Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Media Mentorship 

To use technology or not to use technology? I feel it is no longer a matter of “not” to use. The pandemic has shown us that technology is a part of everyone’s daily life, and we need to be there for our young patrons and their caregivers to guide them, just as we do when helping patrons find the right information and books.

As with any media, we are here for our patrons to advise, program, and curate.  

Read more: Media Mentorship 

student_ipad_school – 038” by flickingerbrad is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Training takeaways

Recently, I attended a virtual training session on Media Mentorship where youth librarians from Maryland and Indiana learned about the use of digital media and our roles as digital media mentors. Prior to the training, attendees read A Guide to Media Mentorship by Lisa Guernsey of New America. During the morning session, presenters examined the basics of media mentorship—old media formats (books, magazines) vs new technologies (DVDs, books on CD, apps).

The main takeaway from any media mentorship training I have ever attended is: though the formats may change, our role in helping our patrons with media selection has not. As with any media, we need to think about the user and ask the right questions. The three Cs of media mentorship can be used in any instance when dealing with our young patrons. We need to think about the content of the material, the context of how it is being used, and lastly – the child and their needs.  

The morning session laid the groundwork for the afternoon session, where media mentorship was put into practice. We heard from three libraries across the country about how they incorporate media into programming. Pre-pandemic, my library system purchased a bank of iPads to be used for programming. We had a team of librarians find apps to be loaded onto the iPads, along with examples of programming  for all ages to go along with the apps. We also ordered VR headsets, which we currently use for adult programming – we have taken them to some of our Senior Centers, where they were a big hit.  

170917-Z-WT236-004” by S.C. Air National Guard is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0

The pandemic has shown us more than anything that we still must deal with the issue of equitable access and many of our libraries are working towards this. During the pandemic, libraries tackled this issue in various ways, such as loaning tablets and hotspots, as well as extending our Wi-Fi access to outside our buildings.  

Let us know how you use media in your programs. 

Resources: 

“The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight, 2020.” Common Sense Media. Accessed October 27, 2022. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/research/the-common-sense-census-media-use-by-kids-age-zero-to-eight-2020.  

“A Guide to Media Mentorship.” New America, December 1, 2020. https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/policy-papers/guide-media-mentorship/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=A+Media+Mentorship+Forum+and+Workshop+Follow+Up&utm_content=A+Media+Mentorship+Forum+and+Workshop+Follow+Up%2BCID_e7128cc310c6068b76ade4a521c61d30&utm_source=Campaign+Monitor+Newsletters&utm_term=A+Guide+to+Media+Mentorship.  

Haines, Claudia, Cen Campbell, and Chip Donohue. Becoming a Media Mentor: A Guide for Working with Children and Families. Chicago: ALA Editions, an imprint of the American Library Association, 2016.  

“The Three C’s: Guidelines for Using Digital Technology with Young Children.” Reading Rockets, July 18, 2017. https://www.readingrockets.org/article/three-cs-guidelines-using-digital-technology-young-children

Angelique Kopa is a member of the ALSC Children and Technology committee, and she works for a public library in Maryland in Collection Development.   

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group, II. Reference and User Services, and III. Programming Skills.  

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