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Digital Storytelling Bookshelf

Most children’s departments have a storytelling shelf where they have pretty copies of storytime books that are pre-selected for age group, size/quality of illustrations, props, participation and general storytime awesomeness.  Well, my colleagues and I at the Santa Clara County Library District are building just such a bookshelf, only it’s for apps.  I’ve got some technical issues to work out so we have not started downloading all the apps yet, but I’m working on a list of apps I’ll download once I have the devices and money to do so.  Right now I’m making a list from various sources, and I’m starting from the March/April Horn Book. I’ll be looking at the Cybils, Kirkus, Touch and Go and Out of the Box next for app recommendations, then add them to the storyshelf and conscript my storytelling colleagues to try them out with their communities and report back.  That’s how we’ll begin to create a community of knowledge around digital storytelling. This’ll be an ongoing collection development project (all collections require upkeep and love!) but right now it’s a mad rush to develop a core collection and figure out what our collection development guidelines are for apps.  Keep your eyes peeled for more app reviews and digital storytelling tips and ideas as we expand our collection and knowledge!

Collection Development Guidelines

I need help. I’ve never been involved in developing collection development guidelines for traditional library materials, and now I have the challenge of coming up with some for apps. How do we decide what apps are good enough to use in storytime or to recommend to people? There are review sources, (Kirkus, SLJ, Horn Book), but those only cover a small fraction of the apps that are out there, and they mostly review iPad apps.  There are loads of app review sources that DON’T emphasize apps that are based on books, but how do we know who the authorities are now? Whose word can we take about what’s good and what’s not? What other factors should we take into consideration?  How do we factor in platform, price, age appropriateness, interactivity, updates etc?

Perhaps I should read this book.