From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
That's exactly what a frame story does in terms of narrative structure. It's the big overarching story that contains all of the little stories within it. It provides the background story that gives the real story an excuse to be told.