Storytime Underground

Are you public librarian, early childhood educator, or parent of young children? If you answered yes, this post is for you! Storytime Underground is an amazing community of public librarians focused on the literacy of our youngest humans. The contributors provide more than resources. They also provide their perspectives into the highlights and challenges of their lives as public librarians. I was fortunate enough to get my MLIS (Masters of Arts in Library and Information Studies) with some of the people behind Storytime Underground. Just as they did then, they continue to amaze me with their work and passion for literacy. The mission of Storytime Underground is a great one, check out their website to learn more about tit and why storytime is much, much more than reading a book. Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Miss Meg’s Storytime

Are you a children’s librarian, early childhood educator, parent of young children, or interested in becoming any of these? If you answered yes, this post is for you! Miss Meg offers a fresh perspective on library storytime and school-age programming through her website, You’ll find a variety of topics complete with photos, booklists, and materials used. I first met Meg in Madison, WI, while we were both working toward our Master’s of Library and Information Studies. We soon became friends. Though we currently live on opposite sides of the U.S. of A., always fun to see what she’s up to through her website and social media. Check out to learn more and bring an idea into your community! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Literacy & Legos: Year 2

During year two of the Literacy & Legos program at Fairmont Elementary I’m happy to report I was able to receive more funding to purchase additional Lego StoryStarter Kits. There were several changes from year 1 to year 2. The biggest included: meeting during school hours using the StoryStarter curriculum lessons having two groups of students What stayed the same? focus on literacy additional opportunities for 3rd-5th grade students who could use an extra opportunity to work on their storytelling and writing skills use of Lego StoryStarter kits I decided to create two different opportunities for year two because there were so few girls nominated for Legos & Literacy during year one. Legos are useful to everyone and I wanted to provide more students the opportunity to participate. Third through fifth grade girls could be nominated and would meet during the month of March. Third through fifth grade boys could be nominated and would meet during the month of April. I had never separated students this way however I’m pleased to report it worked extremely well. Two of my hopes were that more girls would be able to participate and all students would become more confident in working with new peers. Both […]

Star of the North Picture Book Award

There are two student choice book awards in Minnesota. They include the Maud Hart Lovelace and Star of the North Book Awards. These are organized by the Minnesota Youth Reading Awards – MYRA. While the Maud Hart Lovelace Award began in 1980 to award works of fiction, the Star of the North Book Award was first given in 2014 and is awarded to picture books. Thus far, the winners include: 2014 – The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon & Jake Parker 2015 – Moo! by David LaRochelle & Mike Wohnoutka 2016 – The Day the Crayon’s Quit by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers For the past two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be a reader and serve on the committee that chose the ten nominees. In addition, I was able to integrate the 10 books nominated for the 2016 award into library lessons with kindergarten through second grade students. Anyone up to 8th grade is welcome to read and vote on this award and based on the unit’s success I would be doing this unit with all students next year if I was still working at the same school (the school was preschool – 6th grade). During the prior school year, I organized […]