guest Post: Sarah Bean Thompson!

My dear, dear friend Sarah is on the ballot for the 2016 Caldecott Committee. I think she’s an unbelievably passionate librarian and she sure knows her way around award committees! I am in love with the different ways she’s worked to introduce her patrons to Caldecott winners and honor books and I know that she would be a great asset to the Caldecott Committee! (She’s definitely got my vote!!)

But here’s her post in her own words!

Sarah Bean Thompson is a Youth Services Manager and blogs at She has served on the 2013 Printz Committee, 2014 Cybils, and is on the ballot for the 2016 Caldecott Committee.

One of my favorite parts of storytime is seeing the kids faces light up when I introduce them to a book and they get lost in the story with me. In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Medal, I knew I wanted to introduce Caldecott winners and honor books to my preschool crowd. So I themed my entire Spring storytime session around Caldecott titles. And I had a blast as the kids and I discovered Caldecott books and discussed what we thought of the illustrations in each one.

What surprised me the most was how much they responded to some of the older titles I read. I was never sure how the kids would respond to the older titles, especially since some of these don’t have bright, colorful illustrations.

One of their favorite books ended up being Frog Went-a Courtin’. They loved looking at the pictures in this one and seeing what animals were there. They thought the idea of a frog and a mouse getting married was hilarious and with the turn of each page, they kept asking “did they get married?” They were very engaged in this one and it was so fun to see.

Another book that surprised me was Play With Me. At the beginning of the book, I said how the girl only wanted to play with the animals. After each subsequent turn of the page, I had one preschooler call out “but she just wants to play!!” The rest of the group caught on and by the end of the book they were emphatically calling out that the girl just wanted to play with the animals! Of course they were thrilled when she got her wish and the animals came near here in the end.

I love watching how kids respond to picture books and I look forward to each storytime that I do because I think there’s nothing better than reading and sharing books with kids (and their grown ups!)

ALA Elections run from March 19th through April 25th. For more information, please visit ALA Election Information.

In Case You Missed It: Winter 2014


It’s baaaaack! The hiatus of ICYMI was almost entirely accidental. Summer reading planning hit, my sister got married, my grandfather fell and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I decided to job search and then got a new job and now here we are.

I had been saving stuff since NOVEMBER in my Feedly reader. I decided to just do 2014 posts and wipe the slate clean. I’m hoping to make this seasonal since it’s such a time-intensive post to write, but obviously I want to keep sharing the AMAZING things that my INCREDIBLE colleagues are doing in their libraries.

So, without further ado…In Case You Missed It!

    ALA Elections

  • 3.7.14 Kelly is on the ballot for Printz Committee this year. She lays out all the reasons why you should vote for her and I’ll add my own here: I served with Kelly on Outstanding Books for the College Bound and can personally attest to her dedication and incredible value as a committee member. Kelly is someone you want on your team because she truly gives it her all. I know she’ll be an asset to her fellow committee members, her chair, and that she will give careful, serious consideration to all books nominated.

    Libraries & Librarianship

  • 2.12.14 Abby got tips and tricks for reading aloud! A must-read for new and seasoned librarians.
  • 2.19.14 Marge encourages and reminds us to share what we know with others. This really resonated with me; I never intended Storytime Katie to be a resource for others but my life is richer because of the online connections that I’ve made because of the blog. I don’t know what I would do with you all!
  • 3.5.14 Amy writes at Storytime Underground about how the YS profession needs to start shouting that our work has value and is important and that we need to share it if we’re going to change how people perceive us. So, arguably the single most important post in this round-up.

    Outreach & Partnerships

  • 1.13.14 Marge partnered with a local yoga instructor (full disclosure: my dear, dear friend Rachel!) to collaborate on a yoga storytime. I love this kind of unconventional partnership and already have this in the works at my new library!
  • 1.30.14 Brooke gave us the rundown on her preschool tour, based this year on Dinosaur Vs. the Library!
  • 2.18.14 Marge talks about her library’s new program that encourages all staff members to get involve in programming. A circulation staff member reached out to international students from the local university and had a wonderful global countries & cultures program for the kids!
  • 3.5.14 Lisa created an AMAZING Kindergarten Literacy Night based around The Pigeon. It was held in the library, but I’m counting it as outreach since it was a partnership/school-requested event. I love the activities that Lisa planned, especially that sweet Pigeon flannelboard!

