Tablet Tales: Los Altos Library

Our Tablet Tales set up

The Los Altos Library is a quiet library with a small but regular evening crowd for their Thursday evening storytime.  I presented a few digital tidbits for them along with Jean Nei, and it was the quietest, mellowest storytime I’ve ever been to. “Quiet” and “mellow” are adjectives that have never, ever been used to describe me in my entire life, so I really had to curb my enthusiasm and turn down the volume on my vocal chords.  We had 36 people total, mostly with older kids, many of whom have been coming their entire lives. Normally I come out of storytime whirling like a dervish and I need to come down from my storytime high, but tonight I have a nice quiet, all-is-well feeling.  Wow- it’s amazing how the style of the storyteller can guide the energy in the room!

What We Did

Book: Little Monkey Lost
5 Little monkeys (Smoothie Felt Board App; image, then lyrics in Keynote)
Here’s a little bunny
Book: Monkey: Trickster tale from India
Shakers: Shake a Little Shaker, Hey-Ho the Rattle-o
Head and Shoulders
Flannel Board Story: Matepo
Book: Caps for Sale (iBook)
Curious George Video (on a real reel!)
Monkey Craft

What I learned

  1. I really really have to change the AppleTV so that the screen saver doesn’t pop on during the program when I am not doing something digital.
  2. Mellow storytimes are restful for my brain.  It must be restful for the kids’ brains too.
  3. This project is showing me how important the style and energy of the storyteller is.  There is no right way to conduct a storytime; figure out what your strengths are and use them.  Some people will love what you do, some people not so much.  Doesn’t matter; as long as it’s authentic.

Sign at the entrance to the children’s area

Survey Results (7 total returned)

What is the age of your child/children that attend storytime?

1-2 years: 1
2-3 years: 1
3-4 years: 1
4-5 years: 4
5 + years: 2

What are the best days/times to attend programs at the library?

  • Thursday or Friday 6 pm
  • Weekday evenings after 7
  • Weekend mornings
  • Thursday evening is great: keep it!
  • Evening
  • 7 PM

What did you like best about this program?

  • Integrating music
  • Joint collaboration- having 2 storytellers added interest
  • Use of digital screen makes books larger & easier to see for larger audience
  • The new librarian was very good at telling stories. She was one of the best ones we have seen! Thanks!
  • The librarian read the book along with the app playing. That made the whole experience a lot more interactive.
  • Visual impact
  • Bigger screen than the books.  Better visual.
  • Good presenter
  • The variety of activities
  • The storyteller

What did you like least about this program?

  • Worry about shortening attention span when reading books [Maybe this mom was concerned seeing the books on a screen would shorten her child’s attention span? Parent education opportunity! Pull out most recent research on reading on screens!]
  • It works for a small group of people [I wonder if this is an implication that it wouldn’t work for a large group of kids? Interesting opinion!]
  • N/A
  • I didn’t observe the whole program so can’t comment

Would you like to see this program continue at your library?

  • Yes: 7
  • No: 0

Did you find it useful to learn about book-based apps and eBooks for young children?

  • Yes, although we liked the low-tech stries best
  • Yes, Very helpful
  • Yes x3

Additional comments

  • I like to see more high-quality apps/eBooks for kids in the program. But please do keep the traditional way of storytelling for the majority of the storytime.

Posted on November 9, 2012, in Literacy. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Integrating iPad hardware into storytime is the coolest idea i’ve heard in a long time. I’d love to see something designed for parents to do with their kids at home when they can’t visit the library that they would download from the library website. Love the data you’ve collected.

    • Lauren! I’d love to see that too. I’m trying to get a team together to develop a scaleable, brandable virtual storytime app, and there are a number of ways to go about it. Would you be interested in helping out on a project like that?

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