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.

Unplug and Recharge With Screen-Free Fun at the Library

International Screen-Free Week (May 6 – 12, 2024) is wrapping up tomorrow and it seems like a good opportunity to talk about ways libraries and library workers can support children and their parents and caregivers in this very important aspect of media literacy – developing habits around media use that support healthy development and wellbeing.    Screen-Free Week is an annual celebration in May that encourages children to turn off screens in order to connect with family, friends, nature, and their own creativity. The organizing nonprofit, Fairplay has a wealth of resources for libraries, schools and communities who wish to participate, including organizing kids, pledges, handouts, and a list of fun screen-free activity ideas (I shared these at storytime this week).   Conversations around screen time can be fraught with worry and judgment, so I love any opportunity to celebrate the joy of unplugging and share resources without shaming parents and caregivers….

Media Mentorship & AI: Creating an ALSC Committee Podcast

Since joining the Children and Technology committee in 2020, we’ve furthered the committee’s charge of educating and encouraging youth librarians to be leaders on technology issues, and disseminating information on these issues to the larger ALSC community. As part of our committee requirements we expect all members to publish at least one ALSC blog post on a current subject relating to technology. In 2022 we hosted an ALSC Chat on post-pandemic hybrid library programming. We consistently update the ALSC Digital Media Resources guide with the most current topics and resources. And we have built in innovative practices to our meetings – including using the digital platform Padlet to record our monthly check-ins. For further reading, check out this blog post published by my former co-chair on other ways we use tech tools within our virtual committee.  That said, with time left in the 2022-2023 term to complete a final project,…

Tell Us About Great New Digital Media!

Hello from the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Committee! Have you come across any new digital media you think all kids and parents should know about? Our committee is reviewing digital media released in 2020 in the U.S. for early learners (2-8) and their caregivers, and we’d love to see your recommendations! Please use this simple form to share your feedback with us. Deadline for submissions is January 1, 2021.

Kobe Bryant, Coronavirus and things that keep me up at night (like censorship of LQBTQIA+ authors, and youth media awards excitement)… #alamw20

Trying to shield the blue light of my phone screen from the peacefully sleeping husband and baby beside me. Slept a deep deep sleep and woke to the powerful urge to plan my last conference day. It’s 3:37 AM. I also want to reflect on yesterday. I captured my day in notes, media and book buzz bags. I want to share some of the bigger moments.I was leading a digital media discussion group with the Film & Media Roundtable when news broke about basketball player Kobe Bryant’s startling death in a helicopter accident. My best friend Allison was helping me live tweet the discussion via the FMRT twitter account. The FMRT Digital Media Discussion is starting now at #alamw20 in room 111-B. pic.twitter.com/PhYKjd8bPk — Film & Media Round Table (@ALA_FMRT) January 26, 2020 After the discussion, she returned my phone to me and said, some big news and messages rolled…

At #alaac19, ALSC Leadership Champions Media Literacy, Computational Thinking and Connected Family Learning

Media Literacy. Computational Thinking. Connected Family Learning. These are the buzzwords that Kathleen Campana, Elizabeth Mills, Marianne Martens and Claudia Haines emphasized at yesterday’s Leadership and ALSC meeting, a gathering of ALSC committee chairs and other leaders. Their presentation, “Positioning New Media across the Evolving Landscape of Children’s Services,” made powerful and lucid arguments for why these approaches are essential for children’s library services. Media Literacy Advocacy for media literacy in libraries has been around since the release of the first iPad in 2010. Since then, librarians have worked to develop best practices, including ALSC’s well-known Media Mentorship white paper. However, not all children’s librarians are comfortable sharing screens with kids. So why bother? “Screens are ubiquitous,” Campana argued. Throughout her portion of the presentation, a live text message poll gauged librarian interest and comfort in media mentorship. Despite some uncertainty, there was strong support in the room for prioritizing…

Media Mentorship Resources for ALSC Members

I am serving on the ALSC Membership Committee until 2019. As I reach out to new members, one of my roles is to promote the professional benefits of being an ALSC member. Recently I was drawn into an emotional conversation with several parents of children whose ages ranged from 3 to 7 years old on the topic of technology use and their children. Just what are the best practices? As I listened, I was so grateful for ALSC and the many resources available on Media Mentorship. The three archived webinars (Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth: a Primer; Best Practices for Apps in Storytime; Young Children & Media: Libraries in the Multi-Screen, Multi-touch Digital World), has given me and my staff the confidence to really listen to parents’ concerns and respond from a place filled with knowledge, not judgement. We frequently reassure parents that technology use is personal and a…

Media Mentorship: In Three Parts

Media Mentorship has been a buzz word in children’s librarianship for a while. While it can still cause some disagreement, we’ve generally resolved that it’s important for children’s librarians to embrace as part of their role. Many contend, myself included, that we’ve always been media mentors – that the only real change has been the medium through which media is being conveyed. Even still, it can be tricky to navigate what about these new mediums to focus on as librarians. I’ve been working with a group of librarians out of Central Maryland, along with Lisa Guernsey from New America and Elaine Czarnecki of Resources in Reading to develop a training toolkit for library systems around the topic of Media Mentorship and we’ve broken the concept of Media Mentorship down into three categories for easier understanding.   Media Mechanics – How do I work this? We’ve long acknowledged that it’s important…