    Preschool Programming

  • 1.22.14 Amy rocked out with the parachute play program and managed to make a program work even when the iPod didn’t!
  • 2.7.14 Amy gave us a way to get out that winter cooped-up energy with her Preschool/Toddler Obstacle Course! I think I need to start hoarding Baker & Tyler boxes and shelving boxes and all those boxed that the library sees every day.
  • 2.10.14 Anne shared her awesome Mother Goose Games program and all I can say is: I know what I’m doing Summer 2016.
  • 2.12.14 & 2.13.14 Lisa writes up her latest Play to Learn program, based on Go Away, Big Monster! She also posted about the creation of the color wheels featured in the program in another post. I want to steal this program SO MUCH. What a great literacy program!!
  • 2.13.14 Meg isn’t afraid to embrace STEM anymore with her shapes PreSchool Explorers program! I love Meg’s willingness to step out of her comfort zone to do a great program for her kids.
  • 3.5.14 Amy did a great hands-on art program: Little Learners. After a special message to the parents to remember their patience, Amy gave the kids scissors to make some Kandinsky inspired pieces. I think Amy’s book choices were spot-on and I’m sure the kids had a great time!


  • 1.6.14 Kendra revamped her Baby Storytime. And I definitely going to use the Smooth Road bounce considering we’re entering pothole season in Illinois!
  • 1.6.14 & 2.3.14 Erin is posting a new series called “A Few of My Favorite Themes.” THEMED STORYTIME PACKETS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD. January’s theme was snow and February’s was Valentine’s Day!
  • 1.24.14 Anna told her how she re-vamped (in mid-program!) an unruly storytime program.
  • 2.13.14 Lindsey finished her Toddler Storytime planning series. It is basically the only thing you’d need to read to start up Toddler Storytime in your library. And it has been my biggest how-to source to do the very best toddler storytime I can at my new library.
  • 2.19.14 Mollie and Leah answered a reader-submitted question: how do you do storytime on a tight budget? Their recommendations are perfect and easy to implement for any librarian.
  • 2.24.14 Amy blew my mind with a ballet storytime featuring a REAL-LIFE BALLERINA. Four-year-old Katie is wishing for time travel to be a real thing already.
  • 3.7.14 Melissa and Lisa want to know about the average storytime workload. If you do storytime at your library, would you mind stopping by to take their survey?

For more awesome round-ups, please visit Stacked’s Links of Note, Jbrary’s We’ll Link to That!, and Storytime Underground’s Coolest Thing on the Internet.

Just Moved!


Just in case you’ve noticed a lack of post or tweets in the past couple of weeks, I wanted to go ahead and post a quick announcement: I’ve accepted a new job at a new library!

I’ve been at my new position for a week today and everything is going swimmingly. I’m very happy to be there and excited to work with my new patrons, co-workers, and community.

For you, dear blog readers, that means a plethora of clean-up posts from my previous library. (Seriously, I have the whole Summer 2013 storytime session to post and all of Winter 2014 and seven months of Pajama Storytimes that you’ve never seen and four months of Explore the World and a ridiculous amount of Flannel Fridays. And outreach visits and special programs, yikes! Also, I found even more Growing Readers pictures/literacy activities that never went up. And a few Picture Book City posts to do too.)

That also means the start of a new storytime series that I’m calling “Storytime Essentials” — my most favorite storytime activities, hopefully complete with some video performances so that my old co-workers can learn from me even though I’ve changed libraries.

And, once I get myself settled, a ton of brand-new storytime plans and early literacy amazingness. My first tasks include doing Toddler Storytime during the spring session and working to add new activities to our early literacy/family space.

So, please be patient as I work on getting everything out! Thank you for reading!

Where’s Storytime Katie?

I’m still here, I promise!

