Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Virtual Programming and Patron Privacy

Two boys are side-by-side viewing a computer screen together.

As libraries continue adjusting services and moving toward more virtual programming options, we’ve often found more questions than answers.  As we experiment, share, and grow together, we’ll continue improving how we interact with and touch our communities, even if our physical spaces are inaccessible.  It’s important that as we do so, we don’t overlook a critical piece of library services:  patron privacy and security.  The forthcoming ALSC Virtual Storytime Services Resource Guide will explore these issues and more.  In the meantime, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, shared some key thoughts for libraries to consider.  We’ve summarized the highlights of our discussion below.

Children & Technology

COPPA-Compliant Participatory Sites for Young Readers

On January 13th, I attended the Kids Launch pre-conference at the Digital Book World conference in New York. Presenters included a range of industry experts, from content producers (also known as publishers), to brand managers, to researchers, to authors, to industry analysts, and the collective focus was on describing and analyzing how the publishing industry is shifting from a model of print books, which refer to text printed on paper, encased between bindings, toward book-related “content.” Such “content” might be similar to what is traditionally found in books, but is now presented in new ways in digital formats, via websites or mobile devices. While cultural content for the youngest readers has been slow to move towards digital formats compared to YA or adult books, according to Jonathan Nowell and Jo Henry from Nielsen Book, the use of digital formats for young readers is starting to accelerate now. One of the…