Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Unplug and Recharge With Screen-Free Fun at the Library

Screen-Free Week Banner

International Screen-Free Week (May 6 – 12, 2024) is wrapping up tomorrow and it seems like a good opportunity to talk about ways libraries and library workers can support children and their parents and caregivers in this very important aspect of media literacy – developing habits around media use that support healthy development and wellbeing.    Screen-Free Week is an annual celebration in May that encourages children to turn off screens in order to connect with family, friends, nature, and their own creativity. The organizing nonprofit, Fairplay has a wealth of resources for libraries, schools and communities who wish to participate, including organizing kids, pledges, handouts, and a list of fun screen-free activity ideas (I shared these at storytime this week).   Conversations around screen time can be fraught with worry and judgment, so I love any opportunity to celebrate the joy of unplugging and share resources without shaming parents and caregivers….


Promoting Healthy Tech Use in the Middle School Library

The “elevator pitch” I often use for my job is that I act as a bridge between youth technology and the school library. I integrate myself into class projects, ensuring smoother tech components, and teach a digital skills class covering topics such as device 101, email etiquette, and responsible research. During the pandemic and remote learning years, this “bridge” work ranged from directing students to the correct Zoom link to join class, to assisting students in accessing our digital Sora collections when our physical library was not accessible. Fortunately, it seems that with each passing year, we are re-entering a more normal version of school. However, while challenges with technology have changed, they haven’t disappeared, and in many cases, educators find it more important than ever to integrate healthy and responsible technology use into our learning environments. At the start of this school year, I organized several faculty development sessions…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Media Mentorship and AI Podcast Resources

Last month, the Children and Technology committee posted about creating a podcast. We hope you read our August post and listened to our podcast on artificial intelligence (AI). This month, we are bringing you some of the resources our committee members consulted for the podcast. With the rise of AI, there is no doubt you will be using it in your daily life, both personally and professionally. 

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Media Mentorship & AI: Creating an ALSC Committee Podcast

Since joining the Children and Technology committee in 2020, we’ve furthered the committee’s charge of educating and encouraging youth librarians to be leaders on technology issues, and disseminating information on these issues to the larger ALSC community. As part of our committee requirements we expect all members to publish at least one ALSC blog post on a current subject relating to technology. In 2022 we hosted an ALSC Chat on post-pandemic hybrid library programming. We consistently update the ALSC Digital Media Resources guide with the most current topics and resources. And we have built in innovative practices to our meetings – including using the digital platform Padlet to record our monthly check-ins. For further reading, check out this blog post published by my former co-chair on other ways we use tech tools within our virtual committee.  That said, with time left in the 2022-2023 term to complete a final project,…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Media Mentorship 

To use technology or not to use technology? I feel it is no longer a matter of “not” to use. The pandemic has shown us that technology is a part of everyone’s daily life, and we need to be there for our young patrons and their caregivers to guide them, just as we do when helping patrons find the right information and books. As with any media, we are here for our patrons to advise, program, and curate.   “student_ipad_school – 038” by flickingerbrad is licensed under CC BY 2.0.  Training takeaways Recently, I attended a virtual training session on Media Mentorship where youth librarians from Maryland and Indiana learned about the use of digital media and our roles as digital media mentors. Prior to the training, attendees read A Guide to Media Mentorship by Lisa Guernsey of New America. During the morning session, presenters examined the basics of media mentorship—old…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

What time is it? Tool time.

Yes, that’s a Home Improvement reference. But it’s also a good time to talk about tools to help kids, teens, and maybe even a few librarians (me) manage their time. Time tools. Time Management Tools Most people struggle with time management to some degree. Many people with learning differences such as ADHD have an even tougher time than neurotypical folks. And different learning styles are pretty common knowledge (visual, kinesthetic, aural, etc.), but I had never considered how those might affect our sense of time. At a workshop put on by the PACER Center, assistive technology specialists Tara Bruss and Sarah Giffen-Hunter shared a spreadsheet they created. In it, they compare over a hundred apps, devices, and software that take into account these differences. The spreadsheet includes tools for creating task lists, reminders, alarms, time tracking, and more. You can see device compatibility, prices, and descriptions, too. I mean, it’s a pretty…


Rethinking Literacy Conference

Media Mentorship made its debut in Maine on April 27, 2017 at the 28th Annual Reading Round Up of Children’s and Young Adult (YA) Librarians. The conference, Rethinking Literacy: Multiple Literacies for the 21st Century, kicked off with a rollicking performance by John Schumacher (a.k.a. Mr. Shu) the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs. Sessions were on a multitude of topics: best graphic novels; engaging ESL students; an arts approach to literacy; workshops on best apps for school and public libraries; using digital technologies to reshape literacy; exploring media literacy, and more.