To Blog or Not To Blog

To Blog

You may have noticed that my blogging has slowed down. And, considering that I was never a frequent blogger in the first place, that’s sort of saying something.

I started this blog back in 2011, when I was still a brand new children’s librarian. Back then, blogging was easy. Storytime was a large part of my job (I was doing 3 different storytimes a week), and I had enough time to blog at work. Therefore, this blog was predominantly about storytime, and I was able to publish a few posts a month. Easy peasy.

When I moved to my current position 3 years ago, I didn’t know what to do with the blog. I didn’t have as many storytime plans to post (I basically do 1 storytime a month most months), and while I was doing lots of other fun things, those posts weren’t getting as many hits as my storytime posts. I also couldn’t blog at work anymore (unless it was on my break), so I found myself scrambling to write posts at home.

But a high-quality blog takes time and effort, and work/life balance when you work full time is both tricky and very important. Three years ago, I spent a lot of my outside of work time working on work-related stuff (blogging, making flannelboards, catching up on professional blog reading). I enjoyed (and still enjoy) doing all of those things but, as the months went on, I started to feel bogged down by how much of my life was centered around work and work-related stuff. So I started to cut back on how much work I do at home.

As I started cutting back on doing work-related stuff at home, I started filling my personal time with other activities. I exercise regularly. I meal plan. I volunteer. I’m studying Spanish. I started a book club with my three besties (which kind of ties in with work, except that we don’t read children’s books). And do you know what I’ve found? By having a better work/life balance, I am actually happier and more productive when I’m at work!

Several months ago, when it looked like I would be moving from salaried to hourly, I seriously considered giving up the blog all together. But the law didn’t go through, and it looks like I’ll remain salaried for the foreseeable future. And, honestly, I don’t think I could give up the blog. Maybe someday. But not right now. I love it too much, and I think it’s important that we keep ideas and information flowing in the profession.

I can’t promise that I’ll blog regularly. Personal time is too precious, and in addition to all of the things that I’ve mentioned before, I’m also house hunting this year. But I promise I’ll try not to leave you hanging. And maybe someday, as I continue to figure out this work/life balance thing, I’ll find a system that allows me to consistently blog at least once (maybe twice?) a month. Until then, I’ll just keep on keeping on.

Blog Update!

Boo

Can you believe that it’s October already?  Time has just been flying by these past couple of months!  I had high hopes of updating more this fall, but first there was the ALSC Institute, and then catching up on work after the ALSC Institute, and now I’m a CYBILS judge (very excited!!!) so the likelihood of having regular blog posts is slim (though I will try my utmost to post something!!!).

While I most likely won’t be posting much, I am planning on doing some maintenance type things for the ol’ blog.  One of the things I’d like to do is update my blogroll.  SO…

If you have a blog or know of a blog that I should include in my blogroll, please leave a comment with the URL!*

Due to how busy I’ve been these past couple of months, I haven’t been keeping up with new blogs! And I know that there are many new bloggers out there who are posting amazing stuff, and I want to be sure that I’m highlighting their work!  So don’t be shy!

*I am only accepting blogs that focus on early literacy or some aspect of children’s services within libraries.  This includes storytime blogs, early literacy blogs, programming blogs, book reviewing blogs, and librarianship in general blogs.  I’m also okay with preschool teacher blogs, homeschool blogs, and maybe even teen services blogs.

Announcement and a (Short) Hiatus

After a few weeks of radio silence on this ol’ blog, I am returning briefly to post some wonderful news:  After 2.5 years of working at my current position in North Texas, I am happy to announce that I’ve recently been offered (and accepted) a Children’s Librarian II position in Fort Wayne, Indiana!  Look out, Midwest!  I’m coming home!  🙂

However, due to the fact that we still do not have teleportation technology, I will be taking a short hiatus from this blog as I pack up my belongings, secure a new apartment, and randomly flail from all the stress that comes with moving.  Once I am settled into my new place and new job, I’ll return to my regular posting.

In the meantime, if you are here looking for storytime ideas, may I suggest checking out the wonderful blogs on my blog roll because they are all awesome!

Working Hard!

I’m just popping in to say that I’m alive and well, and I haven’t abandoned this blog or anything.  We’re currently going through a bit of a slow period at work.  While I’m still doing preschool storytime on a weekly basis, I’m taking a break from posting them on this blog because I am typing up some entries that I have scheduled to post in January.  I will be the blogging queen in January (seriously, I already have 4 posts ready and scheduled to go, and I have more to work on).  But until then, I will be MIA.

Happy Holidays!

Exciting News About Flannel Friday

Good morning everyone!  I am up bright and early to share some exciting news about Flannel Friday with you!

Exciting news for Flannel Friday!

Introducing the Flannel Friday website!

As you know, Anne at So Tomorrow has been an amazing manager and archiver of Flannel Friday information for the past year. Anne and her husband are expecting their first baby in June (congratulations Anne!) so we wanted to give her a break from Flannel Friday during her maternity leave. So this spring, Anne and Mel from Mel’s Desk and a small group of old and new Flannel Friday-ers worked to create a new web home for Flannel Friday.

Here’s the link! http://flannelfridaystorytime.blogspot.com

The new site will be the home of the Round Up Schedule, the archives, FAQs about Flannel Friday, information about how to get involved with Flannel Friday, and links to help new members get started with social networking and blogging. There will also be a link to the week’s Round Up, but the Round Up will continue to be hosted on individual blogs. We’ll just point to each Round Up from the site.

Refining the Round Up Procedure

The Flannel Friday community has grown continuously over the year, with new bloggers, new Round Up Hosts, and new members every week on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. We are building an amazing community and are grateful to each and every one of you for your participation and enthusiasm. As the group has grown, you’ve probably noticed that so have the Round Ups! We’ve seen an inevitable increase in missed links and general confusion as the Round Ups are compiled. We thought that the launch of the new site was a great opportunity to take a page from other round ups in the blogosphere and establish one single method for building the Round Up each week.

This information will be in the FAQs on the new site, but here’s our new strategy in a nutshell:

Every week the Round Up Host will publish a “placeholder” post for the Round Up on the host blog at 10pm EST on Thursday.

Each blogger who wants to participate in the Round Up will make a comment to the Round Up post with the link back to their Flannel Friday post by 10pm EST on Friday.

This will be the only place to post links for the Round Up! This way the Host won’t have to worry about checking Facebook or Twitter as well.

If a blogger can’t make the 10pm EST deadline on Friday, we’ll ask that the post be held for the next week’s Round Up.

The Round Up Host will gather links from the Round Up post comments throughout the day, and publish the Round Up at the end of the day.

We hope this will make the Round Ups easier to create and easier to contribute to! We’ll look forward to your feedback over the next few weeks. Sharon / @ReadingChick at Rain Makes Applesauce has the Round Up this week, 5/11, so she’s going to try out the new procedure with us and see how it goes!

If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to share them via the new Flannel Friday email: flannelboardfriday [at] gmail.com.

Thanks for all you do to to make Flannel Friday more than a blog event–but a great community too. Here’s to the next great year of Flannel Friday!