Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Digital Storytelling and Content Creation with Children

Stories are powerful expressions and conveyors of culture that build empathy, understanding, and help children explore their places in the world. How do we support children to become responsible creators of digital stories? This was the subject of a We Are ALSC Chat on May 20, 2024. Members of the ALSC Children and Technology Committee and other ALSC members met for an hour online to dig into strategies library staff in schools and public libraries can use to ensure we are helping kids grow in the area of digital storytelling. By incorporating digital content creation into the curriculum, we are seizing an opportunity to teach our students how to create responsibly, and act as ethical digital citizens. One way we can accomplish this is through modeling. Teaching kids to protect their own copyrights can help them begin to understand the rights of others. Student work is theirs and though many…

Blogger Ariel Barreras

Dinovember Fest!: Dinosaur Programs for Children

While Summer Reading is certainly on the forefront of every children’s librarian’s mind right now, Fall is also just around the corner and we should start to think about how to make Fall just as special as Summer. One idea that I am working on is a Dinovember Fest! Throughout the month of November, I will put on dinosaur programs for children of all ages. Here are some programs I will be hosting this Fall!

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Low Tech Makerspace

Do you suffer from Makerspace envy? I do. I wish I had the dedicated space, materials and personnel that some of my more lucky library and school friends do. At my last school, they had a dedicated shop with a flank of 3-D printers, CNC machines, fabrication tools and a dedicated lab director. Sigh. As much as I wished to duplicate that for my public library patrons, like most of us, I didn’t have the space OR the money. But I still wanted my patrons to have the benefits that a good makerspace program can provide. So, I went on to do what we youth librarians have been doing for decades – I created the programming on the cheap. And by cheap – I mean price, not experience! After all, the concepts behind the makerspace movement don’t rely on money. They are based on constructive learning theory – we learn…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Celebrating Diwali with a STEAM Activity: Fostering Cultural Competency in Libraries

A photograph of the diya card fully decorated and with the LED lit.

As librarians, we strive to create inclusive spaces that celebrate diversity and promote cultural understanding. Diwali, also known as Deepavali or the Festival of Lights, is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world. Typically lasting for five days, it is observed by Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and some Buddhist communities. Diwali is a time of joy, gratitude, and hope for millions of people. Embracing this multicultural event enhances our understanding of different traditions and creates a welcoming environment for families that celebrate Diwali. A fun and easy Diwali STEAM activity that you can do at your library is to create a paper circuit diya card. A diya is an oil lamp that is lit during the holiday to symbolize the triumph of good and light over evil and darkness.

Guest Blogger

From Frustrated to Delighted: Analog and STEM programming

old fashioned postcards scattered across the image. A postcard of the Empire State Building and a postcard of the Statue of Liberty are included. Used for STEM programming.

In 2015, I was working as a Children’s Librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania). I had to produce and present a summer reading program with iPads for school age kids. This was part of a pilot program that summer to introduce children, especially inner city children, to iPads as a way to decrease the digital divide. STEM programming on an iPad? I had no idea what to do. I didn’t even own a smart phone!