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…

Congratulations to the 2018 Light the Way Grant Winner

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that New Carrollton Public Library is the recipient of the 2017-2018 ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant. As the winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 for their Literacy & Library Skills for Refugee Families program. Literacy & Library Skills for Refugee Families started in April 2017. The program was initiated during a time when the library, (located in New Carrollton, MD), was being renovated. With the encouragement of  library administration, Program Coordinator, Meisywe Cavanaugh, decided to start visiting  a community housing center about five miles from the main library. Cavanaugh found that there was a large population of refugee families and young children living in this area. Currently, families who attend the library program are from: Afghanistan, Syria, Bhutan, Myanmar, Ethiopia and other Arabic speaking…

Circulating tech kits to teachers

The California State Library has a grant opportunity called Pitch-an-Idea. We were lucky enough to get one of their grants and create a Technology Lending Library for teachers and after-school providers. All teachers need is a library card to check these kits out for a month, and non-profits sign an agreement for their employees. What makes this unique is that the kits are not for individual checkouts – they’re made to be used in school or after-school environments. It has built a lot of great partnerships with schools and teachers. We have done outreach at principal’s meetings, with the Superintendent’s Office, at teacher meetings, at local events with non-profits, and more, and it is always great to have something to offer that makes people’s eyes light up and say, “Really?”   We’re currently halfway through our grant period, and we’ve hit some speed bumps for sure, but the tech is circulating….