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Early literacy and apps #pla2014

Cen Campbell and Saroj Ghoting put together an informative and inspiring program about the how’s and why’s to use apps in storytime. Whether or not you love them or hate them, apps are not going away.  Part of our job as children’s librarians is to educate ourselves about what is out there so we can in turn, inform our patrons.  Parents and kids are using apps so they might as well hear from us about the good ones. Our role as literacy guides extends into the digital world, and we need to show caregivers and their charges the best way to make the “interactive interpersonal”

The mock storytime Cen performed showed the various ways in which not just apps, but apps, books and websites can be used for digital storytimes.  Sing a song about the ocean?  Show children what an ocean looks like on video from YouTube.  Your landlocked patrons will benefit and you will have added some non-fiction into the mix.  One of the books shared was a non-fiction about beluga whales.  Oceanhouse media has converted many Smithsonian publications into apps, which makes hearing the clicking sounds whales make possible.

The presenters encouraged the audience to become media mentors.  Check out for guidance, advice, to share, or to simply learn more.  Common Sense Media is another place to explore, and SLJ, Kirkus, and other book review outlets also review apps.  Become informed, experiment with apps, or YoutTube, and Vimeo.  Don’t let Disney (or Nick Jr., Cartoon Network…) drive the Bus!  Your patrons will appreciate your advice.

Erin Silva | Youth Services Librarian | Kalona Public Library

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