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In Response to Chip Donohue’s #ala2013 Remarks, by Trista Kunkel

“These tools are not inherently evil.” These are the words spoken by Chip Donohue who was awesome enough to agree to present with us during our conversation starter at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. What tools is he talking about, you ask? Those would be the use of tablets and apps in the library.

One of the big debates going on in libraryland right now is whether or not tablets and other technologies should be used in the library. We here at Little eLit believe that it’s the duty of librarians to embrace this new technology and that it’s up to us to help parents learn how to properly utilize it as well. A few of the loudest complaints that have been going around are that screen time for youngsters can hurt them developmentally and that apps don’t offer anything different or better than books. Thankfully Chip was with us at our conversation starter to offer some wonderful insight and advice. He touched on numerous subjects during his part of the presentation and brought up some very interesting points, the main theme being that we need to embrace this technology, and that it’s our duty to develop these skills ourselves and teach them to the public.

Chip stated that one of the issues shouldn’t be “all tech” vs. “no tech.” We should be incorporating them both together, and that if a child reads an ebook it doesn’t mean that s/he is going to stop wanting to read an actual book.  In fact, kids don’t delineate the physical and the virtual. It was mentioned during our conversation starter that some people have noticed that their child becomes even more interested in the book version of a story after reading it on a tablet. We know that parents are already using this technology at home with their children, and it’s up to us, like Chip said, to provide information for them on how to properly use these new tools.

Now I’d like to ask a question. How many of you have NEVER had a patron come to you or another library worker and ask how to use some sort of technology? I’d be surprised if anyone has ever truly had this happen. We are NOT just book slingers. We have a duty to help our patrons navigate the wide world of technology, and what better way to make sure we’re knowledgeable and comfortable with answering their questions than using and utilizing the technology ourselves? Patrons come to us expecting us to be able to help them, and how can we if we refuse to use or accept the technology with which they need our help? Another argument that Chip made was that we need to work on our own digital literacy before we work with others, that we need to be able to offer sound information for inquiring patrons and that there are no skill deficits for librarians to be able to do this. To select, use, integrate, and evaluate are all skills that we already use, and now it’s just a willingness to do it with technology.

This brings me to the next point that Chip made during our conversation starter. The app market is enormous and can feel incredibly daunting for patrons. With so many apps coming out every day, how can a parent make educated decisions on which apps are best for them? Once again, this is where we should come in. We already have the ability to assess and evaluate, so why shouldn’t we use these skills to help make the app marketplace more manageable and navigable for our patrons? And this, folks, is the main reason we had our A to Zoo for apps conversation starter. We need to take it upon ourselves to become involved with reviewing these apps and making sure that there is a credible area for us to navigate this massive marketplace.

Chip ended his portion of the discussion by reminding us that these devices are an invitation for joint engagement between caregivers and children, that when they choose to come to the library it is on purpose, and what better reason do we need to provide this service of bests for them? Fred Rogers believed technology might be good, could be great—but only when used for social and emotional development. We’re the experts here, not the parents, and it is up to us to help guide them on the proper use of this new technology. Like Fred and Chip said, we need to “Think of the child first.”

Trista Kunkel
Youth Services Librarian
Birchard Public Library

Tech in Storytime: In response to an #ala2013 question, by Anne Hicks

During the Conversation Starter at ALA, an audience member asked how librarians have been integrating technology into their storytimes. That’s a great “conversation starter” on its own, so I thought I’d take a moment to highlight some of the ways contributors to Little eLit have been incorporating digital media into their work.

Digital Storytelling:

One way to incorporate technology into storytimes is to project eBooks onto a screen for all the participants at your storytimes to view.  Using a mirroring device such as an Apple TV with your iPad allows you to operate the tablet while the image is projected.  You are then able to seamlessly share high quality eBooks and apps in combination with traditional storytime methods.

