I really debated whether or not to invest energy in my annual reflective review posts. 2020 was a garbage fire of a year that I don’t enjoy remembering in the least! But then I got an alert about my 5 year Bloggerversary in January and curiosity won out.
So, without further ado, here’s what happened last year on Storytime in the Stacks.
At 31,956 views, 2020 was the busiest year yet for Storytime in the Stacks! Traffic continues to grow every year, although it did not grow nearly as much in 2020 as in years past.
Site traffic seemed to peak in spring, then dropped off to a smaller (but still steady) stream in the fall. April brought A LOT of visitors checking out my spring-themed felt sets, so I’m guessing folks had some extra time to craft while many libraries were closed to the public?
Total Posts: 20
Not surprisingly, 2020 was my least active year ever since launching the blog in 2016… but NOT because I wasn’t writing! I spent a lot of time this year working on other projects, like working with an amazing team to write the collaborative ALSC and CLEL Virtual Storytime Services Guide.
Here’s some more writing I did in other places:
- Is Your Online Library for Everyone? (ALSC Blog)
- What If Accessibility is a Right, Not a Request? (CLEL Blog)
Types of Posts:
- 3 Flannel Fridays (15%)
- 9 Storytime Plans (45%)
- 4 Thursday Thoughts (20%)
- 4 Professional Development Related Posts/Reflections (20%)
Flannels get less and less love from me on the blog each year, despite being the most popular content by far! These days I spend more time adding new pieces to existing favorite flannel sets, rather than crafting entirely new creations. And although I continue to blog the most about storytime plans, I’m still nowhere near sharing them in a timely manner… For example, out of the 35 storytimes I presented in 2020, I only got around to blogging about 9 of them! 😬
First vs. Last Post:
- 2019 Year in Review: Blogger Style (First)
- Thursday Thoughts: Advocating for Accessibility in Library Land (Last)
It was humbling to look back and read about my grand blogging plans at the beginning of 2020. Needless to say, most of those plans were made in vain! These two posts really demonstrate the stark contrast between my optimistic beginning of the year excitement and my rather bitter end of year exhaustion.
Shortest vs. Longest Post:
- Flannel Friday: Some Big Dark Clouds (Shortest, 174 Words)
- 2019 Year in Review: Reader Style (Longest, 2830 Words)
No surprises here! Planning on breaking up my 2020 Reading Review into several shorter posts so it’s more manageable.
Most Popular Posts:
Flannel posts continue to snag the most site traffic. Makes sense – they’re submitted to the Flannel Friday Round Ups and shared on the official Flannel Friday Pinterest board archives.
I really need to figure out a way to get more traffic to those Thursday Thoughts posts! They’re buried on the blog and I’m terrible about remembering to share them on social media. Hmm…
My Favorite Post(s):
I think this was my second to last baby storytime before we temporarily closed to the public and the last time I saw all my regulars together. Just reading and remembering that day again brings a teary smile to my face!
- Thursday Thoughts: Setting Virtual Storytime Goals (Honorable Mention)
The E-AIMS framework has been so helpful for planning and assessing my virtual storytimes – especially given the void without the usual immediate audience feedback I’m used to!
- LSC Journal Club: Social Emotional Learning & Libraries (Honorable Mention)
Oof. Remembering our first and only LSC Journal Club meeting of the year. We talked about staff wellbeing as the key to a successful SEL framework in schools (and libraries):
…self-care is not a fix for systemic institutional issues. Working out won’t get you a living wage. Reading a book about depression is not a substitute for seeking care. Burnout tells me much more about an organization than it does an individual.
We all saw how well THAT worked out in 2020:
Drowning Hand Meme
(Miss me forever with “helpful” suggestions to start a gratitude journal in the middle of a worldwide pandemic).
What Was Missing?
- Accessibility Webinar Archives & Follow Up
- Book Review Round Ups
- Program Posts
- Sensory Storytimes
I think I just need to accept that I don’t have capacity to write about the hundreds of picture books I read every year. I really do want to round up my favorite new early math titles, though… we’ll see! Would also really like to share the few fun programs I got to do before COVID came along, including an epic box party and a delightful day with duct tape.
I HOPE to work through my 50+ draft post backlog. If we ever return to in-person programming this year, I think blogging and reflecting on programs past will help me get in the right frame of mind! But no promises this time… my plate is full with a lot of other library stuff, and I just transferred to a new branch.
What was your favorite post on the blog last year? Any particular content you’re hoping to see more of this 2021? Would love to learn more in the comments below!
Wishing us all a better new year and speedy vaccinations, library land folk. 🤞 I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and well!