Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Technology with Intention

Children and technology. When these two topics are put together mixed opinions abound. Unfortunately, research on this topic has yet to come up with a consensus about benefits and detriments. (1)  In the future, I’m sure we will have a better handle on how digital interfaces affect people and society. Right now, the answers about children and technology all seem to start with ‘it depends.’ As a youth services librarian in a public library, I didn’t get a lot of training on how to effectively incorporate technology into programming. One of my first big programming failures was an evening bring-your-own-device (BYOD) storytime that got zero attendance. (It turned out that an evening storytime wasn’t a good fit for the area’s demographics, so I failed forward, repurposing the activities to be used in my regular storytimes instead.)

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Assistive Technologies: Spotlight on Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled

Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled

The Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled provides materials found in public libraries in formats accessible to the blind and disabled. Services are provided by the Utah State Library Division in cooperation with the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. Since its fledgling beginnings, the Utah State Library’s Program for the Blind and Disabled has expanded to serve patrons in Utah, Wyoming and Alaska, and also provides braille to people in 23 states nationwide. Today Lisa Nelson provides us with information and insights on this special-format library from her experience of working for the Blind Library Program at the Utah State Library for over 17 years, and as the program manager for 9 years. What is your library’s role within the disability community? The library’s role is to provide informational and leisure reading materials in a format that is accessible to people…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Assistive Technologies: Spotlight on DC Public Library Center for Accessibility

Image of the White House lawn at the signing of the American with Disabilities Act from the Special Issue of Worklife, p. 3 by the national museum of american history

I spoke to Patrick James of the Center for Accessibility, part of the DC Public Library (DCPL), for this final post in our series highlighting best practices in assistive technology. What is your library’s role within the disability community? DC has a strong disability community.  Gallaudet University, a federally chartered private university for the Deaf, and the American Federation of the Blind, for which Helen Keller was an ambassador, are centered in or around DC.   Since all of DC is federal land, not a state, the federal government influences the library. The DCPL Center for Accessibility’s manager is part of the Office of Disability Rights, part of the federal government.   The Center houses the DC Talking Book and Braille Library, part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.  The Center has three librarians: a librarian for the Deaf community, a librarian for the blind community, and…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Assistive Technologies: Spotlight On Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled

Logo for the Ohio Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled

For the second post in our series highlighting best practices in assistive technology, we’re focusing on the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled (OLBPD).  OLBPD partners with the State Library of Ohio Talking Book Program to serve as a Regional Library for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress.  Through this partnership, eligible Ohio borrowers may receive braille and audio materials via postage-free mail.  Their collection includes audio and Braille books and magazines, described DVDs and Blu-Rays, and Playaway pre-loaded digital products.  Today’s interview is with Will Reed, OLBPD Manager, who shares more information about OLBPD’s resources and community impacts. What is your library’s role within the disability community? Will Reed:  OLBPD serves as the regional library for the State of Ohio as part of the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled, providing free audio and braille library materials…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Assistive Technologies: Spotlight On Carrie Banks

Carrie Banks holds a bird puppet and looks at it.

To kick things off for our series highlighting best practices in assistive technology, we reached out to a few specialists in the field.  Carrie Banks has been the Supervising Librarian for Inclusive Services at Brooklyn Public Library in New York since 1997.  She’s taught Including Youth with Disabilities at Pratt Institute (2013-2015) and is active in ALSC as well as ASGCLA where she is serving as the president elect.  In 2014, she substantially revised Including Families of Children with Special Needs: A How to Do It Manual for Librarians. She also published Libraries and Garden: Growing Together, written with Cynthia Mediavilla in the Spring of 2019. What recommendations do you have for libraries hoping to add or expand assistive technologies? Work with the individuals you hope to serve, their families and the agencies that work with them to determine what is needed and what would work.  This will also help…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Children and Technology: Assistive Technology

Vermont’s Jason Broughton wrote a stellar article on assistive tTechnology for the ALSC Blog back in December 2018, Assistive Technology: Equity and Inclusion for All, including information on what types of disabilities library staff may encounter and what assistive technologies may be available to best serve patrons with special needs. In addition, Elizabeth Gray wrote about Global Accessibility Awareness Day back in May. ALSC members spoke up with a desire for further information. The Children and Technology Committee has been working on a series of articles that will highlight best practices in assistive technology at individual libraries around the United States. We are working with practitioners in New York, Ohio, California, and Washington DC to share information on a wide variety of services. In librarianship, an essential component to the services we provide our communities is understanding those communities.  With that in mind, we’d like to share some resources that…