Typical Equipment Used:

Benefits:

Digital Storytelling is a wonderful way to provide a storytime for a very large audience.  Projecting onto a screen enables even the participants at the back of the room to appreciate the illustrations of the eBooks.  You can also scan and project lyrics to songs and the words to fingerplays.  This encourages the adults in the room to participate in the fun!  One of the most valuable benefits of this type of storytelling is that it allows the librarian to promote quality eBooks and also model to caregivers how to interact with children while sharing digital media.  As Cen Campbell puts it, “using high quality digital media in storytime is one way we can expose parents to good quality book-based or educational apps. This is just a fun new kind of reader’s advisory!”

For more details on Digital Storytelling, check out these posts from Cen Campbell, Bradley Jones, and Holly Southern.

Apps as Storytime Extensions:

Another way technology can be integrated into storytimes is to use apps as an extension of your storytime theme, the same way you would use a flannel board or a puppet.  The librarian holds the iPad and does the tapping and swiping while interacting with the children.  This works best for groups of about 20 or less. There are a large number of apps on the market that can be easily used by the librarian to engage with children.  For example, you can use an animal sounds app or a vehicle sounds app and have the kids guess which animal/vehicle they are hearing.  You can use a robot-building app and have the kids help you design a robot.  You could also create a “felt board” using the Felt Board app developed by Software Smoothie.

Typical Equipment Used:

  •  iPad
  • Various Apps

Benefits:

The only equipment needed is the tablet, so this is a very easy way for librarians to test the waters as far as integrating technology into storytime. Also, using apps in storytime allows you to promote high quality apps to caregivers.  Often, parents think of the iPad as a means of solitary play for the child, a “babysitter.”   Encouraging them to engage in play with their child is an important aspect of what we do as Children’s Librarians. By promoting the apps in storytime you are also allowing an opportunity for the caregiver to extend the storytime at home.  I doubt many parents have the time and supplies needed to recreate a flannel board at home, but they can easily download an app and play with their child.

For more examples of how to use apps in your storytime check out the following posts from Anne Hicks: Animal Sounds, Vehicle Sounds.

Fleet of Tablets

Providing tablets for each family to use during storytime is yet another way some librarians have included new media in their storytimes.  You can preload the devices with the eBooks and apps you will be using during storytime and guide the participants to use them throughout the storytime.  This is not a replacement of traditional storytime activities (songs, fingerplays, print books…), but rather another tool to engage young readers and their caregivers.

Typical Equipment Used:

  • Multiple tablets (typically iPads)
  • Various Apps/eBooks
  • Headphones with splitters (optional)

Benefits:

This type of storytime is the perfect way to encourage caregivers to engage with their little ones as they use digital media.  It allows the adult and child to “cuddle up” while using a tablet (the same way we encourage them to do with print books). It also makes using the device, and the storytime at large, a truly shared experience.  And as with the other methods mentioned in this post, it allows the librarian to promote high quality media.  Lastly, it provides access to technology that some patrons may not otherwise have access to.  Using a fleet of tablets is a wonderful way to provide access and guidance while also promoting engagement.

For more on this type of storytime, check out these posts by Angela Reynolds, Emily Miranda, and Bradley Jones.

STEM Storytime Extenders: Tech in Storytime is Just the Beginning!

I was asked to lead a discussion at the Preschool Services Discussion Group meeting at ALA this June about ways to incorporate STEM into storytimes. Little eLit delves into that topic every day with our discussion of new media in early literacy programming and services contexts. If you’re interested in rounding out your programs to run the full STEM gamut, I hope you’ll check out some of the resources from the discussion.

As per Sue McCleaf Nespeca, one of the chairs of the discussion group, the materials are posted in two locations for easy access:
http://everychildreadytoread.ning.com/page/ecrr-handouts-at-ala-chicago

Also, at ALSC Connect: http://connect.ala.org/

If you have questions or comments, I hope you’ll share them in the comments!

