Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Engaging Families and Technology with Byte-Sized Programming

Bee Bots, Osmos, and iPads are a great introduction to early technology.

Ready to introduce new technology, but uncertain about patron interest?  Why not try what we call “byte-sized programming”?  It introduces a variety of tech in a station-based environment.  The more stations, the more entry points you have to engage your families with tech.  You can introduce a variety of topics that appeal to all generations.  Plus, these programs are easily customized to your space, patron interests, and budget, and are held on a come-and-go basis.

Live Blogging

Greetings from ALA Annual 2018

Greetings! I am on a break from Bridging the Tech Gap session at #alaac18. This is my first ALA conference, and I am already geeking out over everything. Loving this session about how to incorporate youth in planning events and using technology in the library. Youth start as users, then testers, then informants, and, eventually design partners. Ask open-ended questions! Be a “guide on the side” rather than a “sage on the stage.” Getting great ideas and meeting/working with wonderful librarians from all over the country!

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…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Back to School & Back to Books!

Someone gave me a print of that old WPA poster years ago, and every autumn I’m tempted to make it the center of a seasonal display (it says September right on it, when else will I use it?) but I don’t know; somehow I don’t find the image quite as inviting as children’s library ought to be.  But aesthetics aside, I DO love the sentiment of the slogan.  Using computers, tablets, and smartphones are a part of daily life for many of our young patrons, and we want to make sure that reading great books is as well.  Whether you’re in a public library catching your breath after the busy summer schedule, or a school library gearing up for a new year, this is a great time to gather some really fun, free, online resources with strong literary connections that we can use for story time components, lesson plan enrichment…

ALA Annual 2017

Exhibit Hall #alaac17

As an ALA first timer, the exhibit hall might have been the highlight of my conference experience. I ignored all advice, and I took almost all the ARCs I could get my hands on, resulting in a collection of about 50 books. Some of my favorites include: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart Swing It Sunny by Jennifer Holm There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins Warcross by Marie Lu I did follow some advice, and I packed an empty duffel inside my suitcase. That helped tremendously with getting everything home. I have some excited coworkers and patrons who will love these books! In addition to ARCs, the exhibit hall contained The Playground @ ALA, an amazing area where attendees could play with some of the latest technology. I experienced virtual reality with a real head set and…

Blogger Meg Smith

Library Learning Leads to School Success

What youth services ideas do you hope to turn into reality this year? At our Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center, we have seen a need to increase the resources and support students receive so they may excel academically. Our School Success initiative developed into a formal project after assessment with our local public and charter schools, a staff-led focus group, and research to determine the needs of our student populations. We’ve applied for a grant to add technology and educational kits to our services and plan to add some new programming to encourage family engagement. Here are some highlights from our proposal: Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center will address the need for elementary and secondary student support through the development of our School Success initiative. This initiative features a 100 Days of School Celebration and the implementation of Learning Lab programming featuring laptops to provide homework…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

2016 Trends: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Each year, technology continues to change and evolve. In 2016, with only a few weeks left in the year, it is a good time to look back on two technology trends that impacted library services. This is especially timely since many of us will soon have to submit our annual reports to our library boards and with that, a look at the trends of the year.