Taking some time this weekend to look back on the blog and think about the coming year! I got a little carried away and made a cute infographic:
And here’s a more in-depth analysis:
What Happened in 2019?
Total Posts: 48
I posted more in 2019 than any other year to date! This was really surprising given my blogging hiatus during winter/spring.
Types of Posts
Like usual, storytime plans and flannels got the most attention on the blog. However, this is the first year storytime posts outnumbered flannels. I attribute this shift to the fact that I’m making fewer and fewer new flannels these days. The flannels I do make tend to be more robust and can be used with a variety of storytime themes – like my Mouse House flannel featured below.
First Post: Mouse House Makeover with Inclusivity in Mind
Coming in at 2129 words, my first post of the year was also almost the longest one. I talked about how adding variety to storytime flannels (such as using different types of homes with Mouse House) makes these activities both more inclusive and more robust. Variety is the key to quality storytime conversations that build vocabulary, background knowledge and early math skills!
Last Post: Baby Bakers Storytime Spotlight
Managed to squeeze in a post sharing my last storytime of 2019 before the year ended! 💪
Longest Post: On Suess, Selection, Criticism and Censorship
It took me 2514 words to gather my thoughts about a March article on the Intellectual Freedom blog titled “Why I Am Keeping Seuss Books.” Responses on the OIF blog and Twitter were… revealing. It seems we as a profession have some serious confusion regarding censorship. It also seems we care more about HOW racism is called out rather than addressing the racism itself. Kind of like the current Romance Writers Association implosion. Anyways, in this post I talked about why I DO keep Seuss books in the collection but DO NOT actively promote them.
Shortest Post: One Astronaut Went Out to Play
Coming in at 160 words, this flannel was the shortest post I shared in 2019. I made this set for Flannel Friday’s 2019 Summer Reading Celebration.
Most Viewed Post from 2019: Mouse House Makeover with Inclusivity in Mind
This post got a lot of hits when I shared it with the Flannel Friday and Storytime Underground Facebook Groups, but it’s also gotten a fair amount of traffic from Pinterest and Jbrary. Thanks Jbrary!
Most Viewed Post in 2019: Five Baby Dragons
These fiery fiends have gotten the most yearly views ever since getting published in 2018. I anticipate it will probably be my most popular most in 2020 as well since the CSLP Summer Reading Theme is Imagine Your Story (Fairytales/Mythology/Fantasy).
My Favorite Post: Little Shell Mini Math Makeover
This is one of those rare years where my favorite post actually coincides with the most popular post of the year, but since Mouse House has already been mentioned twice, I’ll go with this ocean-themed Mouse House-esque flannel game! This post is near and dear to my heart because it was the first flannel I tried to make after getting sick and taking a 5 month break from crafting.
Honorable Mention: Hat Hiding Flannel Games (template included)
Another Honorable Mention: Starting Storytime With Gratitude
What Was Missing?
A lot happened this past year that I just never got around to blogging about, including…
I presented with Melissa Depper in Wisconsin at Power Up 19 about supporting self reflective storytime development. I also led an internal staff training with my former boss, Lori Romero, exploring how libraries can better support the oft-neglected early literacy practice WRITE. These things did not get blogged about yet, but I’m leading a special bookmaking storytime in 2020, so I have plans to circle back. Stay tuned!
2019 Book Reviews
I don’t think I have capacity to blog about books like I did before. I did LOOK at more than 500 picture books during 2019 and jot down notes… I hope to at least share my early math favorites and books for classroom teachers to know about, but no promises. If you’re on the lookout for the latest and greatest in kidlit, I highly recommend checking out Betsy Bird’s annual 31 Days 31 Lists series over on School Library Journal and Jbrary’s annual Favorite Storytime Picture Books round up. If you’re wondering what picture books are coming our way in 2020, check out Mr. Teut’s amazing Picture Book Preview series.
Library Services for Children Journal Club Reflections
I took a hiatus from the Denver Metro Area LSC Chapter in 2019. Our local group meets once a quarter to discuss recent research and hot topics related to our field. We’re a part of the larger Library Services for Children Journal Club, a nationwide professional development initiative headed by Lindsey (of Jbrary fame) and her coworker, Christie.
I’m looking forward to getting back with the group and diving into social emotional learning this January! Interested in joining us? Reach out via Twitter or email!
Learning to Live with a Vestibular Disorder
I alluded to my balance nerve damage and vestibular disorder here and there on social media, but I’m still searching for the right words before I blog. It’s a big thing, it’s changed me in big ways, and I don’t have the capacity to coherently talk about it yet, but I hope to someday soon.
What’s Next in 2020?
Thursday Thoughts on Gender Bias
I’ve been reading Boys Will Be Boys: Power, Patriarchy and Toxic Masculinity by Clementine Ford. Besides making me furious, this book also made me wonder – how is the patriarchy permeating library services for young children and families? How is it impacting my practice personally? I’ll be exploring these questions in a blog post sometime this month.
SO MANY storytime plans from 2019 never made it to the blog. I have quite a lot of catching up to do! You’ll also see a lot more baby content round here, since this is my only regularly scheduled storytime for 2020.
Feeling very pumped to get to do more programming with my new library job! I’m especially excited to lead some afternoon programming for school-agers and get involved with sensory outreach. Looking forward to sharing what I learn with you!
What’s on your radar for 2020, library land? Is there something you’d like to see on Storytime in the Stacks? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year! ❤️
8 thoughts on “2019 Year in Review: Blogger Style”
Thanks for an amazing year! You are my go-to resource and I have learned a lot from your storytime posts. My fingers are crossed that you’ll continue to post preschool and family stories in the new year. 🙂
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Aww thank you! I have tons of catch up family storytime plans to share, no worries there. I also need to blog about the preschool outreach storytimes I did last year! 😅 Thank you for reading and energizing me for the new year!
Looking forward to your new posts in 2020. 😊
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Thanks Erin! 😁 Hopefully you start a blog soon so I can keep up with all the great stuff you are doing! Or we just see each other more. ❤
Wow, Jessica, this is an incredible feat! Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts and for pushing me to think critically about youth services. I can’t wait to see what you write about in 2020!
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Thank you Lindsey! Your comment means a lot to me. You inspire me every day and I’m glad I can reciprocate a little bit!
Wow, Jessica, what a feat! Thank you for sharing all of your thoughts and for pushing me to think critically about youth services. Your blog is a huge motivation for me as a blogger too. I can’t wait to see what you write about in 2020 🙂