Guerrilla Storytime at #ala2013 & the Storytime Underground Movement, by Angela Reynolds and Amy Koester

Storytime UndergroundWhen I looked at my schedule for the ALA Annual Conference, I felt like I needed to borrow Hermione Granger’s Time-turner. So many great sessions to go to, and they were happening at the same time. But one that I really made sure I got to was one that wasn’t even on the official list of sessions. It was held in the “Uncommons,” a big room just outside the exhibit hall. This session was Guerrilla Storytime, put together by some smart young librarians who seem to have met on Twitter. Because I am somewhat of a Twitter addict, I knew all about it. My non-tweeting librarian pals had not heard of it. I tried to convince them how awesome it would be, but they had other things to do. Not me, I wanted to hang with this vivacious gang of young whippersnappers. Now, I’m not ancient, but I have been around libraries for a long time. Degreed in 1996 and working in libraries for at least 3 years before that, I’ve done my share of storytimes. The ideas that are shared on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Flannel Fridays, and blogs by these younger librarians are so incredibly inspiring. So inspiring that I am now doing storytime again once a month, just to try out some of these amazing early literacy techniques that have evolved in the past few years. These folks have great ideas and they bounce them around off one another and share and borrow and expand and make the World of Storytime one of the most awesome places on the planet. As a seasoned librarian, I am amazed and excited on a regular basis by these Early Literacy Warriors. Storytime Guerrillas unite! Next time I go to a local conference, you can bet I’ll be taking over a space for my own version of Guerrilla Storytime. I might even have to rent a gorilla suit for the occasion.

What is this all about? How did it start? What exactly IS a Guerrilla Storytime and why does it matter? I think I’ll let Amy, a Joint Chief, fill you in on that.

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Thanks for that introduction, Angela! The idea for Guerrilla Storytime was born of librarian Cory Eckert, idea-genius, in response to a whole bunch of factors. One factor: the discussion online over the past year about youth librarians not getting proper recognition for their hard, specialized work. Too many of our libraryland colleagues don’t quite “get” what goes on at storytime, and if they don’t recognize the vital service storytime provides, they’ll never be able to advocate for it to the families we need to serve. A second factor: storytime practitioners the world over are bona fide experts at what they do. We’re all experts, but we don’t all know everything, so it follows that we have lots we can learn from one another. Thus Guerrilla Storytime.

Guerrilla Storytime is a public forum of sorts at which storytime librarians can ask questions and seek advice of their peers, and the collective community steps up to share their expertise. A librarian may not be well versed in parachute songs and asks for storytime guerrillas’ favorite go-tos; those guerrillas oblige, sharing what works for them and why. Along with all of the learning (and fun!) that naturally follows, Guerrilla Storytime raises professional awareness for the very real, very important contributions that youth librarians bring to their libraries. Since it takes place in a public space, Guerrilla Storytime has a way of drawing attention to itself and its participants; after all, if you heard a group of people shouting about “going bananas,” wouldn’t you stop to see what was going on?

Happily, Guerrilla Storytime was not a one-off event at ALA. In fact, it’s developed into a larger movement, the Storytime Underground. The Storytime Underground website aims to be a resource for all those best practices, all those tips and tricks that you can forget over time. Participants will be able to pose their storytime questions using the Ask a Storytime Ninja feature; to get details on hosting a Guerrilla Storytime, then add their own Guerrilla Storytimes to the master calendar; and to learn from colleagues across the world through Storytime Guerrilla of the Month profiles and links to amazing online content in the Armory of Awesome. Just as Little eLit aims to be a go-to site for librarians interested in new media with children, the Storytime Underground aims to be a grassroots effort to share the storytime love and skills.

Reblog: Librarians in the Digital Age – Part 2, by Carisa Kluver

Are you looking for more information about what went down at ALA Annual with regard to new media and children? Carisa Kluver, founder of digital-storytime.com and a contributor here at the Little eLit community shared her experiences at the conference weekend on her blog. She’s given us permission to share her perspective here. Enjoy!

