Blog Archives

Rancho Cucamonga Library Digital Literacy Evaluations Project: New Media Storytime Training

Last week Carisa Kluver and I facilitated a 2 day training with the enthusiastic & thoughtful librarians and storytellers and the Rancho Cucamonga Library. We are developing some handouts and resources for their staff & community that will go up in the next few days as well.

Here’s some tips & tricks for getting starting with using new media in storytimes, and our slides from the training itself.

Storytime Tips & Tricks for Using iPad-based New Media

Preparation & Planning

  • Consider planning, preparing & even presenting your first few new media storytime sessions with a buddy! Schedule some time to run through your stories & activities with another storyteller, and give each other feedback.
  • Consider the following three ways to start using your iPad in storytime:
    1. Find a digital version of a paper book that you feel comfortable sharing in storytime
    2. Create a digital felt board out of a favorite song, rhyme or story
    3. Create a slideshow (in Keynote or other presentation software) with lyrics to a new song, plus a relevant screen shot or image. For example, you could post the words to “pop goes the weasel” with an image of a real weasel (and a cobbler’s bench, while you’re at it!)
  • Run through the set-up (AppleTV, WiFi & mirroring) a few times before the day of your storytime
  • Practice, practice, practice! Take time to get comfortable setting up the iPad, switching from one app to another, or remembering what to do if an app becomes unresponsive (hint: kill the app!) Contact your tech support folks for help if you need it!
Cobbler's Bench

Cobbler’s Bench

Implementing your New Media Storytime

  • On the day of your storytime, before sure to run through every app you plan to use in the program mirrored through the AppleTV. The app may have been updated recently, or there might be something buggy with the display.
  • During storytime, be sure to make eye contact with the participants, and try to mostly look at the screen they are looking at; try not to look down at the device in your hand to read the text of the story.
  • If you use a digital book, make sure to have paper copies of that book available for checkout, other books on the same topic, or books by the same author
  • Include a welcome slide in your presentation and a set of resources at the end (book, songs & apps used in the storytime). Upload the slides to your library’s website.
  • Include tips for parents on how to use new media in a way that supports the development of relationships.
  • Have fun, and be open with your community about what you are doing. Tell them you’re just learning how to use apps in storytime, and that librarians provide reader’s advisory services for digital books for kids now. Ask for suggestions & input! Maybe you’ve got some expertise in the community that you could draw from!



California State Library: Early Learning with Families 2.0

I’ve been a little AWOL from the Little eLit blog recently. Many thanks to Amy for keeping content fresh while I’ve been elsewhere! Here’s one of the projects I’m going to be working on, and the official announcement from Gerry Maginnity, the Acting State Librarian of California.

My part in ELF 2.0 will be to create a technology tooklit to help children’s librarians integrate new media and technology for children into library collections, services and programs (It will be free and available to the public once it’s done. The prototype should be ready by November.) This project will be the next iteration of an existing project, the original ELF, but like so many other initiatives, ELF needs to be re-worked to take into account the realities of modern information consumption, especially for families with young children. I’ll be doing a whole lot of talking at the California Library Association Conference in Long Beach in November, where I’ll be working with Dr. Josh Sparrow of the Brazelton Touchpoints CenterCarisa Kluver of Digital StorytimeShira Lee Katz of Common Sense Media, Francie Dillon, Sharon Krull, and a whole pile of library rockstars. We’ll also be putting on some webinars and in-person trainings around California.

There are two related technology for children pilot projects at the Mission Viejo  and Rancho Cucamonga Libraries in Southern California that will give me lots of learning to report on. Mission Viejo is home to Little eLit Think Tankers Genesis Hansen and Allison Tran, and Rancho is a 2013 IMLS Medal Winner.

Drs. Marianne Martens and Virginia Walter will be helping to provide some badly needed library-based research around the issue of children, technology and libraries. The amazing and inspiring Suzanne Flint at the California State Library will be wrangling us all, and Sam Eddington (incoming chair of the ALSC Education Committee) will be helping to facilitate the discussions.