Young Children, New Media, and Libraries – A Review

Young Children, New Media, and Libraries: A Guide for Incorporating New Media into Library Collections, Services, and Programs for Families and Children Ages 0-5. 2014

  • Campbell, Cen. Koester, Amy. Chapter One: New Media in Youth Librarianship.
  • Prendergast, Tess. Chapter Two: Children and Technology: What can research tell us?

In the first chapter of this free professional resource on the topic of young children and new media, Little eLit Ladies Campbell and Koester make a case and a call to action for librarians to become media mentors to support families.   Young Children, New Media, and Libraries, the book, is unfolding in monthly releases, a chapter at a time and that can only increase its value. These dynamic thinkers in chapter one describe challenges to be met, such as “[t]he proliferation of digital content for children, and the mainstream interest in media consumption by young children.” They recognize opportunities to seize like inviting families to “break the paradigm of children interacting by themselves with a mobile device” by showing “parents how they can support their children’s engagement through joint use of media”.

In the second chapter, doctoral student and energetic children’s librarian, Prendergast, summarizes several key studies on children and technology. Over twenty studies and resources are profiled offering an easy way to gain background knowledge of important research completed on this topic. Here are a few studies to give you a flavor of the chapter:

  • Lankshear and Knobel (2003) reports on their review of research prior to 2003 focusing on new technologies and early literacy
  • Karen Wohlwend (2010) emphasizes the concept of open-ended, purposeful play using digital media
  • the American Pediatrics Association (APA) statement (2011) concerns itself with new technologies and early literacy
  • the position statement from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Fred Rogers Center (2012) is a thought-provoking report

Prendergast is spot on as she challenges readers to conduct library-based research to help move the profession forward.

If chapters one and two are any indication of future chapters, Young Children, New Media, and Libraries, in my opinion, will become a classic book on librarianship. This resource should help the profession reduce confusion by broadening our knowledge of the topic. However, it goes further by demonstrating a potential to tap our problem-solving skills by asking thoughtful questions and increase our understanding of and capacity to fulfill the purpose of a library in society.

You can find the chapters at Littleelit.com – and you won’t be disappointed.

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Our guest blogger today is Dorothy Stoltz. Dorothy is the Programming & Outreach Services Manager at Carroll County Public Library in New Windsor, MD.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

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