ALA Annual 2017

#alaac17 – Media Mentorship in our libraries

If you’ve read Mary Voors’ excellent piece on the 2017 ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program, you’ll know that there was a lot of information packed into an hour and a half. This topic could easily have been a whole day of conversation and learning but we were given a great snippet to get our brains thinking about media mentorship in our libraries.

Here are some major questions raised during the program that I will be grappling with when I return to my library:

Who mentors the mentors?

My staff is comprised of mainly part time employees so I need to think creatively when it comes to adding media mentorship to their plate. There should be a way to give them the tools to build on their already strong reader’s advisory skills and add media advisory as well.

This might involve giving them time off the front desk to explore apps on the iPad and helping them create lists of apps to present to parents. It also might make sense, when we use technology in story time to present tips on healthy media usage to parents in the same way we already work in Early Literacy tidbits.

How do we pass this information along to the parents in our community?

Too often I see parents park themselves on couches in our library and stare at their phones while their children play. One point raised during the program was the more a parent connects with media, the less they connect with their child. How does our library convey the importance of ocnnection to parents in a way that won’t alienate them or make them feel judged? Our goal is for us to help people learn ways to live in a positive way alongside media and not let it take over their lives.

It was emphasized that when families do better, kids do better. It is important that we determine how to give parents the tools for healthy media use with their children for the good of our communities.

What are your thoughts? How do you mentor your community on healthy uses of media already?

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