Monday, July 20, 2015

Favorite Blogs and Websites

I don't like to assume things. I will never forget being at a youth services seminar as a freshly minted librarian.  I felt desperately out of place.  I was trying hard to look and act more  knowledgable than I felt. The speaker said "well now we've all read Whirligig," and she moved on to other things.  I had to sit there with my squirmy self.  I was unable to admit that I hadn't read the book and that I didn't even know the author.  I was miserable at my  unfamiliarity with the book and my inability to articulate what I needed. I made a note and resolved to find this sacred text I had some how missed in graduate school. I later read Whirligig by Paul Fleischman and also Seedfolks. I am glad to have been led to such good fiction but I wish I didn't have to be shamed into learning.  

A wise adult told me once that "when you assume, you make an a** out of you and me."  While this idea might not be safe for work, it certainly gets the point across.  Misinformation is a terrible foundation for communication. 

I am working on a page of Online Resources. It's all sorts of handy stuff for storytimes, youth programs, employment and management.  Its a pretty broad swath so I'll pull out some highlights for you.

Ask a Manager - I swear I read this for fun.  If you have a question about your boss or employees.  If you want to know about salary and timecards and interview etiquette, you should bookmark this website.  You will love the facebook page for quick updates.  It's like Dear Abby or Ann Landers for the employment world.  Not all the scenarios are library related but we work with people and people issues are universal.  You will find a common thread here.  

Jbrary - I love scarves, egg shakers and bean bags.  Guess who else does?  Jbrary does!  I think they are more excited about my storytimes than I am.  They have an awesomely diversified social media presence so you can learn however you like.  I can honestly say I use at least one of their ideas in every Preschool storytime I do. I am hoping for more parachute ideas.  *pretty please*  Be sure to check out their Blogroll with many other online resources for youth services. 

KCLS -  This is the YouTube channel for The King County Library System of King County, Washington.  They are adorable.  Not sure you can list that on a resume but hey there are worse traits to have. Can you carry a tune and be instantly engaging?  If not these YouTube videos are right up your alley.  I get frustrated when I read a rhyme or song and I think "well maybe you think that's to the tune of America the Beautiful but I just cannot make that work."  KCLS will help you out.   I really appreciate that they will sing, dance to and just plain demonstrate the entire rhyme or song.  

Sunflower Storytime -  This is a really comprehensive blog.  It's well organized and a has a lot fun things to offer from preplanned storytimes on a variety of themes, to hands on crafts and other activities.  I actively subscribe to page updates via email and I have a ton of the emails archived for later dates to help me stay ahead on my planning.  I am madly in love with the printables, which are super sharp and reproduce nicely.   I really appreciate the school age ideas, they always give me a nudge in the right direction.

Storytimes to Go and More - This closed Facebook group is a wealth of knowledge. While that might sound corny, it can be a relief to know that the answers are out there.  Sometimes I just need to talk to other Youth Libs.  Maybe I have a question about behavior in storytime, or how to train my brain to finally remember this week's rhyme.  Better minds have walked these trails before so why not benefit from the experience of others when you know there is an easier way.  Personally I like to beat my head against a wall at first but once I'm ready to ask for help, this group is always there for me.

Storytime Underground -  If I were the President of Storytime and I had a cabinet of librarians to inspire me they would be The Storytime Underground.  Half the time I'm not even sure what sort of program to do next and before you can say Ram-a Lamb- a ding dong, I have more ideas than my Pinterest boards can accommodate.  I find this group to be highly motivated and very encouraging.  In moments of stress and weakness,  I enjoy the camaraderie of the highly caffeinated Storytime Underground.  




  1. Thanks for including us! We'll see what we can do about parachute ideas :)

  2. I'm always looking for new blogs to follow... thanks for the list and I've added your blog to my follows too!

  3. Thanks for collecting up these useful resources. I will be sharing with our network meeting this week.

    1. That would be really awesome. I hope everyone finds it useful.