Let’s talk iPads, part deux

My first post back in July was about how to get tablets for your library. Now I present to you the basic set-up and results of our new service from the glorious benefits to those pesky pitfalls. Once our proposal was approved, we got the ball rolling with (1) publicity, (2) setting up security restrictions, and (3) downloading apps onto the iPad. We approached publicity in a variety of ways. First, we set up teaser signs at the Apple Stand to promote the up-and-coming devices. We then printed out our Apple Stand rules just to give people an idea about how to interact with the iPads (these would then stay up when the iPads were available). We sent a press release out to the newspapers and we put an alert in our newsletter. Are you ready to get your iPads ready for public use? Set Up Your Apple ID–Then sign in each…

#ALSC12 Phones, iPads, eReaders, & Tablets: Keeping Kids Connected to the Library

Laura Anderson Brack shared some valuable information on using mobile and eReading devices, eBooks, and apps. There are so many options, and that’s part of the challenge! You can loan devices in-house, circulate devices, or just offer services for customers’ own devices. There are kid-specific devices like V-Tech and LeapFrog tablets, some of which use downloaded apps and some of which use cartidges. Some libraries circulate cartridges for popular kids’ devices, some just keep them on hand for in-library use. We talked about program ideas using apps and devices- from using iPad apps and kids’ ebooks in storytime, to “self-publish your own eBook” workshops, and podcasting clubs, and simple “eReader Help Labs” Lots of people chimed in with ideas and favorite apps! There are also some interesting services that libraries can offer to customers for their devices. Besides OverDrive for eBooks, there are Zinio (for eMagazines), and Freegal and other…

Circulating iPads in the Children’s Library

This September, my library began circulating iPads for use with young children. What began as a “Hey-this-would-be-neat-let’s-try-it-and-see-what-happens” project has evolved into an immensely popular service that has both our patrons and fellow librarians buzzing. What follows will describe how and why we developed this new service with tips on helping other librarians jump into developing their own model. I have tried to address questions and concerns based upon inquires we have received from librarians across the country looking into circulating their own touchscreen devices. Please feel free to ask additional questions in the comments section.

iPad Storytime Tools

There are some really great iPad apps out there for kids and adults that are both educational and entertaining. They are great for one on one learning or for sharing with very small groups. E-book apps like Kindle, Overdrive, Nook, and iBooks can give us instant access to favorite stories. Interactive storybook apps can bring Winnie the Pooh and the Cat in the Hat alive in new ways. That’s great, that’s wonderful…it can be addictive. I admit to drooling over the iPad 2 with its nice camera feature. Here is something you might not have known…with the addition of a Apple VGA Adapter or the Apple Digital AV adapter the iPad2 can mirror on a a VGA-equipped TV, monitor or external projector exactly what is on the iPad 2 screen for sharing with a larger crowd. If you want to find out more about using the HDMI or VGA connections for mirroring with the iPad 2 check…

iPad and Smart Phone Apps for Kids

I hear an incessant knocking at the library door these days: Knock Knock KNOCK KNOCK! Who’s There? I say meekly. It’s a gang of KidApps and we want in! Where do KidLibs fit into all these iPad and Smart Phone apps for kids?  If you’ve dipped a toe into this world like I’ve been doing the past few weeks, it’s pretty overwhelming and it’s only just getting started.  Everywhere I look, someone is buzzing about this stuff.  Will and Kate have a children’s book app?  Since the devices themselves, for the moment, are keeping many libraries out of the KidApp world- at least in terms of their collections, I’m thinking that we might begin by doing what we do best: offering workshops for the public and lists of and links to resources that suggest titles and help evaluate. Unlike adult and teen book apps, these apps are enhanced to make the…

Inclusive Technology Station

Inclusion is defined by Merriam-Webster as simply “the act of including.” In 2009, the Bloomfield Township Public Library officially unveiled its Special Needs Collection (https://btpl.org/youth/special-needs/) for patrons with different needs. The collection has grown considerably over the past 8 years with circulation increasing steadily due to word-of-mouth, marketing to community organizations and schools, a focus group, and adapted programming. We often see families of all ages with special needs visiting the Youth Room to read, color, attend a program, and play.  Striving to include the technology needs of those with different learning needs in our library,

Swag For Kids

My department has been stepping up our outreach efforts in a big way. We’ve been at street festivals, back to school events, church fairs, community toy drives, and more. Being noticed when sandwiched between the fire department and the dentist with a tooth fairy and a prize wheel can be hard. Our library system provides branded swag to help draw visitors to our tables or tents, but for the youngest visitors, all we really had was a hodgepodge of leftover stickers from past summer reading programs. Recently, we had the chance to explore purchasing items specifically aimed at helping promote our programs and services for young children and their families. Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

Summer Reading Wind Down – time to amp it up!

Inaction is not an option! 2017 Summer Reading might be winding down, but it’s time to amp it up for next year!  Next year’s theme is ‘Libraries Rock!’.  STEM and STEAM programming have tons of crossover applications to music. Here’s a few ideas to get you stoked for next year! Ukulele Got ukes?  How about a ukulele club?  Learning to play a few chords on ukulele is super easy – anyone can learn.  Nail C-F-G chords and you’d be floored how many songs you can play with ease.  We’ve been teaching all summer long and the kids are lovin’ it.  Next summer would be a great opportunity for you to start up your own club.  We searched around and found starter kits, complete with ukulele, bag, picks, tuner and extra strings for only $34 on sale on Amazon.                 Teens! Teens will truly…