Blog: storytime katie

Blog Title: storytime katie

Author: Katie Salo, a Youth Services Manager working at a Chicagoland library. She is the only storytime librarian there and has a passion for early literacy, preschoolers, flannel boards, etc.

Blog summary: This blog focuses on storytime ideas and resources, as well as commentary on what works and what doesn’t. She includes pretty regular updates on the events and projects at the library, as well as links to other libraries and resources.

Audience: Children’s librarians, teachers, parents/caregivers

Strengths: 

  •  Katie’s blog is well organized — one of the best I’ve seen among the blogs I’ve surveyed. This is extremely important especially for blogs that contain so much content.
  • The blog contains a LOT of practical information and suggestions, invaluable to a librarian starting out or wanting to find new ways to energize/revitalize storytimes. The content is divided into these key sections:
    • Resources: links to external sites for craft ideas, flannelboards, fingerplays/action rhymes, songs, etc.
    • Flannelboardsalmost 60 different flannelboard plans with detailed instructions of how to make them, the books and songs that go with them, etc.
    • Songs, Rhymes, and Fingerplaysa huge list of songs, rhymes, and fingerplays from various sources. There’s an alphabetically-arranged master list (another example of great organization!), as well as subsections on “Opening/Closing Songs” and “Session Stretchers”.
    • Themesa list of over 130 themes that are arranged alphabetically as well as by subsections “Alphabet”, “Colors”, and “Opposites”.
  • Each storytime plan (see example) has a short section on how it went, with tips and suggestions on extension activities/songs/crafts.
  • Book reviews (see example) come with song/craft suggestions.
  • You can subscribe to the RSS feeds of the blog’s content.

Weaknesses:

  • I honestly can’t think of any children’s librarian/teachers/parents/caregivers who wouldn’t find this website helpful. The only minor criticism, if I had to give any, is that I wish she has more content directed for older kids (ages 5 to 12). Her love is obviously for birth to pre-K but her job includes services to other age groups, and it’d be interesting to see what she does for them.

Uses:

  • A valuable resource for librarians who lead storytimes for kids ages 0-4. 
  • Numerous lesson plan, craft ideas, etc. for school librarians, homeschoolers, teachers, early childhood educators, parents/caregivers, etc.
  • Ideas for children’s/youth services area — how to market/display books, programming ideas, etc.
  • A good directory/source for other blogs and resources.

Other: Katie’s ideas and thoughts/comments on children’s/YA librarianship and programming can also be found via her Twitter (@katietweetsya) and Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/simplykatie/) pages. She is also a writer for ALSC’s blog.

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