Friday, March 08, 2013

What Flannel Friday Means to Me


A while back, Sharon challenged us to write about what Flannel Friday means to us. Next week we'll be celebrating FF's 2nd birthday, so this is a great time to reflect on what an experience it has been for us all. I wrote a novel, so I won't blame anyone for skimming this post!

I've been a Flannel Fridayer since the beginning, and it has had an amazing impact on my professional development and on my career in general. My desire to continue participating in Flannel Friday has led to me continually trying to outdo myself. I always want to step my game up for storytelling. I started doing felt and magnet boards. Now I've tried making my own shadow puppets and writing my own draw and tell stories. I'm happier because I love being creative and trying new things. My storytime families love seeing something different too.

I have learned a lot about using social media for professional purposes too. Way back in 2011, we started the Flannel Friday Pinterest boards, almost by accident. Now that account has over 4,000 followers! I love that we are reaching librarians, daycare providers, preschool teachers, and students who are interested in working in these fields. Most importantly, people are being inspired to introduce storytelling to the children in their communities. I see a lot of job ads in youth services that are looking for skills in the social media arena, and being involved in Flannel Friday is a great way to develop your resume.

Flannel Friday is a fun marriage of traditional storytelling and contemporary communication. We have people who have used iPhone/iPad apps in their storytimes, and then we have people who stick to felt. I love the combination of the tactile experience for the kids of touching the felt while also appealing to the 21st century love of gadgets. I am very curious to see what the future holds for digital storytelling.

On a personal level, I have made a lot of friends through the Flannel Friday group. I am so excited to get together with them in Chicago for ALA this summer. I have been able to celebrate many successes (my own and those of others) with some very incredible people. I have been able to work through some of my frustrations as well to the most sympathetic of ears.

Thank you everyone for reading my blog. Please know that I am touched beyond words by your comments and emails.

7 comments:

THANK YOU!
And... ALA ANNUAL FTW!!! Just a little excited to get to meet so many people.

Thank you Anne,
Your positive and energetic outlook always improves my day. And your desire to try all sorts of "stuff" is the best. Must say - looking at comments...wish I could be at ALA. Also, I know I am old when I don't know and can't figure out what FTW means!!! (laughing...Feel the wave? Felt the world...laughing more...should I go on?) ~ jane

Jane, FTW means "for the win!"

Annie, the FF posts on Mel's Desk were a catalyst, but YOU were the converter. Your enthusiasm and your willingness to jump in and write FF posts too and talk it up on Twitter and urge other people to join us are truly the actions that helped us coalesce into a focused, purposeful community. We owe you so much.

Anne, I'm glad you keep trying new things! I am so inspired by you and the other FF bloggers.

Your message, and the others I've read today, confirm that everything I had hoped and believed about the Flannel Friday community is true. You are the best group of funny, friendly, helpful, accepting, encouraging, and creative (future) friends I could imagine. :)
I just wish I was a librarian so I could attend this ALA conference / party everyone is talking about. ~Amanda M.

For The Win!!! Why thank you Anne!!