Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Digital Literacy and Lending

“Fifth-grade girl at computer behind protection shield” by All4Ed is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 Digital Literacy   Libraries are continually finding ways to bridge the digital divide and decrease digital inequity in the communities they serve. With the addition of Northstar Digital Literacy Platform to our library system, we will be able to aid both staff and patrons in bridging the gap by providing our community access to learn the needed skills to excel in today’s digital world. Northstar provides digital literacy assessments as well as a curriculum to aid in improving digital proficiencies. The assessments cover essential computer skills for software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and using other technologies like social media and email. Even though this may be geared towards ALSC’s upper age range, these can be taught in a classroom setting either in person or remotely for students 13 and up. At this time,…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Connect & Amplify: Podcast Engagement from 2021

As the pandemic progresses, librarians and librarian-podcasters have turned to digital solutions to engage kids and families in podcasting whether it is through creation, discovery, or facilitating podcast learning. These inspiring initiatives have created many new podcast makers and they have worked to amplify the stories in their communities and beyond.

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Making Connections with Virtual Services

This season for many of us looks a little different professionally than we might have imagined. As some libraries softly launch more in-person interactions, others may be in a constant state of preparation only to discover that making plans is extremely challenging in this current state. Many institutions have determined that moving forward there will always be space for virtual offerings in their service models. While we all have some sense of wishing to unplug, I am trying to reflect on how technology has allowed us to connect in unique ways over the past year and a half. I’m also looking to the future to see how virtual offerings might not necessarily be the end to purposeful experiences for the communities we serve.  

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

No-Tech No-Touch: Real Life Programming in a Pandemic

Our library is talking about how to serve children in more tech-free ways. Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt, but how do we give our community some of the fun passive activities we are used to while keeping our staff and families safe? I know we are all missing our kiddos and their grown-ups and they are missing us. We want to feel connected and lately the virtual connection doesn’t feel like enough. So I looked around to see what other libraries are doing and here are a few of the things I found. Scavenger Hunts: Check lists like hunts from Glenside Public Library District are easy to replicate and hunt lists could be tucked into books if locations are doing curbside check outs. Neighborhood hunts have also been very popular and are simple to participate in, the Northbrook Public Library’s Bear Hunt  is cute and book based. Quite a few libraries have…

Blogger Katie Salo

Instruments in Storytime

Instruments are pictured on a purple rug. They include two small hand drums, rhythm sticks, hand bells, Boomwhackers, hand shakers, and a xylophone.

Today’s installment of storytime props is instruments in storytime. (Previous posts: Parachute in Storytime, Scarves in Storytime, and Egg Shakers in Storytime.) Instruments are such a fun topic, with a huge array of different kinds of instruments; I could spend all day writing about them. But let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start… (Kudos to anyone now singing “Do, Re, Mi” from The Sound of Music. What instruments do you have at the library? Mostly percussion instruments: gathering drums, sound drums, rhythm sticks, bells, Boomwhackers, hand shakers (including egg shakers and maracas), and some miscellaneous (xylophone, two sets of finger cymbals, sandpaper blocks, tambourines). How do you take instruments out? The same way that I do egg shakers; the instruments are always in a container and I pass them out one by one. How do you store the instruments?: In plastic bins or fabric bins,…

Blogger Kaitlin Frick

STEAM Programming: Coding with Character(s)

Some of you may remember my first post for ALSC, published just a few months ago, entitled An Old-School Spin on STEAM Programming. It’s focus was an at-that-time recent program a colleague and I had run at 53rd Street, where school-age children were presented with a series of Choose Your Own Adventure-style challenges. Each week followed a different theme (pirates, space, etc.), and participants were asked to complete a series of STEAM projects, from pattern matching to coding, to aid them in their quests. A dear friend of mine (who is one of the best librarians I know) took this concept to the next level by creating a Super Mario-themed adventure that far surpassed the original programming. (No, I’m not putting myself down. Her programming is just so beyond what I could have created, it’s unbelievable.) To get an idea of how this program came together, I sent some interview…