Tune in for iYouth Officer Mandi Harris’s Sensory Story Time Webinar 10/3/17

At A Glance: Join Youth Services Specialist and iYouth Online Representative Mandi Harris for a free Washington State Library’s First Tuesdays webinar Sensory Story Time: Programming for Children with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder and Other Special NeedsTuesday, October 3, 2017, at 9:00 AM PACIFIC. 



While libraries strive to be welcoming places for all, children with special needs may not always thrive in traditional story times where crowds, bright lights, and sudden noises can overstimulate and overwhelm. Parents of children with special needs can often feel conspicuous and unwelcome in a library setting.

Idaho’s Community Library Network welcomed these families by establishing a story time structured around special needs. The program became so successful that a second session of it was necessary and the library saw an increase in library use by patrons with special needs, adults and children alike.

In this webinar led by Youth Services Specialist (and iYouth Online Representative!) Mandi Harris who launched the Community Library Network‘s Sensory Story Time, participants will:

  • Learn how aspects of sensory story times, such as yoga and sensory reading, can be integrated into traditional programs in order to better serve all children. Learn ways all libraries can serve children with special needs, even if they do not have the resources to create a dedicated program.
  • Gain exposure to sensory tools such as visual schedules, light blockers, weighted stuffed animals, therapy bands, sensory balance beams, sensory roller coasters, and yuck-e-balls. Learn how to DIY sensory tools such as weighted blankets and therapy fidgets using everyday supplies.
  • Discuss aspects of sensory processing disorder; what proprioceptive input is; and the differences between over and under stimulation in sensory processing disorder and how those manifest in different behaviors.

Join Mandi this Tuesday, October 3, 2017 @9:00 am PACIFIC at https://www.sos.wa.gov/library/libraries/firsttuesdays/. There is no cost to participate and the webinar will be recorded if you can’t join her live.

Introducing your iYouth ’17/’18 Leaders

Brand new cherry blossoms (@uwcherryblossom), brand new sunshine, brand new iYouth Leaders!

We simply cannot wait to begin scheming up programming and services for this spring and next school year with our new team.


Elizabeth MyersElizabeth Myers, co-chair, is a first year residential MLIS student interested in youth librarianship, diversity in children’s literature, and information access.  Her favorite books from childhood include Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. She is currently reading Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.


Ellie Newell

Ellie Newell, co-chairis a first year residential MLIS student from Helena, Montana. She dreams about a career in Montana public libraries and finding the perfect sun-drenched window seat for her kitty, Gimli. Her favorite YA books are Harry Potter (of course!) and Nix’s Abhorsen series. For younger readers, she loves Wells’s Bunny Planet trio, McCloskey’s One Morning in Maine, Gaiman’s Graveyard Book, and Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

Alyson SharpAlyson Sharp, secretary, is a first year in the online MLIS program. Professionally, she is interested in archives and educational outreach for youth. She would love to meld the two interests together and develop an educational outreach program to expose youth to archives, developing and promoting archives’ value to young people. She absolutely loves to read (and even sneaks it in while blow drying her hair!) and YA is one of her favorite genres. Alyson is currently reading Heilig’s The Girl From Everywhere and Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles is one of her most loved series.

Jess ThuerrauchJess Thuerrauch, treasurer, is a first year residential MLIS student interested in working in public libraries upon graduation. Ideally she would like to work for Enoch Pratt Free Libraries in her home town of Baltimore – she loved visiting her local branch as a kid! Jess’s main interests are children and young adult services, as well as community outreach. Some of her favorite children’s/young adult books are Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching Series and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. Elizabeth recently introduced her to the Lumberjanes series (from Boom! Box), which she is really enjoying!

Mandi Harris, onMandi Harrisline representative, is a first year online MLIS student. For the past four years, she has worked as a Youth Services Specialist for a public library where she leads programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers; programs for children with special needs; STEM story time; naturebrary story time; and French story time. She also works with tweens and teens in STEM groups, book clubs, and writing groups. This is Mandi’s dream job, and she hopes to spend her life as an innovative children’s librarian. Her favorite children’s book is Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, and she tries to bring Anne Shirley’s joy and whimsy to the library each day.