Life has taken a few turns this year, summer especially. I’m quite a bit behind in posting and I expect I’ll stay that way until the fall. Here’s why:

1. Summer Reading. Do I need to say more?
2. My sister’s wedding this August, where I’m Maid of Honor.
3. And my favorite reason why I haven’t been blogging: YALSA’s Outstanding Books for the College Bound (OBCB) committee.

I want to point you all to Kelly’s amazing post on what you can do to help out with OBCB.

For a short recap:

OBCB is a list aimed at 9th-12th students preparing to enter college, life-long learners, and anyone interested in furthering their education. This list is updated every five years. You can read the entire charge of the committee here, as well as look at what was selected for the 2009 list. Anyone is allowed to nominate a book for the 2014 list!!

Though this is a bit of a departure from the normal storytime antics happening here, I hope that you might have some books that you’d like to nominate. Our selection criteria is as follows:

  • Standard selection criteria consonant with the ALA Library Bill of Rights shall be applied.
  • Although copyright is not a consideration, all titles should be widely available.
  • Each category may have a special set of criteria.
  • Books can be in print or out of print, in hardcover or paperback.
  • Books that have appeared on earlier Outstanding Books lists or are available in revised editions are eligible.

If you’ve got a title to nominate, click on through to the nomination form.

If you have any questions, please let me know! Thanks in advance for all of your help!

In Case You Missed It


(Or as this installment should be known, Katie continues to go through starred posts in Google Reader from the last two months since Google Reader is leaving us, and is absolutely determined to not let this happen again no matter what.)

    Books & Collection

  • 3.27.13 Amy asks a question about weeding: is it better to have *something* rather than outdated information? Great comments here, too.
  • 4.3.13 Abby in her monthly ALSC blog reminds us that summer is super close and NOW is the time to stock up on our popular series so that we’re ready for Summer Reading.

    Libraries & Librarianship

  • 3.25.13 Anne shows up how a minor tweak in how she shelves kits at her old library can make a big difference!
  • 3.25.13 Sarah talks about feeling out of her depth when visiting a bike shop earlier in the week. (Don’t worry, things worked out for her!) Are our patrons feeling the same way about libraries?

    Kids Programming

  • 3.26.13 Mollie did one of my very favorite programs that we do annually in my library, Life-Sized Candyland! At the end, Mollie talks about what she learned and what you absolutely need to run this program yourself.
  • 3.27.13 Amy gives you every tool you need to make sure that your next Star Wars party is rocking the library! And I can second her recommendation of contact the 501st Legion; our volunteers at our library were amazing and are STILL talked about three years later. “Miss Katie, remember the STORM TROOPER who used OUR COMPUTERS?”
  • 4.9.13 Sara has embraced the word “Makerspaces” and is pressing on with some awesome activities for kids using LEGOS.


  • 3.20.13 Kendra breaks down Parachute Play for our youngest patrons — babies and toddlers! A great post to read, with tons of song and rhymes suggestions.
  • 3.21.13 Melissa made me want to run out to Target and buy a small rug immediately after she introduced the Blue Carpet No Fly Zone rule in her storytime. If you have had issues with parents knowing when to grab their kid or with little ones standing right in front of you, blocking everyone else’s view — get thee a blue carpet. (Or whatever color you like best!)
  • 3.25.13 Kendra responds to several Baby Storytime tours by giving us a tour of her own space! I love the magnetic wall.
  • 3.27.13 Melissa responds about singing and using CDs in storytime and really gave me a lot to think about. (Last week, I used recorded music in my storytimes for the FIRST TIME EVER because of her post!) Also, make sure to check out the comments section where the discussion continues.
  • 3.30.13 Sarah, in a guest blog for the ALSC blog, wrote up a fabulous post all about her Caldecott storytimes this spring. I love this idea and think that it is a phenomenal way to introduce kids to award-winning books!
  • 4.4.13 Anna gives a great overview about using scarves in storytime!

    Flannel Friday

  • 3.29.13 Mollie has the round-up available at her blog.
  • 4.5.13 Lucy has the first April round-up!
  • 4.12.13 Kendra has this past week’s round-up!