Librarians in the Digital Age – Part 2: A to Zoo for Apps  Starts the Conversation from The Digital Media Diet

biblio-follies-sm250w-225x300At the end of June, I had the honor of being on a panel at the national ALA (American Library Association) conference in Chicago, IL. Originally I was going to prepare a video or be available remotely by Skype, but at the last minute I decided to visit the windy city, stay with a dear friend and make a little vacation of the whole thing. Chicago was especially lovely, with unseasonably cool weather, so I spent a fair amount of time on foot exploring. It was also a crazy time for parades in the city, fresh from their Blackhawks win and during Pride weekend, making hailing a cab more difficult. All that walking was good for thinking but not so good for hauling things, so the genius of digital books was particularly on my mind.

Exhibits and More …

I also spent many hours wandering around the cavernous exhibit hall booths in addition to meeting with bookish people like the librarian contributors to @LittleeLit‘s blog and ‘think tank’. In person introductions are particularly sweet, after months of contact over email, video-chat, Twitter and other digital means. Meeting others so like-minded probably represents one of the most energizing aspects of attending any large conference. And librarians are one energized group! I found nearly everyone in attendance to be sharp, thoughtful and focused on the future of libraries in the digital age. The conversations were simply abuzz about new ‘technology’ everywhere I went. While sitting at lunch by myself in a cafe over a mile from the convention center I overheard two librarians heatedly comparing the digital initiatives in their two library systems.

In the exhibit hall, there were several large spaces set aside for digital technology, ebooks and even apps. Nearly every booth also had a digital offering, from apps that integrated into their service or product for library management to eBooks in every format. However there was very little to be found about any stand-alone book apps nor much in the way of interactive book or educational software offerings for kids. I know my focus on children’s apps is somewhat singular in the publishing industry, but the lack of discussion or even an understanding of the difference between an ebook, app and bookstore portal was disheartening.

Either my focus is misplaced, leaving me out-of-step, or the industry (publishers, libraries, authors, etc.) itself is missing something. Several people asked me about my site and if I would review or promote their digital book offerings. When I explained that I only review apps, they seemed more bewildered than disappointed. I explained that so far, I couldn’t get enough traction with consumers for an iBookstore review site, and while the Kindle eBook market is much more developed, the market for illustrated children’s content is still in a somewhat embryonic stage. No one seemed to be very sophisticated in their understanding of the industry with regard to digital, but everyone seemed at least engaged in the digital shift in one way or another.

Overall, my impression was that librarians in attendance, and most of those presenting, were engaged, passionate and ready to face a digital future. This was in huge contrast to the publishers and other exhibitors who seemed to show-off a singular naïveté or perhaps ignorance, about format, access, consumer interest and other emerging aspects of the digital publishing industry. As a relative newbie to this ecosystem, I was surprised to find myself explaining (or correcting) misconceptions about digital formats, self-publishing, social media marketing and even COPPA regulations, to people who should be much more informed than I am.

A to Zoo for Apps – Starting the Conversation with LibraryLand

My panel presentation was early in the weekend, a ‘Conversation Starter’ entitled: ”Building A to Zoo for Apps: Time-tested librarian skills meet cutting edge technology for kids” and featured talented librarians:

  • Sarah Houghton, Director, San Rafael Public Library
  • Allison Rose Tran, Teen Services Librarian, Mission Viejo Library
  • Cen Campbell, Founder, Littleelit.com
  • Trista Kunkel, Youth Services Librarian, Birchard Public Library

plus special guest:

Chip Donahue, Senior Fellow at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning & Children’s Media and Director of Technology in Early Childhood at the Erikson Center.

and a video presentation from Lisa Guernsey, Director, Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation:

Conversation starters at the ALA are “fast-paced 45-minute sessions intended to jumpstart conversations and highlight emerging topics and trends.” The purpose of this session was to start a conversation within the library community about the best way to approach the curation and evaluation of digital content, like apps, for young children.

What should the role for apps be in libraries? Should they be used in storytimes and if so, why? How can librarians contribute to the evaluation of apps and provide useful information to caregivers, teachers and others seeking information about quality digital content for tablet devices? Should librarians even be recommending apps at all?

