I’ve been a librarian for a while, but, between postings (my husband is in the Military) and having children, I’ve been off work for a couple of years. About a year ago, I started back to work, and I was struck by the impact that emerging technology–like the iPad–is having. It quickly became clear to me that tablets, apps, and ebooks are going to play a prominent role in the future of libraries.
Around the same time that I returned to work, I started a Masters of Education (curriculum and instruction) with a focus on children’s literature. Between working and the masters, I soon realized that my interests no longer lay with just traditional librarianship–enjoyable as it is. I have discovered that I am fascinated with the impact of emerging technology on literacy and libraries. How will tablets and apps affect literacy, and how can we use them to our advantage? How can we incorporate that into the library world? There is now a book-free library–only ebooks–and I am eager to follow their progress.
One of my favourite parts of being a librarian is reader’s advisory. There is nothing I love more than helping someone find a new book to love. More so, I love helping children find a love of reading. It is from that perspective that I find app curatorship fascinating. I definitely agree that this is something librarians should be involved with. Not only does it make sense as a natural progression of librarianship, but it also helps libraries stay current in an ever-changing world. Tablets and apps seem to be here to stay, and I don’t know that this is a bad thing. Some of the children’s picture books now available in app form are quite impressive–and very interactive–making for a fun, and potentially educational, family experience.
But where from here? This has been something like a whole new world opening up to me, and I am still finding my way in it. There are so many possibilities–so many new ideas to explore. As for my involvement so far, it is still early days. I am now studying family literacy at school, and at the library I’ve been teaching people how to set up their ereaders and tablets to use ebooks and eaudio books, either individually or in a program format.
On a personal level, my children and I have been having marvellous fun with apps in the form of literacy games and picture books. Amongst family and friends, I find I am making more and more recommendations for good apps for kids–and I’ve always been the one to talk to about what to read next! We shall see what the new year brings.