Sunday Storytime Challenge

Welcome to another Sunday Storytime Challenge! The goal is to encourage the SU community to try new things and share out those adventures. Challenges will vary widely and can include craftiness, elevator speeches, networking, professional development and beyond!


So here is this week’s challenge!




We hope that our work here at the Storytime Underground inspires you to do more for your library users. We want you to think, play, and work harder for them. We also want you to know that you are important. Your work is important. You deserve funding, compliments, chocolate, off-desk time, and so much more. 


We think you are:




It is unfortunate that you may not have your praises sung from rooftops every morning. Your fellow staff may feel like all you do is glue glitter on craft sticks. They are likely to go on believing this until you inform them of your baby brain building awesomeness. So, we want you to shout your praises to someone this week. Share a recent accomplishment, talk about your research, or discuss your future goals with those around you. (Your cat does not count)


Did you share your success at a library board meeting? Send in a request for an hour of time to do research? Did the mayor visit your Storytime? Make sure to come back and share with us! There are so many ways you can share:


  • Simply comment to this post!
  • Email us at
  • Tweet it out using #storytimechallenge
  • Do you have a kick-ass blog? Share your challenge story there and send us the link!


There is no concrete timeline for you to complete the challenges and they will always remain open.


We can’t wait to see what you can accomplish!

Share this!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

The Coolest Things I Saw on the Internet Recently

Why hello there!


Yes, we have been slacking on the coolness collection lately. However, that just means that you are getting an eyeful today. Are you ready?


First, I am gonna toot the SU horn a bit. Cory took over the SU Twitter last week and while some may call it an epic rant, I prefer to call it TRUTH. We saw the need to officially  take the stance that we will choose a side when it comes to human rights. We ask you to to join us.


Yes, we felt a little famous after the thread had a ‘moment’ on Twitter and we watched with awe as our notifications began buzzing. We were inspired by many libraries and librarians and library staff and people who are simply amazing. Multnomah County Library hosts a Black Storytime as well as Storytimes in multiple languages. The Denver Public Library is asking users to join the conversation by submitting their race card. The Skokie Public Library created Black Lives Matter reading lists that allow families a chance to talk together about the movement.


and….yes, diverse books are exactly what our patrons need. Windows and mirrors for everyone, but be sure your ‘diverse’ display isn’t filled with just books about civil rights, pride, and Japanese lantern crafts. Make sure you show off those books that have diverse characters just being characters in a book. I loved this piece from Raych Krueger at Book Riot for spreading that sentiment: Picture Books With LGBTQ Parents Just Being Parents.


Talking is important. Taking a stand publicly is important. We know that so many of you are finding it hard to do so in systems that refuse your efforts. We are here for you. We got your back always. Now to more coolness:


Jbrary shared a fabulous list of non-librarian blogs that you must check out. I personally read Mama OT and this baby happens to really like all those tummy time tips.



Yes, I exploit my baby’s adorable face.


Roller Derby ladies invaded this library’s book club and our hearts went pitter patter.


Try a Rube Goldberg Machine program like Ms. Anna!


Check out Miss Julie’s Top Five Tips for Youth Reader’s Advisory. I now want to make a candy readalike list!


Go Pokemon Go.


Finally, some flannel fun with dinosaurs, monkeys, and tools.

Share this!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Free Resource You Should Know About: Supercharged Storytimes



Hey, hey! Another free resource!! Woot!


Webjunction has made Supercharged Storytimes resources available to all of you, for free. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about Project VIEWS2 from the University of Washington’s iSchool and ways you can supercharge your storytimes.


Check out this announcement for all the links and details. The Supercharged Library has a ton of resources for your collections and programs. You can check out the research here. And, most exciting of all, check out the Supercharged Storytimes webinar slides and orientation outline.


There’s a lot to explore! Happy reading!



Share this!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Get to Know a… Youth Services Consultant



This week we’re introducing Katie Anderson, youth services consultant for Oregon State Library. Take it away, Katie!



Katie Anderson


Your title, duties, and what an average day might look like for you.


I’m the youth services consultant at the Oregon State Library. My work is focused on the three library youth services best practices identified by the Oregon State Library as a result of a statewide community analysis. Our three best practices are early literacy training, summer reading, and outreach to underserved populations.


I coordinate statewide summer reading activities, follow and share information about statewide early learning and summer learning initiatives that libraries should be aware of, foster the development of partnerships at the state and local level to better meet the needs of underserved youth and families, and administer the only state funds public libraries in Oregon receive. Oregon public libraries may only use state funding on early literacy and summer reading activities.


I also get to work on a lot of fun special projects. Several years ago I facilitated a statewide early literacy training project and last year I got to work with Oregon Public Broadcasting on Celebrating 100 Years of Beverly Cleary.
What attracted you to your current position? Was it an intentional move, a gut feeling, a happy accident, or a matter of convenience?


One of my grad school professors did a lot of unique work throughout his career. I asked him how he got those jobs. Essentially he said networking and saying yes. He developed good relationships with library staff all over the world. Over the years some of them were asked if they knew anyone who could do unique library and information infrastructure work. They would recommend my professor and he almost always said yes, even when he didn’t think was qualified and wasn’t sure what would be required.


This stuck with me so when I was strongly encouraged to apply for my job by a couple people I said yes. I didn’t know what state libraries do, I didn’t know the job “youth services consultant” existed, and I wasn’t sure what any type of consultant actually did. All my jobs, even in high school, were working directly with kids. Working with kids was what I enjoyed most about all my past jobs so I decided I’d stay in this desk job for two years. It’s been ten years! Little did I know this would be the dream job I never even knew to dream about. I love it!
What things give you the most joy in your position?


Helping library staff. When a librarian tells me I made their job easier or some bit of information I gave them helped them get a grant it’s like getting hug from a kid after storytime. I also love showing off the great work Oregon libraries do to state agencies, like the Oregon Department of Education, and statewide organizations, like the Oregon Afterschool Network. Too often these people are surprised by what the learn libraries are doing and how libraries support student success.

What’s most challenging for you?


Two things I thought I’d never have to do as a librarian—TV/radio interviews and complex math. I only get asked to do interviews on TV or radio a couple times a year and I always try to find someone else to do it because I’m terrible at it! Once a year I have to calculate how much state funding each legally established public library is eligible to apply for based on a $1 per child, 20% distributed based on square miles and 80% distributed based on population formula. Lots of Oregon libraries have service areas that don’t follow city or county boundaries so you have to create estimates based on voter registration and call county GIS departments. I’m not good at math (fortunately excel does that for me!), but I am good at logic puzzles which is necessary to figure out boundaries and a few other oddities so it’s a good challenge!

Pretend I’m an MLIS student, eager to figure out how to get your job. What’s the advice that you would give me?


Join your state’s library association and get a leadership position in the youth services division. Identify staff at other libraries you would want to learn from and pick their brains, perhaps even figure out some project to work on together. Subscribe to the ALSC and YALSA listservs and identify some other ways that work for you to follow trends and research in library youth services (like following this blog!). Follow what’s going on in education, early childhood, and afterschool/summer learning in your state—what initiatives is your state’s department of education focused on, what legislation is your afterschool network advocating for, what laws have changed for childcare providers and think about how these things impacting your patrons and the organizations you partner with and what your library can do to help.


Share this!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page