In Case You Missed It!


(Or as this installment should be known, Katie goes through starred posts in Google Reader from the last two months since Google Reader is leaving us, and decides there is way, way, WAY too many posts of awesome that she saved and she now needs to split it up for the next two weeks.)


  • 2.26.13 Amy wrote about how she uses peer-sourcing in the library. How lucky we are to work in a field where sharing and collaboration are happening constantly online and (I hope) in person as well!
  • 2.27.13 Sarah wants to know why a storytime librarian and a teen librarian cannot be the same person — why can’t we be interested in both parts of the career?
  • 2.28.13 — 3.3.13 Julie began a dialogue about gender and librarianship months ago and continues it with another thought-provoking post, which has been answered by Marge and Kelly and Marge again and many more.


  • 2.28.13 Anne and Amy revealed the results of their Middle Grade series survey! It came as no surprise to me that the top three were Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, and Big Nate.
  • 3.15.13 Angie shows you how to do a simple but wonderful and effective winter reading program! I’ve never done a winter reading program at my library, but I’m thinking about it for next year for sure!


  • 2.18.13 Cen announced that — a librarian-curated database full of apps for kids! I cannot wait for this resource to arrive since my library just got an iPad for storytime.
  • 3.5.13 Melissa, in a guest post at the ALSC blog, wrote about using Evernote to keep her storytime archive together.
  • 3.11.13 Amy shared her favorite apps for presentations! Everyone getting ready for Summer Reading school visits? Take note!


  • 2.21.13 Melissa gives us a run-down about the ECRR Parent Program that she has done before. I am head-over-heels in love with this idea and have some feelers out to Adult Services about coordinating this type of programming at my own library!
  • 3.11.13 And also, Melissa shares how her staff learns to do baby storytime. This sounds like such an amazing gift to staff members, I am just floored.


  • 2.19.13 Beth shows us the Storytime Song Bucket! I use a Song Cube, but the concept is still the same and my patrons love it! I bet yours will too.
  • 2.28.13 Sarah is using SHOW AND TELL in her storytimes! I freaked out when I saw this idea and I’m going to find a way to incorporate it into Growing Readers storytime.
  • 3.5.13 Julie, Anna and Kendra wrote about singing in storytime! I love singing in storytime, it is one of my favorite things to do, and really the children do not care what you sound like!
  • 3.10.13 Mary is singing again with the ukelele! I’m still trying to get motivated to learn and these posts are really helping me out.
  • 3.11.13 Amy asks about using beach balls in baby storytime. This post makes me wish with all my might that I had enough interest to do a dedicated baby storytime at my library.
  • 3.19.13 Sarah did a round-up of her ABC storytime crafts. Crafts are the hardest part for me to do in storytime, so I’m glad to see round-up like this for future plans!
  • 3.20.13 Brooke showed off her Baby Storytime set-up and I immediately wanted to volunteer to do another storytime at my library because of it! I can do Baby Storytime, I can, I can!
  • And some storytime themes/plans that I’ve especially liked: Kendra’s Going to the Zoo, Anne’s On the Move, Erin’s Rainy Days, and Anne’s Crayons.

    Flannel Friday!

  • 2.23.13 K has the round-up at her blog!
  • 2.26.13 Lisa has the “Dig Into Reading” Summer Reading Program Extravaganza!
  • 3.6.13 Sharon hosted the incredible “What Flannel Friday Means to Me” round-up, which includes stories and flannels.
  • 3.15.13 Melissa has the Flannel Friday birthday round-up. (The second part of the celebrations can be found here, while Amy unveiled the official Flannel Friday map at her blog.) I can’t believe it’s already been TWO YEARS of Flannel Friday joy!
  • 3.22.13 Amanda has the last round-up for this In Case You Missed It!

And that’s it for this massive round-up. Stick around for next week when I’m sure it will be just as large and just as awesome!

In Case You Missed It!


In Case You Missed It is back for another week! I’m planning on keeping this as a bi-weekly feature since it’s a lot of work to put together and this way, I have a while longer to work on it.