A nice summary of our presentation can be found on the @LittleeLit blog by librarian Amy Koester. Or you can watch the whole thing in this video on youtube:

Suffice it to say that 45 minutes was simply not enough time to answer more than a few questions and barely scratched the surface of the conversation that is brewing in the world of children’s early learning and library services. A lot of strong opinions exist about digital content for young kids, especially regarding ‘screen time’ and apps. But the interest in this content is strong among librarians, as evidenced by the overflowing standing-room-only crowd in attendance.

Conversation Started – Trending Topics

Among the most important take-aways from this conversation we’ve started are a series of new questions we must ask ourselves as adults who guide, choose and judge digital content for kids:

  • How do we evaluate, curate or recommend apps and other digital media on tablets?
  • How do we even decide what to evaluate and what to ignore in a sea of content much too large to cover exhaustively?
  • How would evaluations from librarians in particular differ from and add to the already large number of online resources currently available for app reviews (including private review sites, non-profit sites, consumer reviews and a sea of blogs from professionals and laypeople).
  • What qualities of an app would be important to librarians when evaluating?
  • How would app evaluations differ from the curation already done for print materials or other digital content?
  • What are the critical differences between evaluating, reviewing, recommending and curating apps or other digital content for librarians/professionals?
  • What resources, rubrics or other evaluation tools are available for professionals to explore before beginning their own app reviews?
  • What role should libraries and librarians play in the digital shift?
  • Should librarians recommend, model or advise caregivers and professionals about wise use of quality media for kids or primarily discourage ‘screen time’? Is this role different for toddlers under two, children under five or other age groups, like teenagers?
  • How can professionals find good age & stage recommendations for library programs & collections?

Conclusions

In the end, my biggest realization was an anti-climatic epiphany. As I wracked my brain to think of all the ways we might create a resource that an army of librarians could fill in to make relevant and thoughtful, I was also struck by the need to include something more than just curation in my grand plan for library-land … the need for education. Of course we know teachers, librarians and other professionals need training on how to incorporate these digital tools into existing programs and services, but we also need a large scale education effort for the general public.

Much like the world wide web presented us with a sea of content that went beyond our usual ways of cataloging, the sea of publications coming into our digital space may be more than anyone can wrangle into a single resource. There is no equivalent for the web to the ‘yellow pages’ for local business phone numbers, for instance. In a similar vein, there may not be anyway that anyone could truly create the equivalent of “A to Zoo” for kids apps. A to Zoo for Apps can’t help but be inspired by the past, but the real challenge will be making it novel and adaptable to the new digital environment of the 21st century. It appears to be a challenge that is both momentous and exhilarating!

These questions are just a few I heard, among many burning in the hearts and minds of those who attended ALA 2013 and our presentation. We will be working hard to keep this dialog going among librarians in particular and I’ll keep you posted as the conversation continues. Please let me know any questions or comments you might like to add!

What Apps Do That I Can’t: Responses to Questions from #ala2013, by Angela Reynolds

At our Conversation Starter at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, an attendee posed the question, “What advantages do apps have over other traditional formats?” In response, I’d like to share one really good example from my own experience.

mzl.pgmshncs.480x480-75In my Milk & Cookies Storytime, I used the Rosemary Wells app “Bunny Fun: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” Now, I know the song perfectly well in English, and so do the kids at storytime and all their parents. But I DO NOT know it in French (though some of our patrons did), nor do I know it in Spanish or Japanese (one little girl did know the Japanese! ). But in this storytime, because I had the app projected onto the screen, we learned the words for “head,” “shoulders,” “knees,” “toes,” “eyes,” “ears,” “mouth,” and “nose” in 3 other languages, and tried to sing the song in those languages, too. The kids loved it. The parents loved it. And it only took about 5 minutes total of storytime. Not only was it a language and cultural experience, it was physically active. We were singing and dancing the whole time, and all because of an app. Not the passive, sit and stare at a screen experience AT ALL.

