Digital World

Charge Up Your Service Delivery

Gathering a teacher collection on a specific topic is a task to relish. It exercises reference and readers’ advisory skills and provides a respectable cover for book mania. Many of us keep track of the titles we collect, but finding time to do so can be problematic. Luckily, the solution is just a click away.

Simply arrange a teacher collection in a pleasing pyramid, step back, and take a picture. Upload the photograph; label it according to theme and grade level; and save it to a flash drive or to a cloud storage service.

Courtesy photo from guest blogger
Courtesy photo from guest blogger

When you get a similar request, open that file, enlarge the photo so the titles and authors can be easily read, and use the visual information to build a collection. Pictures of newly discovered or newly published titles can be uploaded to the same theme folder.

The above photograph was taken with a smartphone. Many places of employment have stringent guidelines about the use of smartphones and tablets at work, for obvious reasons; however, an open dialogue about the ways these devices can be used as tools to provide library services might reveal that we are already using technology beyond those strictures.

Do you use smartphones or tablets and projection systems to deliver storytime content? Do you use these devices to provide point-of-need service? Do you use smartphones to contact Information Technology directly from public computers? How many of you provide library service without a reference desk or nearby desktop computer?

How are you using smartphones and tablets to deliver excellent library service to children?


Our guest blogger today is Jan Connell. Jan is a Children’s Librarian at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, in Toledo, Ohio.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at


  1. Africa Hands

    This is a great suggestion, especially for those who prefer visuals to a list of books. You can also pin the photos on Pinterest to help others looking for books on a particular theme.

    1. Renee Perron

      Oh, I like the Pinterest idea! Thanks.

    2. Jan Connell

      You’re absolutely right! Most Pinterest members pin book cover images, but I’m always hesitant to reproduce covers due to copyright concerns. If we took our own photographs to pin, that’s different…right?

  2. Brett Anthony Collins

    Seems to me that you would be covered under Fair Use (Sections 107 and 108 ), Jan. I enjoyed the article. It underscores how fast and how much libraries are evolving.

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