Blogger Katie Salo

Organizing Storytime!

It’s no secret to those of us doing storytime programming that it requires a LOT of stuff. And if we’re not careful, that stuff can overtake our lives. I spent eight years at my last job, getting all the stuff under control and I’m about to start organizing at my new library. In today’s post, I hope to offer you a round-up of different links to help you get organized before summer reading begins!

Tips for Organizing

  1. A place for everything and to everything its place. It might sound cheesy, but it’s a great tool. If the pompoms don’t have a spot in the craft closet, you’ll never find them when you need them.
  2. Spend five minutes a day tidying. Don’t let things pile up!
  3. Go through your materials once a year and do a solid inventory. If you haven’t used something and do not have a purpose in mind, donate or thrift it! If your paint is now chalky, throw it out!
  4. Have an odds and ends container. Where else are you going to put the hula skirts from the Hide Tide In Hawaii Magic Tree House program or the extra underwear from the Captain Underpants party game?
  5. Label things.
  6. Keep a spreadsheet of what’s available.

An organized storytime closet. [Photo courtesy of the author.]
An organized storytime closet. [Photo courtesy of the author.]

Specific Materials

  • An organized storytime cart since Anna doesn’t have a storytime storage area.
  • Several ideas for flannelboard organization come from Lisa and Sarah and Deborah.
  • Lisa gives you ideas about puppets, finger puppets, and flannelboards at her amazing storage post.
  • And the area that I need to get better about organization — using Evernote as a storytime archive which Melissa wrote for the ALSC Blog.

You might be surprised to learn that I actually created my blog to serve as a searchable database of storytimes that I had done so that I didn’t have to keep a ridiculous amount of files and crafts. Now I don’t have to sift through a bunch of papers and instead just use the search box.

I hope that jump-starts your organization before summer reading starts! If you have tips to share, pictures, or questions, please leave a comment and we can all help each other out!

– Katie Salo
Early Literacy Librarian
Indian Prairie Public Library


  1. Abby Johnson

    I LOVE Lisa’s puppet organization! That is something we’re going to work on (probably after Summer Reading Club). We have a lot of stuffed-animal-odds-and-ends to get rid of!

    And we have definitely jumped on board the Evernote train. It’s much less cumbersome than our overstuffed shared driver on the server at work and I love that it’s searchable. I’ve been looking for the easiest way to keep my baby storytime records so that I don’t reuse the same books/rhymes/etc. too often and Evernote is fitting the bill!

  2. Anne

    I started my blog as a class assignment in library school around 2006, but after the semester was over I deleted all the posts and started fresh blogging my storytimes, so basically I blog just so I don’t have zillions of files clogging things up. It’s worked out wonderfully for me since I am now on my 3rd library since 2006–a lot less stuff to lug in and out of old and new jobs!

  3. Bobbie Hall

    I refer to this often! I have used just about everything you’ve suggested here. I am excited about the possibilities that come with using a spread sheet and Evernote. Thank you again!

    1. Katie Salo

      Thanks, Bobbie! Glad to know it’s still helpful!

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