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Continuing the Conversation: A to Zoo for Apps

At ALA in Chicago, a group of librarians (actual and honorary) from LittleeLit.com presented a panel entitled Building A to Zoo for Apps: Time-tested librarian skills meet cutting edge technology for kids. The discussion centered around the need for librarian involvement in the rapidly expanding children’s digital media marketplace, an overview of current research and review sources, and a promise for continued action, which we are now in the processing of delivering! ALSC will be hosting two community forums on August 20th & 21st around the issue of new media for children in libraries. This community forum was born out of a conversation that happened after A to Zoo for Apps, when Starr LaTronica and I sat down with Carisa Kluver of Digital-Storytime.com and Chip Donohue, Director of the Technology in Early Childhood Center and Senior Fellow at Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media to discuss the potential for…

Blogger Cen Campbell

Why aren’t we there?

I attended the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Professional Development Institute in San Francisco recently. Lisa Guernsey, Karen Nemeth and I presented Links with libraries: The surprisingly diverse ways libraries are supporting developmentally appropriate early learning in partnerships with schools and programs   At the beginning of our talk, Karen introduced us and asked our audience the following:  How many of you have ever heard a real, live librarian speak at this conference before? NO HANDS were raised. None! Not one! These early childhood administrators and educators were clamoring to hear about what public libraries are doing around the continent, and some had not even thought of partnering with their local library. Some already had great partnerships in place, but almost all of them were looking for guidance in the area of new media use with young kids (that’s what we do now, after all). Shame on us for not…

Blogger Cen Campbell

“Screen Time” is Bad

“Screen time” is bad for children. “Screen time” shouldn’t enter into professional discourse concerning services for children in libraries. “Screen time” is detrimental to our professional practice and distracts from the core values of librarianship. The phrase “screen time” is not something we should be using anymore, because it’s a misnomer. What most people mean when they talk about the evils of “screen time” is passive media: television. Reading an ebook, videoconferencing with grandma and grandpa, or showing a child a picture that you’ve just taken of them is NOT the mind-numbing, passive time-waster that concerns many parents, educators, researchers and librarians. The fact that something is on a screen does not make it inherently bad, and the emphasis on time is also a red herring. If a child is thoroughly engaged in editing his or her own video, learning a programming language, videoconferencing with a pen pal, or reading/writing/designing an…

Blogger Cen Campbell

Now that we have all this technology…. Let’s go back to Alexandria

When I was in library school I had to do a two page paper on a famous librarian. I chose Hypatia and was surprised to learn that she was not, in fact, a “librarian” per se; she was a mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and teacher. She was not an expert in metadata. She did not direct people to websites for finding employment, add subject headings, perform little rabbit foo foo at 10 AM on Thursdays, tweet about the library’s plant exchange, direct parents to materials for dealing with fluffy’s death, or attend city council meetings (or, perhaps she went to one too many…?) I don’t want to belabor this metaphor too much, and I also don’t want to downplay the value of our current definition of what it means to be a librarian. But an idea has been humming in the back of my head ever since I began using digital media in storytimes…

Blogger Cen Campbell

Networking for Children’s Librarians

I’ve been working on incorporating more singable stories to sing into my storytimes. So where did I go first for recommendations of books to use? The ALSC and PUBYAC listservs, of course! (I got over 50 responses to that particular query and have yet to have time to collate and post the list!) When I see a great article that I think will be relevant to others working with children and technology, I’ll often tweet it (which will then post to my professional facebook page). If I have a question or comment of a slightly wordier/more personal nature, I’ll post it on my personal wall and tag anyone who might have something to say. If I need recommendations for good book apps, I’ll look at some of my colleagues’ Pinterest pages, and I post my own work regularly on my own WordPress blog. Slideshare offers peeks at other’s presentations, and Spotify…

Blogger Cen Campbell

Trial and Tribulations of a Children’s Mombrarian

Little people rule my life. They  offer an innocent, wise and precious view into the developing human psyche, and they humble me on a regular basis. When I’m working, I’m either developing and presenting storytimes for little people, or developing professional resources for other children’s librarians who present storytimes for little people. When I’m not working, I’m also at the mercy of a little person. One might assume that since I have a 3 year old at home, it must be easy to put storytimes together and get through the piles of books and apps that I need to review. The case is often the opposite.  Somedays I’m not allowed to sing at ALL, or if I am, I’m not allowed to sing “storytime songs.” Some days I’m not allowed to read anything but Richard Scarry, let alone try out new books or apps that I’ve never used in a…

ALA Midwinter 2013

#alamw13 Children and Technology Meeting

At the all-committee meeting today I met with other members of my virtual Children and Technology committee, the digital content task force and various other children’s librarians, professors and ALSC board members. We talked about books that have been made into apps (Captain Underpants!), app trailers, the dearth of children’s books in Overdrive and 3M, future research topics for ALSC, and Caldecotts in the digital age.