These are the kind of app experiences I am looking for—the ones that add a richness to storytime and model for parents that there are fun learning opportunities on those little devices they are all so fond of. During storytime, I quickly tell the parents the name of the app and where they can find it on the iPads that they can use after storytime, so that they can explore it even more and decide if they want to download it for their own collection. Modeling, sharing fun educational experiences, and helping parents find and use early literacy apps for use at home are some of the great ways we can enrich the lives of the families that willingly step through our doors!

Angela J. Reynolds
Youth Services Manager
Annapolis Valley Regional Library

A to Zoo for Apps: The Conversation Starter at #ala2013

Saturday morning at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, a large group of professionals from across libraryland came together for the A to Zoo for Apps conversation starter. During the course of the 45 minute panel discussion, the assembled crowd heard from a number of authorities on the app marketplace and the library’s role in it.

After Cen’s introduction to the topic of apps and librarians–and the assertion that there needs to be aggregation of the disparate work librarians (and other professionals) are doing in reviewing apps–Allison Tran from the Mission Viejo Library got the panel started. Carisa Kluver of Digital-Storytime.com shared a starting point for the entire conversation. When Kluver began her app review website three years ago, one of her motivations was wading through a marketplace in which much of the content, both apps and ebooks, wasn’t necessarily what she expected them to be. How to make one’s way through this often-confusing landscape, she wondered? And so the review site was born.

Kluver shared a few  fascinating tidbits to further emphasize the importance and timeliness of this issue in librarianship. First, as a former social worker, Kluver noticed in using apps with her own child that “these were books that I could imagine in homes where I never found books”; when would a library argue against reaching an untapped segment of the community? Kluver also cited statistics from a Scholastic survey which found two key things:

  1. The number of children reading digitally has doubled in the past two years–a faster pace of growth than seen with adults.
  2. 75% of parents surveyed reported that they wanted help finding apps and ebooks for their kids.

Essentially, apps and tablet technology are realities–often extremely beneficial ones–for almost every child and family. What excuse, then, for libraries to not be involved?

Trista Kunkel of Birchard Public Library shared an overview of some of the best app review sources in existence now (there are so many, thus the need for reviews in one single, definitive place). Click here to access a pdf copy of her slides.

Sarah Houghton, director of the San Rafael Public Library and known as the Librarian in Black, made a plea to the group in attendance to get involved in reviewing and mitigating the app marketplace to assist fellow professionals and library customers. Houghton implored librarians to keep the marketplace honest–to prevent the commercial element from overwhelming the marketplace with their sales agendas, and instead offer a credible resource for navigating this space. After all, she said, reviewing and curating for a larger public is outreach on a massive scale.

Rounding up the panel portion of the event was Chip Donohue, whose impressive work with the Erikson Institute, Fred Rogers Center, and NAEYC allow him to provide a much-needed context for the topic of apps and children and libraries. Donohue had so many amazing things to say during his brief speech, packed with so many wonderful ideas, that his contributions will be explored in more depth on the blog later this month. For now, a few of the best sound bytes:

  • Devices are an invitation for joint engagement between caregivers and children.
  • Parents need prompting for how to use these tools effectively with their children.
  • Librarians cannot be sucked into the false dichotomy of “all tech” versus “no tech”; this is not the issue at hand, as there can and should be both technology and everything else we’ve been doing successfully all these years.
  • Kids don’t delineate between the physical and virtual space in the way that adults do.
  • The basic app marketplace is impossible, but librarians have the potential to make it navigable.
  • Looking at apps in terms of library and customer usage requires us to select, use, integrate, and evaluate–basically, everything that we have always done with other formats of materials.
  • Librarians already possess all of the skills to do this–the only potential deficit is in willingness.

Donohue wrapped up his time by reminding the audience of Fred Rogers’s constant mantra: “Think of the child first.” Are we as librarians always doing that? A meaningful question to think on.

The final 10 minutes of the conversation starter were spent engaging with audience questions, which will be explored further in individual blog posts this month.

Note: the panel intended to share a taped message from Lisa Guernsey, the author of several texts on the topic of children and technology, but the video sharing was met with technical difficulties. The video is available here:

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Did you attend the A to Zoo for Apps conversation starter in Chicago? Have thoughts, comments, or other takeaways you would like to share? Please sound off in the comments.

