Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Getting to Know the Newest ALSC Youth Media Award: Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award

App images from the winning apps.

Did you know that there was a newbie mixed in with this year’s Youth Media Awards? You may have missed it in the press release, but at the 2019 Midwinter Meeting of ALA in Seattle, ALSC presented one award and two honors for Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media [EELDM]. This award recognizes the most distinguished digital media created for an early learning audience by a producer based in the United States. You should know that this award considers all forms of digital media, defined as “any interactive media content or product that is available via electronic device across one or more platforms,” for “children ages 2-8 along with their caregivers, professionals, and media mentors serving them.” The 2018 award selection committee specifically sought out to identify the most outstanding “digital media that enables and encourages active engagement and social interaction while informing, educating, and/or entertaining in a developmentally appropriate…


Hockey and Children’s Literature

After the holiday decorations come down, winter can seem a bit drab. One way to beat the winter doldrums is to celebrate the fun aspects of cold weather. Since ice hockey is perhaps the most exciting team sport of the season, we have a great collection of hockey books for kids which we showcase every midwinter. To explore the connections between reading and hockey, I asked some of our most popular hockey book authors, “What makes hockey such a great subject for children’s books?” Maureen Ulrich, author of Face Off, Breakaway, and Power Play: My inspiration for Power Plays, Face Off, and Breakaway came primarily from the girls I saw on the ice — their passion, skill, grittiness, and humour. Books about hockey are important because what goes on inside rinks and dressing rooms is a great metaphor for life. Hockey (any sport really) has so many life lessons for…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Teens and Tweens: Large Print Makes a Difference!

tween teen large print

Vision Thing Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and netbooks have all revolutionized the world for every age group.  For tweens and teens, the effects of hours of utilizing these devices has made a real impact on their vision.  The impact on literacy levels has also been noted.  Dr. Ralph Chu remarks on one condition called dry eye disease (DED), saying that, “you see (DED) commonly in people who are in their 50’s & 60’s, but now with children who are using their smartphones a lot, we’re seeing this more and more.”So, let’s read up on how large print can make all the difference in this vision thing! Large Print and Learning Believe it or not, larger print has some wonderful advantages, not just for staving off myopia.  Struggling readers can benefit significantly from larger print materials.  Tween and teen reluctant readers may want to read, but may be finding it difficult.  For tween/teen…

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Building STEM Connections with Lego Club: A New Outlook on an Old Program

Lego Clubs have been a staple of library programming for the past decade, as it’s nearly guaranteed to attract a crowd.  And STEM has been proven to enrich children’s lives with its focus on hands on problem solving and critical thinking.  So it’s only natural for the two to come together, as engineering is already the main focus of Lego Club.  Only now it can be elevated to a whole new level, as STEM-powered Lego Club combines the mass appeal of an already popular program with analytical and scientific processes that can develop and inspire young minds. For the past few years, I’ve run my Lego Club like an engineering laboratory.  Each time we meet we don’t build around a theme, but rather around a challenge.  Can you build a pipeline out of Legos that can actually hold and direct water?  Can you think in new directions and build on…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Unpacking Midwinter: Updates from the Midwinter ALSC Board Meetings & Other Meetings

Hello everyone! I hope that you are staying safe and warm wherever this post may find you. I also trust that those who attended Midwinter have finally all made it back home without further incident, particularly those of you who were stranded at airports waiting for flights, any flights, that would get you home. Since midwinter there has been considerable unpacking – literally and metaphorically. Some of you are unpacking suitcases full of books, posters, and other exciting finds from the exhibits, along with meeting notes and your conference clothes. Many people have also been unpacking all those thoughts swirling around in your head from networking, engaging sessions and keynotes, committee meetings, encounters with colleagues, and the barrage of online conversations related to the Youth Media Awards (YMAs) and the much needed conversations about walking the walk to ensure everyone is treated equitably and humanely. The latter stemming from multiple…

Blogger Sarah Bean Thompson

Interview with Poet David L. Harrison

Children’s librarians are experts in making local connections. As a librarian in Springfield, Missouri, I have gotten to know our resident children’s poet and author, David L. Harrison. Mr. Harrison has hosted several book releases and readings at my library. His programs are energetic and always include lots of engagement for the kids. I love having a local author available to help us promote a love of reading and writing to kids and it’s wonderful having a local connection for writing events at our library. Mr. Harrison has helped us out in the past by serving as a judge on our teen writing contest and his love of books and libraries shines through in all that he does. He is an invaluable partner for our library and I would encourage other librarians to reach out and make connections with their own local authors. I recently had the chance to ask…