Media Mentorship, Diversity and Inclusion, and the Screen Time Symposium

The Screen Time Symposium, a collaboration between the Developmental Media Lab and the Erikson Institute, was held September 9th in Chicago. Organized by Carly Kocurek and Jennifer Miller, this interdisciplinary symposium raised many “provocations” around digital media for young people—all of which are relevant to our work as youth services librarians, and especially as media mentors, working to select the best tools and apps for the children we serve.

ALA Annual Sessions for Media Mentors from the ALSC Children’s & Technology Committee

Every month, the ALSC Blog will feature a post from ALSC’s Children and Technology Committee featuring tools that help librarians connect and engage with their users. Greetings from the Children and Technology Committee! Are you heading to ALA Annual in a few weeks? There are a lot of amazing sessions happening and many of them are perfect for librarians wanting to know more about media mentorship and using technology in your library. Here are a few ideas of sessions to check out:

Teach Me Something Fun: Media Mentorship and Online Learning

“Libraries are about access, and we need to step up to provide ALL TYPES OF ACCESS.” –Amy Koester, ALSC Blog, Our Future Includes EBooks #alamw13, January 24, 2013 Online learning is a topic that deserves more focus.  Normally, in my conversations about electronic resources, the attention is mainly on ebooks or databases. Libraries, as informal and self directed centers of learning, have been concentrating more on online learning, and it is obvious we need to remember children in this movement as well. Yet when I did a quick and informal survey of library websites, I see much work and time has been spent by libraries on evaluating and recommending online learning sites, and some libraries have even created their own. Through media mentorship, we can draw both our young patrons and their caregivers to the many online learning products, free and paid for, that we subscribe to, find, evaluate, and…

Pokemon Go, Libraries, and Media Mentorship

Pokemon Go popularity is not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon. According to a report from USA Today the game has topped 15 million downloads and the average person is spending around 33 minutes per day in the app. With the game continuing it’s pop culture run and with libraries as many Pokestops or Gyms, this is a perfect time to embrace media mentorship in the library and incorporate it into our Pokemon Go programs.

Apps, Storytime, and Media Mentorship

The Summer Reading Program is in full swing here in Mount Prospect, Illinois, and with that comes patron questions about books, movies, programs, and more. In the past year, there have also been more questions about selecting appropriate and interesting apps for children. After discussing the need to address media mentorship in a more direct approach than what we were currently doing, it was decided this summer to start giving patrons a take home at the end of storytime that includes a “Digital Lit Tip.”  Our summer storytimes are open to the public and can have children of various ages. Very young children must have a parent with them. In order to make these tips accessible to all patrons, even those who don’t have access to devices at home, we selected apps that were already reviewed and featured on our iPads in the department. We also plan to post the…

We are all media mentors!

Media mentorship continues to be one of the hottest topics in children’s librarianship. As touch-screen devices and hand-held (or worn) technology become increasingly pervasive, and more content is created (for better or for worse) for young people, the library is an ideal venue for conversations about these topics. Though the phrase “media mentorship” may be new, the concept certainly is not. While for many it may invoke images of tablets, apps, and the latest in technology, there are ways that all of us are and can be engaging in media mentorship every day, regardless of our technological resources. The reality is that not every library has the resources to contain within its walls the latest technologies. There are various barriers, including higher-prioritized projects and needs, budget, staffing, etc.. But our young patrons do still have technological needs and the right to digital literacy, and their families do still require mentorship…

Media Mentorship & AAP’s New Digital Media Guidelines

If you haven’t heard the big news, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just released updated findings in regards to the use of screen time by young children  which emerged from their recent Growing Up Digital: Media Research Symposium. I’m excited to report that the AAP findings fully support ALSC’s position as outlined in the Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth white paper adopted by our Board of Directors back in March. More than ever, families and children will be turning to libraries and youth services staff for help in navigating the digital landscape and in making sound, developmentally appropriate decisions on media use. Your professional association is here to help you rise to the occasion and embrace the role of media mentor with the white paper and other resources that offer helpful ways for you to respond to your families. ALSC resources available to support you in meeting this…