Blog: Hi Miss Julie!

Blog Title: Hi Miss Julie!

Author: Julie Jurgens, a children’s librarian in the Chicagoland area

Blog summary: This blog focuses on library services/materials for children and youth, though because of Miss Julie’s background in early childhood education, there is special emphasis on children birth through pre-K. Posts range in topic, from book reviews, programming ideas, links to other library blogs, events/news announcements, to general musings/commentary on her experiences and this field. She is also a musician and several posts discusses the importance of singing/song during story time; the blog had a link to one of her songs What’s Up! 

Audience: Children’s librarians, teachers

Strengths: 

  • This blog was listed as one of the “100 Helpful Blogs for School Librarians (and Teachers)” on Edudemic.com.
  • I like the look and feel of the blog…modern and clean.
  • Her writing is informal and down-to-earth…it feels like you are having a conversation with her. She’s honest about her feelings towards subjects such as the “makerspace” movement (she thinks that’s just a fancy way of saying “programming”, which libraries have been doing for a long time) and “keynote speakers” (she thinks storytellers and librarians makes just as good keynote speakers at conferences than newly published, highly hyped authors). 
  • She has a small section devoted to story time and story time resources, but even more helpful has been links to other sites she provides within her blog entries.

Weaknesses:

  • The blog posts lack organization. Even though they are tagged by topic, there isn’t a simple way to access archived posts, see how many posts are in each category, etc. For example, I might want to see all of her book reviews, but first I’d have to find one book review by scrolling through the post (a tedious exercise in itself), then click the tag that would take me to all other reviews. The relevancy of items returned depends on the quality of the tagging. When I clicked the “review” tag on one of the entries, it did in fact, returned some other book reviews. However, it also returned “year in review” type entries. 
  • There’s not an easy way to figure out how often she blogs either, except by scrolling through the entries and connecting the dots between dates. Blog sites usually has a way to organizing/displaying archived items by date and category…I’m surprised she hasn’t utilized it.

Uses:

  • Due to the lack of organization, I would probably use this site for general-interest/leisure reading and as a way to access other sites and resources. Her tips on storytime and her posts about music during storytimes will be helpful for those librarians interested in bringing a musical component in their programming.

Awards & Honors: From her CV, she was named Book Expo America Librarian Blogger 2012, and as mentioned before, her blog was listed as one of the “100 Helpful Blogs for School Librarians (and Teachers)” on Edudemic.com.

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