As mentioned in my previous post, I recently demonstrated a digital storytelling session for staff at the Campbell Library. I got lots of good input from the children’s librarians and managers who were present.
Can we put this up on the website?
I love that this was the first question I got, mostly because I feel that I’ve missed my calling as a rock star and I really want to record some of my storytimes and develop a storytime app that’s available through my library’s website. Seriously, though, it’s important to define one’s terms. What IS digital storytelling? What my colleague was asking about was what I refer to as virtual storytelling, which is traditional storytelling that is available in a virtual environment, usually through YouTube, an app or some other video streaming service. The Edmonton Public Library has done a bang-up job of this in their Storytime Station. We do have ideas about developing some virtual storytelling, but that’s a separate initiative. “Digital Storytelling” refers to using digital media within early literacy programming (storytime!).
What about Public Performance rights for iBooks and Apps?
Fair Use applies to apps and iBooks, as far as I understand it (I am not a lawyer, but I think we’d have heard about it if there was a big stink about the rules changing, or modified for a new format). The library is a non-profit institution, the content is used for educational purposes and no money is made.
For what age groups is digital storytelling appropriate?
I’m going to stick to preschool, family and school-aged storytimes for now when it comes to using iBooks and Apps. The NAEYC and AAP are slowly revising their hard-and-fast rules about screen time for young kids, but it’s still generally accepted that screen time for under 2 year olds should be kept to a minimum, and that even after 2, screen time should be limited. That said, in a digital storytime, there is so much more going on that just showcasing an app; the librarian is talking, singing, moving around, there are other kids, other parents etc. It’s not the same thing as sticking your kid in front of the TV to keep them appeased for a few minutes. In my personal opinion, an app or iBook projected on a huge screen so everyone can actually see the words is no more screen time than projecting a transparency. I know of librarians who use powerpoint slides with lists of resources projected on a screen for Book Babies programs (but no other digital content within the program itself). I still don’t really feel good about doing a digital storytelling program for toddlers, though.
Will you be surveying the parents?
Yes! As a part of our pilot project we’ll be surveying the parents to see if/how they liked the inclusion of high-quality digital media in our early literacy programming. Our library uses zoomerang, so I’ll be working with the head of children’s services at the Campbell Library to develop a brief but telling survey that a) people will actually fill out and b) will let us know what they really think about the program. A grand ambition if I ever had one!
What apps are you using?
I’ll be making sure that all the libraries in my library system who want to partake in digital storytelling goodness have their iPads synced to the iPad that I’m currently loading with fabulous apps and iBooks. I’m also developing a small cache of ready-made digital felt boards that can be used by my colleagues so they have some content that’s ready to go. Like a storytime in a box, only digital.
For my demo I used the following: