Beginning the Digital Storytime Journey
I have just begun working in a new library system where I have been asked to facilitate the development of some digital storytelling resources. We’ve begun discussing some exciting ideas for incorporating digital media into our services for children. What we’d like to do is add more tools to the storyteller’s toolkit; in addition to physical puppets, flannel boards, draw and tell stories, etc, we’re going to be looking for digital tools to use both in our programs, and to recommend to parents.
There are 2 aspects of digital storytelling;
- Virtual storytimes: This would be where we simply record programs, or segments of programs, and upload them so people can watch them at home or on a mobile device. In the new year we’ll begin pursuing this type of digital storytelling a little more aggressively to develop a dynamic children’s “department” in the virtual branch of the library.
- Incorporating digital media (iPads, mostly) into everyday storytimes; this is where the apps and eBooks come in.
Here’s a general timeline:
- July 1st we begin downloading and reviewing apps for usability in Early Literacy programming. We will establish collection development requirements for these apps just like we would any other media in the library. I will post all apps that make the grade as well as other resources for librarians who are interested in playing around with these new storytelling tools;
- Develop some resources to give to parents about digital literacy, along with recommendations for apps and review sources;
- August: presenting some of our work at the Children’s Supervisory Librarians meeting;
- Begin a dialogue with special needs groups in our service area about integrating some of these tools into programming for those populations. We will be working with two researchers/children’s librarians (one from Vancouver Public Library, one from Brooklyn Public Library) to develop evidence-based practices for integrating research on special needs education and digital technology;
- September: checking out the branches for viability with regards to lighting, projectors, physical space etc;
- Once the Summer Reading Club is over we’re going to look at incorporating some digital storytelling into Every Child Ready to Read and Outreach.
If any of this sounds fun, or you have some ideas to share, please contact me. This is a brand new world for libraries; not a lot has been done in this area and I hope this process can be as collaborative, creative and fun as possible.