Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Bridging the Gap on Educational Apps

Part of our role as Children’s Librarians is to help parents navigate the plethora of options available for early education on a digital platform. While these apps have lots of potential when used with parental guidance, the sheer numbers can be overwhelming for parents to sort through. This is where we can step in with exposure to free or low-cost educational apps that are readily available for use on mobile devices. Many library systems have a tablet device for use with programs or roving reference services. This device can also be used to assist parents and their children in testing educational apps before they commit to them. Our library is moving towards a model where mounted tablets would allow the staff to rotate educational apps every few weeks or so, allowing for a wide variety of educational apps to be experienced by our customers. This arrangement allows for librarians to…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Media Mentorship: In Three Parts

Media Mentorship has been a buzz word in children’s librarianship for a while. While it can still cause some disagreement, we’ve generally resolved that it’s important for children’s librarians to embrace as part of their role. Many contend, myself included, that we’ve always been media mentors – that the only real change has been the medium through which media is being conveyed. Even still, it can be tricky to navigate what about these new mediums to focus on as librarians. I’ve been working with a group of librarians out of Central Maryland, along with Lisa Guernsey from New America and Elaine Czarnecki of Resources in Reading to develop a training toolkit for library systems around the topic of Media Mentorship and we’ve broken the concept of Media Mentorship down into three categories for easier understanding.   Media Mechanics – How do I work this? We’ve long acknowledged that it’s important…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Wearable Tech Programming

The ALSC Children’s and Technology Committee is always looking for great program ideas to use technology with kids. My co-worker, Phyllis Davis, has become the STEAM Queen at my library district and I knew she’d be the perfect person to talk about soft circuits and wearable tech programs at the Library. Phyllis Davis is the Youth Services Manager at The Library Station, part of the Springfield-Greene County Library District in Springfield Missouri.  What got you interested in doing wearable tech programs for kids? My interest in wearable tech and soft circuits began when I worked at the Matteson Public Library in Illinois about six years ago.  Makerspaces were in their infancy in public libraries.  We were buying 3-D printers and trying out all kinds of activities found in Make magazine.  I happened upon the work of Leah Buechley at the High Low Tech Group at M.I.T.  She is the inventor of…

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.

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…