Maya's AnnaMarija (Maya) Radovanovic, publicity officer, is a first year residential MLIS student. A Yugoslavian native and former refugee, she has been living in the US for the last 18 years—first in Illinois and now in Seattle, Washington. Maya is a former educator with six years of teaching experience. She is planning on using her degree to further promote literacy and guide children and adults into creating lifelong connections with literature. Her favorite childhood book in Serbo-Croatian is Svaki Dan Po Jedna Priča o Životinjama (Animals and Their Adventures- Tell Me a Story) written by Anne-Marie Dalmais and translated to Serbo-Croatian by Svetlana Đurić. Her favorite childhood book series in English is His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman. (Pictured is Maya’s pup Anna)

Kayla O'ConnorKayla O’Connor, event coordinator, relocated from Indiana to Seattle last September to begin the Residential MLIS program. After graduation she hopes to work in the children’s services department of a public library, preferably in a big city somewhere but she’ll go wherever they’ll have her! Kayla’s favorite children’s book probably comes down to a tie between Burnett’s The Secret Garden and Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Drop-In Social Justice Storytime


The Union for Academic Student Employees at the University of Washington (UAW 4121) invited iYouth to participate in its January 20 Community Day of Action and Resistance. We hoped to provide a peaceful space for parents and children to explore their political voices, facilitated by stories and crafts. Although no children attended this event held in UW’s beautiful wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ / Intellectual House, we were able to have several fruitful conversations with parents about the use of books to introduce their young children to issues of inequality, race, and migration.

Having developed a template for a Drop-In Social Justice Storytime, iYouth will be able to easily replicate this program in the future.

We developed a (non-exhaustive) list of fabulous American social justice-themed picture books for children ages 2-middle school and displayed them for children and parents to peruse. We were prepared to hold impromptu one-on-one storytimes as appropriate.


We also prepared two crafts for children: a larger mural-style banner for free expression (not pictured), and intention statement Chinese-style drums. One side of the drums bore the words: “I am powerful because,” allowing children to fill-in their own statements. We hoped that this would lead to conversations about the importance of children’s voices in political, social, and family environments, as well as creating a safe space for children to voice their fears and concerns about the recent political activity in the United States.


To make the drums, decorate the “table side” of two paper plates and tape a popsicle stick to the bottom of one plate like the tail of a Q. Staple the two plates together and punch two holes through the margins of the plate. If the popsicle stick is at 6 o’clock, the holes should be at 9 and 3 o’clock. String a bead through about six inches of yarn and loop it through the hole. Tie it off and repeat on the other side. Here’s a link to a video showing a real Chinese drum in action.

Below is a list of the books which we were able to borrow from the Sno-Isle, Seattle Public, and UW Library Systems. Many thanks to Elizabeth Myers for compiling the list of titles!

Two White Rabbits Jairo Buitrago

Smoky Night Eve Bunting

Miss Rumphius Barbara Cooney

Last Stop On Market Street Matt de la Peña

Grace For President Kelly S. DiPucchio

We March Shane W. Evans

I am Jazz Jessica Herthel

A Sweet Smell of Roses Angela Johnson

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark Debbie Levy

Let’s Talk About Race Julius Lester

Frog and Toad are Friends Arnold Lobel

Brave girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 Michelle Markel

A is for Activist Innosanto Nagara

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Heather Has Two Mommies Lesléa Newman

Of Thee I Sing Barack Obama

A Family is a Family is a Family Sarah O’Leary

Sit In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down Andrea Davis Pinkney

And Tango Makes Three Justin Richardson

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson Pam Munoz Ryan

Rad American Women Kate Schatz

Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters Laurie Thompson

Separate is Never Equal Duncan Tonatiuh

Yoko Rosemary Wells

Yoko’s Paper Cranes Rosemary Wells

Yoko Writes Her Name Rosemary Wells

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 Jonah Winter

Ellie Newell is a first-year ambassador to iYouth and an MLIS candidate.