Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Website Content Curation

One of the ALSC competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries is to create and maintain “…a physical and digital library environment that provides the best possible access to materials and resources for children of all cultures and abilities and their caregivers.” While providing a physical environment can appear a more stable though still challenging undertaking, maintaining a digital library environment is a constantly changing task, requiring ongoing assessment and modification.


Girl Empowerment Month Websites

This week the world celebrated the International Day of the Girl and it also happens to be Girl Empowerment Month in my city. As a result I was on the hunt for online communities where girls can connect and learn about women making a difference. I’m planning a female skateboarding event at my library and was encouraged to see websites like She Plays We Win that featured girl athletes sharing their stories. While there are a large amount of organizations and websites that support and empower young women in various disciplines like STEAM education, I chose to highlight three that I felt were engaging and entertaining. New Moon Girls Many libraries carry the publication New Moon Girls alongside other magazines like Muse and Girls’ Life. New Moon Girl Media sought to provide a safe online community minus the advertisements for its readers. Although the membership comes with a paid print…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Back to School & Back to Books!

Someone gave me a print of that old WPA poster years ago, and every autumn I’m tempted to make it the center of a seasonal display (it says September right on it, when else will I use it?) but I don’t know; somehow I don’t find the image quite as inviting as children’s library ought to be.  But aesthetics aside, I DO love the sentiment of the slogan.  Using computers, tablets, and smartphones are a part of daily life for many of our young patrons, and we want to make sure that reading great books is as well.  Whether you’re in a public library catching your breath after the busy summer schedule, or a school library gearing up for a new year, this is a great time to gather some really fun, free, online resources with strong literary connections that we can use for story time components, lesson plan enrichment…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Film Video Like a Pro

Does your library provide a maker space with video cameras? Or maybe you’re having a great event that you want to steam online. If so, the Mevo camera may be just what you’re looking for! The King County Library System (KCLS) has used Google Hangouts on Air (see our previous ALSC article on the subject), which requires a laptop, camera, and microphones. While doable, the process can seem daunting for the occasional user. Mevo is a newer one-stop product that is so easy to use you can put your kids in charge of filming. How does it a work? All you need is a Mevo, stand, and iOS device. The Mevo is a camera and microphone that fits in the palm of your hand. After downloading the Mevo app to your iOS device you can set the Mevo to automatically follow any action happening or you can zoom in on the action…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Story Time, Media Mentorship, and Modeling Media Behavior

Technology and story times are a pairing that Children’s Librarians are always striving to balance. Tablets allow us to bring in more variety to our story times, as well as to more easily communicate with increasingly diverse story time groups. However, we also have to keep in mind that as Children’s Librarians that we are the primary resource for many families for how they should be interacting with technology around their children. I have been re-reading Becoming a Media Mentor by Claudia Haines, Cen Campbell, and the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) as our Children’s Services Department seeks to create a more formalized process by which to train staff as media mentors. While the focus of the book is on giving staff what they need to help families determine which technology tools serve their needs best, it has spurred the thought of how we mentor families by the…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Community Building with Technology

While the use of modern technology can still be contentious in libraries, by now many of us feel comfortable with or at least accept the existence of modern technology in libraries. One fear many of us still have is the problem of youngsters becoming isolated  users of devices. We encourage parent interaction, but we certainly can’t force it. We can, however, provide contexts that encourage not only parent interaction, but co-play among the children. On the floor play: Children’s librarians have long been champions of play and its merits. Most of us probably have some sort of play on the public floor of our children’s spaces, and we often see this resulting in unexpected play partners and friendships. We might hesitate to put screen or other technology in public places, for fear it will encourage solo play or detract from imaginative play. If you’re using screen technology, limit the apps…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Unplugged Picture Books

Technology at the library doesn’t have to be only apps, gadgets, and gizmos- it’s important to use your traditional book collection to support your technology literacy efforts too! Picture books can be a fun way to establish a print literacy connection in a tech program, or a great way to recommend families to extend ideas at home. I’m currently reading The Nature Fix: Why nature makes us happier, healthier, and more creative by Florence Williams and it has inspired me to think about picture book that might spark a conversation with children about the importance of spending time away from our technology. Some of these picture books may talk about robots, electronics, or computers, but they also focus on the value of unplugged time, a topic that media mentors know should be addressed in any discussion of technology and children. Check out some of my favorites below: Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino Hello! Hello! by…