Blogger Tess Prendergast

To Virtual Storytime and Back Again: What Recent Research Can Tell Us

As children’s library workers, we have all tangled with questions and concerns about young children and digital media. What helps and supports child development? What distracts and detracts from their learning? What information do parents and caregivers find helpful as they make decisions? If you are asking these questions, that’s a great sign – you care about the kids and families in your communities! I recently found an open source article published in 2020 with a title that caught my eye. Preschoolers Benefit Equally From Video Chat, Pseudo-Contingent Video, and Live Book Reading: Implications for Storytime During the Coronavirus Pandemic and Beyond The study authors are:  Caroline Gaudreau, Yeminah A. King, Rebecca A. Dore, Hannah Puttre, Deborah Nichols, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff. I encourage you to follow the hyperlinks and read more about these researchers’ important work in early childhood learning. In this article, they report on an…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Encouraging Guilt-Free Screen Time

I’ve heard plenty of parents express guilt over letting their children watch videos or play games on their phones – “I know I shouldn’t, but it’s just so I can get the dishes done.” It doesn’t help that it seems like recommendations are changing constantly and parents don’t always know where to look for the most up-to-date information. The last two years have been even harder – video chats and schooling have moved online and our children are getting more screen time than ever.

Blogger Abby Johnson

Circulate Hotspots at Your Library

Does your library circulate hotspots to your community? Ours is just about to. Like many libraries, we were lucky enough to receive an Emergency Connectivity Grant. This provided funds for us to purchase 150 hotspots and 20 Chromebooks to circulate to our county. I know many libraries have circulated hotspots for years, but this was brand new to us. Here’s what we thought about as we got our hotspots ready for our community.

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Adapting virtual program tools to in-person programs

One of my library’s programs that pivoted entirely to a virtual format and has now pivoted back to fully in person is NYPL After School. This is a free drop in program for kids aged 6-12 that takes place after regular school hours, Monday through Thursday, from October-June, when school is in session. We launched September 27, 2021 in 20 branches and are so excited to welcome back our patrons in person with a program designed to meet them where they are and help them recover both literacy skills and supportive connections with caring adults.

Blogger Abby Johnson

Student Digital Library Cards: A School/Library Partnership

Now more than possibly ever before, folks are exploring the digital resources our libraries have to offer. Public librarians, now’s the time to think about partnering with your schools to offer digital library cards to students. As we enter Library Card Sign Up Month, it’s the perfect time to start this conversation. Many libraries offer this service and there are lots of ways to do it. Our program is a work is progress (more on that below) and I’m happy to share how we got it started and what we’ve learned.

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Meaningful Technology in a School Library Environment

If you had asked me at the beginning of my graduate program what my end goal was in terms of a library job, I would not have known to list Technology Integrator at a Middle School. However, upon getting a part-time library job at an independent school in Brooklyn that eventually turned into a full-time opportunity, that is the role I ended up in. As I prepare to start my third school year in this position – with a pandemic and pivot into full-time remote learning facilitation in the middle – I am now so immersed in EdTech tools, hybrid learning, and device troubleshooting that I have acquired an entirely new language and skillset that many may not even associate with a library degree. 

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

TECHNOLOGY HELP AND FAMILIES: Going A Little Deeper

When we think of technology, children and families, access has been what has been most prevalent at issue for many libraries, especially in the last few years. We have prioritized equity, diversity and inclusion in our guiding principle statements. We’re ensuring that we are serving the most underserved communities: Reviewing and realigning our service areas to focus on the schools, and day cares which have the greatest need populations – that they are the first to receive laptops, wifi access, and technology assistance. All these things are a necessary and wonderful enhancement for families and for closing the digital divide. I would say though, that we can go even deeper in assisting families. This is what I discovered in the past pandemic year as I worked with families from different countries.