Henderson County (Ky.) Public Library’s StoryWalk participants read a page from picture book Jonathan and His Mommy last summer.

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June 1, 2021

“It’s important that [kids] move, it’s important that they read, it’s important that they get outside,” says Anguish, “especially in a pandemic when nothing is the norm anymore.” StoryWalks—outdoor paths that feature children’s book pages posted at a young reader’s height and take families on self-guided storytimes—are gaining traction in communities across the US and … Continue reading Skip to the Next Page


Old-School Outreach

June 1, 2021

“The pandemic has highlighted the barriers to access that many people have regarding technology and reliable internet,” says Kathleen Montgomery, outreach manager at Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library (CCPL). “It’s our mission to address these inequities.” To do so, libraries across the US have implemented creative concepts and partnerships that embrace analog technologies and platforms. … Continue reading Old-School Outreach


Families attend a drive-in storytime at Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio) Public Library's Monfort Heights branch in 2020. Photo: Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio) Public Library

Park and Read

May 3, 2021

Though its building was closed because of the pandemic, HPL staffers performed these innovative storytimes in parking lots where children watched the readers from the safety of their caregivers’ cars and listened along on the radio. The unusual format invited audience participation. With the song “Wheels on the Bus,” for instance, the words were altered … Continue reading Park and Read


A wooden kamishibai box, which contains illustrated cards ((Photo: Geo1208)

Think Inside the Box

March 1, 2021

Clack, clack! Siskind hits the sticks together, sets them down, and opens the flaps on the front of the box to create a small stage showing the illustrated cover of that day’s kamishibai storytime. Kamishibai, or “paper theater,” is a form of storytelling that originated in Japan in the late 1920s. Storytellers would ride into … Continue reading Think Inside the Box



Summer Reading Switcheroos

May 4, 2020

The answer for most: online programming, such as virtual storytimes, science experiments, and small-scale cooking demonstrations. “Our plan is to do a pretty strong and regular slate of virtual programming put out on Facebook,” says Luke Bentley, assistant director at Guernsey County (Ohio) Public Library (GCPL). While that will feel very different from last year’s … Continue reading Summer Reading Switcheroos


Youth Matters by Tricia Bohanon

Making Room for Inclusion

January 2, 2020

Despite interest from the communities I have served, numbers have been consistently low—usually one to two families attend the monthly program. Recently, Akron–Summit County (Ohio) Public Library, where I work, made the decision to discontinue these storytimes. When sensory programming may not be feasible—whether because of low attendance, inadequate staffing, or lack of administrative support—we … Continue reading Making Room for Inclusion


Librarian's Library by Anna Gooding-Call

Digital Strategies for Librarians

January 2, 2020

Your Technology Outreach Adventure: Tools for Human-Centered Problem Solving By Erin Berman This title will guide professionals in exploring computer-focused library programming. While it provides good examples of tech programs that benefit from outreach, the bulk of the book deals with group planning and design. These are often applicable to any program series or project … Continue reading Digital Strategies for Librarians


A child undergoes a hearing test at a Sense-Screening Storytime at Omaha (Neb.) Public Library’s Swanson branch. Photo: Omaha (Neb.) Public Library

Testing the Senses

November 1, 2019

Sight and sound are integral parts of storytime and early literacy, so it makes sense for libraries to take an active role in children’s eye and ear health. Across the country, institutions are hosting free vision and hearing screenings tied to children’s reading sessions. OPL started hosting its Sense-Screening Storytime program last September and has … Continue reading Testing the Senses


Discord in the Community

June 24, 2019

So many people came to the program, the drag queen held a second storytime immediately after her session. Now, even though the program is over, the library is still receiving around 50 emails per day asking them not to hold it. Sukrit Goswami, director of the Haverford Township Free Library, shared how he and his … Continue reading Discord in the Community


Chicago Public Library STEAM Team First Assistant Librarian Alejandra Santana (left) reads to storytime attendees at Bubbleland laundromat.Photo: Chicago Public Library

Front-Loading Literacy

May 1, 2019

That’s why, in 1989, Chicago Public Library (CPL) Children’s Librarian Elizabeth McChesney (now CPL’s director of children’s services and family engagement) visited a local laundromat to introduce herself to families. How she responded to what she saw there would help change the landscape of children’s literacy initiatives for decades to come. “What I saw was … Continue reading Front-Loading Literacy


Pickle reads Jacob’s New Dress at West Hollywood (Calif.) Library at an event by the national organization Drag Queen Story Hour. Photo: Jon Viscott

Fierceness—and Fierce Opposition

November 1, 2018

But while queens have proven their ability to bring the party with fantastic fashions and tales of individuality and acceptance, pockets of resistance remain. Many programs held in libraries still draw protests, as organized opposition groups insist that these storytimes aren’t appropriate for children. Lafayette (La.) Public Library (LPL) faced protests of its planned drag … Continue reading Fierceness—and Fierce Opposition