Books

Free-to-Download Children’s eBooks About the Coronavirus: a Libguide

I am used to looking for hard-to-find children’s books, especially self-published ones. I’ve been collecting self-published children’s picture books on assisted reproductive technology since 2003. This is mostly an isolated topic and it was a hobby that began as the result of a reference question. I was asked if there were any children’s books on the subject, and confident in my search skills, I said, “I’ll find out for you.” It turned out not to be an easy topic and I was intrigued enough to dig further. After exhausting all traditional library databases like the Library of Congress catalog and WorldCat, I came up with just a few. The problem was that there were no proper LC subject headings, which meant I would have to resort to keyword searches and pedestrian forms of search like googling.

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Digital Outreach and Family Literacy: Children’s Programming in the Time of COVID-19

Over the last five years, there has been an increased awareness of the importance of digital resources and accessibility. In 2015, the New York Public Library began loaning hotspots, and just this past December, Library Journal published an article about how to better promote digital resources because many patrons are unaware they exist. As many libraries across the country have shut their physical doors in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, these e-resources have become even more vital, as has the concept of family literacy. One of the main questions this raises is how can we best continue to serve children and families at this time?   In addition to promoting digital resources like e-books, a vast number of children’s librarians have begun doing virtual storytimes through their library’s social media accounts. In order to determine how effective these practices are, we can turn to O’Connor’s 2017 study Sociocultural Early Literacy Practices…

Audio books

Encouraging young listeners with downloadable and streaming audiobooks

Downloadable and streaming audiobooks have been on my mind again.  Recently, some articles came out about the benefits of audiobooks for literacy; a revelation that probably surprised few of us in children’s and school library services.  We did not create the Odyssey awards for nothing.  ALA Editions published a wonderful book about it by Sharon Grover and Lizette D. Hannegan “back” in 2012.  Last year, Rachel Wood from Arlington Public Library wrote an ALSC Blog post that stands as a primer for building an e-audio collection.  But it always feels like a topic needs to come around a few times before the greater profession and the greater public latches on. Perhaps it is not always content that is the way to hook a reluctant reader but format too.  Dan Cohen from the DPLA wrote an article for The Atlantic talking about the powerful role that smartphones play in the lives…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

We are all media mentors!

Media mentorship continues to be one of the hottest topics in children’s librarianship. As touch-screen devices and hand-held (or worn) technology become increasingly pervasive, and more content is created (for better or for worse) for young people, the library is an ideal venue for conversations about these topics. Though the phrase “media mentorship” may be new, the concept certainly is not. While for many it may invoke images of tablets, apps, and the latest in technology, there are ways that all of us are and can be engaging in media mentorship every day, regardless of our technological resources. The reality is that not every library has the resources to contain within its walls the latest technologies. There are various barriers, including higher-prioritized projects and needs, budget, staffing, etc.. But our young patrons do still have technological needs and the right to digital literacy, and their families do still require mentorship…

apps

Opening Digital Doors with Open eBooks

Last month a huge step toward getting every child in America access to amazing books was taken with the official launch of Open eBooks! The White House announced the news to the excitement of librarians, educators and families across the United States on February 24th. Open eBooks is part of the White House ConnectED Initiative which aims to increase access to digital resources as a component of enriching K-12 education. You can read the official press release here. The project is made possible through a partnership with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), the New York Public Library, Baker and Taylor, First Book, and made possible by generous commitments of publishers with funding support provided in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. What a great example of many institutions coming together for a greater cause! The Open eBooks app is now available…