Talking Tech in an Interview, by Susie Serrano
I don’t consider myself tech-savvy. I do have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads accounts; use WordPress to blog; and do most everything on my iPhone 5 and sometimes my Google Nexus or my husband’s iPad. Still, when it comes to troubleshooting, my husband is the person I look to for help.
When I was applying for a promotion to Countywide Children’s Librarian, my husband encouraged me to take the iPad to the interview after seeing how jazzed up I was after meeting Cen Campbell at an Early Learning with Families Advisory Committee meeting at the California State Library. Cen demonstrated the use of new media for storytime at the library by connecting her iPad wirelessly using Apple TV to show us examples of books and songs to display on a bigger screen and make the experience interactive. As a fellow Eurekan, class of 2010, I couldn’t help but try using one of these examples at my upcoming interview.
I brought the iPad into the interview room along with my professional folder with resumes and reference lists tucked inside. No one asked to see these items; instead they asked about the iPad and were excited when I explained I had a demonstration planned. I used the same book as Cen, Red Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton, not because it was easy seeing as I just watched Cen demonstrate it, but because it really is one of my favorite books! I didn’t have time to set this up with a projector, but with the interview panel of 5 I was able to effectively show how interactive and fun new media can be. I had every librarian, including the director, touching the screen and making the animals dressed in bathing suits jump into the pool at the end of the story. I explained that I hope to incorporate new media into my storytimes and share with the children’s staff the process to try it as well. I also explained this would be a helpful tool to show people while out of the library doing outreach. We can demonstrate how new media can be used and that the library is well prepared with suggestions, tips, and research directing the public to useful apps and interactive storybooks.
Just the other day I was amazed when a parent finally asked the question about what types of apps she should download for her 4-year-old daughter.
We do have TumbleBooks, but the storybook portion is still not compatible with Apple products. I gave the parent a few suggestions and told her the library is in the process of reviewing further recommendations and to check back soon. She was very pleased and looked forward to trying out my suggestions. I found it interesting that the parent doesn’t have a TV and instead has an iPad, laptop & portable DVD player.
My next project is to demonstrate a New Media Storytime at our next children’s services meeting.Susie Serrano works at the Butte (CA) County Library.