In today’s tech-driven society, parents are faced with the difficult task of helping their children use electronic media and online devices safely and effectively. ALSC Board Member Amy Koester thoughtfully addresses this issue in her op-ed for Media Planet’s Education and Career News, explaining that when parents and caregivers need help guiding their children on the use of technology and online content, they can turn to librarians for assistance.
Librarians are perfectly situated to be media mentors, teaching adults how to responsibly and successfully navigate the technology landscape with their children. Need resources on how to become a good “media mentor” yourself? Here are a few websites, recommended by Amy to help you get started.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has a toolkit with updated recommendations for children using televisions, computers, phones, video gaming consoles, and other forms of tech media. The information on this site is applicable to youth of all ages, from babies through high school teens.
- ALSC has a website of resources on media mentorship, including the ALSC White Paper that gives a definition of “media mentorship” and why mentoring is crucial in today’s digital culture.
- Great Websites for Kids is a librarian-curated list of recommended websites for children, sponsored by ALSC. Websites are divided into categories such as “Animals,” “The Arts,” and “Mathematics and Computers.”
- Carissa Christner’s website for the Madison Public Library entitled Library Makers: Hands-On Learning for All Ages provides information on non-traditional library programming and materials. Two categories on her blog, Apps News and Supper Club, introduce readers to engaging children’s apps that promote early literacy, exploration, and creative play. In addition, the Madison Public Library has a curated list of recommended apps for kids.
- For more academic reading, check out the book and accompanying site Tap Click Read or the book Family Engagement in the Digital Age: Early Childhood Educators as Media Mentors.
Marika Jeffery, a Children’s and Teen Collection Development Librarian at San Diego Public Library, is writing this post on behalf of the Public Awareness Committee. She can be reached at email@example.com.