- Flannel Friday provides me with great ideas. The Flannel Friday community brings together the creative minds of children's librarians scattered across the country. When I'm stuck trying to find material to match a particular theme or book, I can pop over to the most recent round-up or the Flannel Friday Pinterest boards and browse until something catches my eye. Often even when I don't wind up using something from the archives, what I see there inspires me to create a similar or related prop. It amazes me how many different approaches there are to story time, and I love the diversity of ideas presented in each round-up.
- Flannel Friday gives me a sense of community. For almost the first year of Flannel Friday's existence, I was the only children's librarian at my branch. Though I saw other librarians at system-wide meetings and such, there weren't always opportunities for sharing story time ideas At times, I could feel pretty isolated, as though I were on this island where no one else (especially not the adult librarians I worked with!) spoke my language. I also tend to be extremely introverted, and since I was still so new back then, I sometimes found it easier to ask for ideas in an online forum where I could take my time with responding in just the right way. Whether it's commenting on each other's blogs, tweeting on Twitter, or posting on the Facebook page, it's nice to know that I'm never more than a mouse click away from a support network of children's librarians, who, wherever they live, share the same interests and concerns that I have.
- Flannel Friday encourages me to be creative. When I was in college, I took a lot of creative writing classes, not just because I liked to write, but because I found that having both a deadline and an audience encouraged me to write more consistently. The same rule applies to my experiences with Flannel Friday. I have always had ideas, but knowing I will have an opportunity to share them on a given day makes me much more likely to actually follow through with creating them. I write a lot more rhymes and come up with many more creative ways to tell stories because I know there is a place where such things are needed, wanted, and appreciated.
- Flannel Friday teaches me about so much more than flannel boards. Flannel Friday participants know so much about children's librarianship. They know what to do with a parachute, and where to buy Contact paper. They know a million ways to use finger puppets, and just as many school-age friendly action songs and games. I've never posed a question to the group that wasn't thoroughly answered, and even when I take a break from the round-ups, I still learn something new nearly every time I log into Facebook or visit a Flannel Friday post.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Why I Love Flannel Friday
I shared my first-ever flannel board in my first-ever Flannel Friday round-up nearly two years ago, on April 29, 2011. Today, in celebration of the upcoming two-year anniversary of Flannel Friday on March 15, the round-up will collect posts on the topic, "What Flannel Friday Means to Me." The list below shares my experiences and expresses my appreciation for this wonderful weekly online event.