Join the conversation at #ala2013!

ALA_2013_Chicago_Logo_FINAL_CLR_0As the 2013 ALA Annual Conference gets underway in Chicago, librarians of every ilk are looking to make the most of their conference time by participating in programs and conversations that are important to the profession. We at Little eLit know one particular Conversation Starter we’d love to have you join at the conference.

Building A to Zoo for Apps: Time-tested librarian skills meet cutting edge technology for kids

Saturday, June 29, 2013 | 10:30-11:15 a.m.

McCormick Place Convention Center S102d

“We can’t afford to ignore digital content in the one institution most ideally set up to help the rest of society navigate the next few decades.” – Carisa Kluver, Digital-Storytime.com and Digital Media Diet founder.

Children’s librarians are now in the software design and app curation business. This panel will begin the discussion about why librarians are ideally poised to curate the children’s book-based and educational app space, build the tools to do so and provide leadership for early childhood educators, parents and children’s app developers on the use and development of interactive media for children.

Attendees at this interactive panel discussion will have the opportunity to share their concerns and hopes about how libraries can best use apps to support early learning, now and in the years to come.

Speakers:

  • Lisa Guernsey, Director, Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation and Author of Screen Time: How Electronic Media – From Baby Videos to Educational Software – Affects Your Young Child,
  • Sarah Houghton, Director for the San Rafael Public Library and the Librarian in Black,
  • Carisa Kluver, Founder of Digital-Storytime.com and the Digital Media Diet,
  • Cen Campbell, Founder of LittleeLit.com, and LibrarianAPProved.com
  • Board Members Allison Tran and Trista Kunkel

#ala2013 Conversation Starter Proposals: Vote for Building A to Zoo for Apps!

ALA_2013_Chicago_Logo_FINAL_CLRLet the conversations begin! We have 2 conversation starter proposals in (both submitted by the awesome and amazing Allison Tran at the Mission Viejo library). Take a gander at what we’ve put together and then give us a thumbs up (through ALA Connect) if you agree it’s a conversation that needs to happen. Here are the descriptions:

Building A to Zoo for Apps: Time-tested librarian skills meet cutting edge technology for kids

“We can’t afford to ignore digital content in the one institution most ideally set up to help the rest of society navigate the next few decades.” – Carisa Kluver, Digital-Storytime.com and Digital Media Diet founder.

Children’s librarians are now in the software design and app curation business. This panel will begin the discussion about why librarians are ideally poised to curate the children’s book-based and educational app space, build the tools to do so and provide leadership for early childhood educators, parents and children’s app developers on the use and development of interactive media for children. Attendees at this interactive panel discussion will have the opportunity to share their concerns and hopes about how libraries can best use apps to support early learning, now and in the years to come.

Presenters: Cen Campbell, Allison Tran, Lisa Guernsey, Carisa Kluver, Trista Kunkel

Stand Out and Be Outstanding: Fearlessly Leading Your Library Career

What does it mean to lead and be recognized as a leader in the library profession? And what exactly is a rock star librarian, anyway? This session will spark an exchange of ideas about what it means to stand out- and be outstanding- in the library field. A panel of motivated librarians who have participated in California’s Eureka! Leadership Program and/or the ALA Emerging Leaders Program will share their innovative paths to leadership, including strategies for being a leader in any position, taking risks, and balancing personal and professional priorities. The panel will also engage participants in a candid discussion of:

  • Seeing the big picture in your library career
  • Standing out from the crowd: why visibility matters
  • Being a ‘rock star’: help or hindrance?
  • Haters gonna hate: dealing with backlash

Join us in this interactive session to gain ideas for cultivating your leadership role in the library field, and sound off about what you think defines a true library leader.

Presenters: Yemila Alvarez, Allison Tran, Martha Camacho, Cen Campbell, Dolly Goyal, Genesis Hansen, Patrick “PC” Sweeney