Please feel free to link any posts that I might have missed these past two weeks. There’s so many wonderful blogs out there — I know I must have missed more than a few!!

    On Libraries and Librarianship

  • Sara has a post talking about signage in the library! This is a great one to read if you didn’t get a chance to see the Seattle Public Library’s Central branch at Midwinter (or didn’t get a chance to go to Midwinter).
  • Anna made over her Children’s Area play/read bench. It looks amazing and I wish I had such a space in my library!
  • Brooke shows everyone how to leave your job with style and class. In the library profession, we make personal connections to patrons and families — don’t leave them out in the cold when you need to move on! (Another favorite post on this topic that didn’t appear these past two weeks, but still rocks: Ingrid’s.)

    On Books & Awards

  • Melissa gives us a great round-up for board book resources! I just repurchased our entire board book collection within the past year since it so badly needed updating. Wish I had had this post then.
  • Anne and Amy have their second round of the Popular Series Survey up! Go and take it!
  • Marge tells it like it is when offering her advice on how to get on an ALA Youth Media Awards committee! In light of all of the discussion after this year’s winners were announced, this is an invaluable post to bookmark if you want to be involved in the decision process.
  • The CYBILS were announced!

    On Programming

  • Leah has put up TONS of ideas about summer reading, if you’re doing the theme Dig Into Reading. I’m not quite ready to start planning programming yet, but I have definitely bookmarked her post for future reference!
  • Beth has a great idea to add a photo booth to programming. I love the idea of kids in the library getting their picture taken, and we’ve had great success in my library of using a photo booth!
  • Amy has her plans set for World Read Aloud Day on March 6th! What are your plans?

    On Storytime/Early Literacy

  • Katie posted on the ALSC Blog with a wonderful list of resources to get the wiggles out of storytime kids. I really love her first idea of the magic storytime wand!
  • Mary is my hero because she is going to teach me (and you!) to play the ukelele in a series of video posts. I don’t know if Mary knows that, but it’s going to be true. Her first song, BINGO, is up!
  • Kendra posted another video, this time with three standing rhymes for storytime.

Flannel Friday Round-Up 2/15

This week’s round-up will be using a linking tool again! Though it is a thumbnail version on the site, you still need to click through to see it since I’m a hosted blog.

Borrowing instructions that Andrea shared: To share your Flannel Friday post, please click “Add Your Link” by the cute blue frog. Please enter the URL for your post rather than your website and label your post as “Post Name (Blog Name)” i.e. “Rockets! (Storytime Katie)”

If there are any tech problems, I will be around on Twitter (@katietweetsya) and you are also welcome to leave a link if the linking tool doesn’t work! Looking forward to everyone’s amazing submissions!

Special Announcements!!

Anne is still accepting submissions for the Flannel Friday map
! If you have participated in (either through blogging OR through reading) Flannel Friday, please add your name to the map. No need to give specific city if you don’t want to!

Sharon has announced that March 8th’s round-up will be a special one where everyone can write about what Flannel Friday means to them! You can find all the details on her blog.

Storytime Rules

As promised, here’s a look at the Rules for Storytime posted in my room.


After I got back from ALA Midwinter, I actually re-did these so that I could share the file, which you can access here: storytimerules. It is a PDF, and it is a large file (11×17), so you may have to use two sheets or shrink it to work in your storytime situation.

Obviously, I have both English and Spanish on there. We have several staff members who do our translations and we tend to translate more based on Mexican Spanish since that what’s our population is mostly comprised of.

[Thanks to reader Adriana, the PDF has been corrected for some translation errors! I didn’t update the picture though since it gets the point across as is.]

I mention the rules as I introduce myself and storytime. These are mostly rules for parents rather than for the child. If I need to redirect an adult, I will look at them and then glance at the poster. Most of the adults figure it out pretty quickly.

Since I don’t have signs for the kids, I do a lot of attention getting exercises if they are all over the page. I often preface a book with “Who’s got Criss-Cross Applesauce?” and wait for everything to resettle before reading. I find that, generally speaking, the kids don’t need the rules written out as much as the parents do.

If you have any questions, please let me know!