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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: Meet Jbrary for All Your Hand Rhyme Needs

So here’s the deal.  In libraries nationwide there are systems where trained children’s librarians are a scarcity.  There are any number of reasons for this.  It could be that the city or system is low on funds and isn’t hiring.  It could be that there isn’t a reliable library school in the state.  Whatever the case, just because a branch or a library doesn’t have a children’s librarian that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for storytimes.  It’s not like people stop having kids just because there isn’t any programming for them after all.  In a great many rural libraries there’s no statewide ALA accredited library science program in place.  As for urban libraries where clerks and sometimes even pages are roped into doing the children’s programs that may be because there’s a hiring freeze or the library system stopped doing “specialties”.

What then is the solution?  I’ve seen some states like Vermont create certification programs for people working with children in the libraries, giving them the basic training they need for storytimes and knowledge about the books out there.  Yet even if you have a certification program in place, what people working in children’s programming really need are examples of what other librarians are doing out there.  Many already know that if you want to get examples of great library displays you should go to Pinterest and sites like that but what about hand rhymes?  They’re so hard to do without seeing them done somewhere else first.

Enter Jbrary.  It’s not an original idea to film hand rhymes for your library system.  For example, the King County Library System (which, if I may be allowed to trash talk for a moment, is due to be royally thumped by my system’s sorting machine in this week’s big sort off) has a marvelous collection of hand rhyme videos for the viewing here.  I’ve mentioned them in the past and now I’ve another crew to salute.  Acting on their own, two librarians by the name of Dana and Lindsey have systematically been posting hand rhyme after hand rhyme on YouTube under the moniker of Jbrary.  But that is not all, oh no, that is not all.  They also do songs, rhymes, book reviews, app reviews, craft ideas, and felt board ideas.  Everything, in short, that a budding new children’s professional might need to feel a little less out to sea.

So today, I’ll just show a couple of these.  If you’ve someone in your system in need of some guidance in this area, this isn’t a bad place to turn.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful post – we feel so honoured! All of our book reviews, app reviews, craft ideas, and felt board ideas can be found on our website – We really, really, really, appreciate the support!

  2. Christiana Cuellar says:

    I started an internship this Fall that had me conducting Storytime for the first time and I was SO HAPPY to find this resource. I subscribed to the channel and have been completely inspired! The kids especially like doing the hand movements for the ‘hello and goodbye’ songs.

  3. Caroline Johnson says:

    Kudos to Dana and Lindsey!! It’s a great site! We’re lucky to have such talented Children’s Librarians here in British Columbia!

  4. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked on Jbrary to make sure I’ve got the right rhyme and rhythm going before heading into a storytime – thanks Dana and Lindsey for creating your YouTube channel and for sharing your experiences on your great blog. Congrats on the recognition you so richly deserve! Michael

  5. Angela Reynolds says:

    Canada FTW! I use this resource constantly. I only do storytime once a month, and each month I find a new song or rhyme from the Jbrary archives. The library world is SO lucky to have this resource. And check out the Blogroll on their website for So Many More blogs your head will spin. Thanks for featuring them!