Guerrilla Storytime - the Real Meaning

When the idea for Guerrilla Storytime first started birthing in the late spring/early summer 2013,  part of the conversation was doing the storytimes in a public venue that showed people the importance of storytime work.  That's why the Networking Uncommons at ALA was booked. It put the storytime ninjas front and center among non-youth librarians. It was a huge success and created a buzz-worthy atmosphere at the conference.

Youth librarians gathered again at ALA Midwinter at the Networking Uncommons and again had a great turn-out and created a stir.  Probably my favorite write-up about the event is one that bystander Kate Kosturski just shared on INALJ.  It is a wonderful view of a non-youth librarian recognizing the magic of the Guerrilla Storytime moments.  She filmed a number of ninjas that day and shared those videos at ALA.

I got to know Kate a bit last year when discussions of feminism in librarianship started to pop up into conversation. She hosted a Circulating Ideas podcast panel with Coral Sheldon-Hess and me that addressed some of these issues. It was great for me to listen to these interesting people and to think outside my youth librarian bubble. I got more interested in LITA at ALA because of that conversation.

For me, this IS what librarianship is all about - each type of librarian sharing the power and joy of our passions with folks outside our more narrow library-interest tribe.  I think librarians are willing to hear from each other and discover. We just need to listen, to talk to them - not just at ALA or our state conferences but at our institutions. We learn, we create powerful connections and we strengthen ourselves.

I thank my deep-thinking pals Cory, Amy and Kendra for bringing our part of the conversation front and center to conferences where librarians of all types and stripes gather. And I thank my non-youth librarian colleagues for the warm embrace!

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