If we may quote a little Labyrinth-era David Bowie:
“Down in the underground (oh oh oh oh oh)
You’ll find someone true (down underground)
Down in the underground (oh oh oh oh oh)
A land serene (oh oh oh oh)
A crystal moon, ah, ah…”
OK, so maybe it wasn’t quite that transcendent an experience when we discovered the Storytime Underground website, but it sure made us run to the keyboard and type up this post to tell our readers about it! The group’s passion comes across in its “Meet the Corps” page, which is less “about us” and more manifesto:
“This work is often underappreciated or disparaged by our fellow library professionals, but we at Storytime Underground know the truth: if you are out in the storytime trenches you are changing–and sometimes saving–lives with every fingerplay and feltboard. This is not an exaggeration. Literacy is not a luxury. To survive and thrive, a democracy needs a literate populace and we, the army of Children’s Librarians, are the front lines in the battle to deliver literacy to everyone…At the Storytime Underground our mission is threefold: We support each other, We promote each other, and We train each other.” Click here to read more.
A short list of things you’ll want to check out on the site:
- Storytime University, where you can enroll for participatory, collaborative professional development. (If you’d rather be referred to as a “badass ninja” than a “workshop participant”, this is professional development made for you.)
- A great list of links, blogs, and other online resources, about programming for various age groups.
- “Ask a Storytime Ninja”, a regular advice column where you can get real answers to your questions about literacy, storytime best practices, group management, and more.
- Guerilla Storytime, the radical, participant-focused in-person trainings conducted by the ninjas (with ideas shared on their blog).
- Advocacy Resources including links to research, sound bites, and stories from real library users.
But don’t take our word for it! Go check out the site and soak up all the great ideas!