Tiny Techies and Storytime

After a recent conversation with a colleague about children and technology, I started thinking more about how technology might be incorporated into our storytimes in a useful way. Not just tech for tech’s sake, but as a tool to further our mission. Lucky for me other people are also looking at this, trying out various ideas, and posting about their outcomes. Thanks internet!

I love how Kendra at Read Sing Play explained her decision to get “brave” and introduce some technology into her toddler storytime:

“We KNOW parents are letting their one year olds watch TV and play with their iPads. They will expose their kids to screens. Why not give them tips for using their media tools appropriately with their children? We do this with books already.”

With this in mind, Kendra then planned her storytime and shared her outcomes and responses. A few things I liked and want to remember for later: I like that she just uses one e-book and then continues with a normal storytime program, I like having the book up on the ‘big screen’ which allows greater visibility for larger groups than a hand-held book, and I like that she uses her library’s TumbleBooks thereby giving a demonstration and new access point to a resource people might not be using.

Another idea that I really love was the way that Anne uses iPad apps in her storytimes much like she would a puppet or flannel board. There are some great apps out there that can be used to this end, such as the Peekaboo HD app that plays an animal noise, you have the children guess the animal, and then it shows the animal and their name. The key here is to model how caregivers can use apps in their interactions with their children to build literacy skills (have some e-books ready to go for waiting rooms, etc.) or encourage imaginative play.

Speaking of apps for our devices, I absolutely LOVE Calgary Public Library’s Grow a Reader app!!! Think about how often people spend on their smart phones or other mobile devices. If we then think about how we can best serve and outreach to our customers and go where they are, then developing an app is a brilliant extension of our services. This app features library staff demonstrating various songs, finger plays, and rhymes and has book lists with direct links to their catalog. Great tips for caregivers and really well designed for ease and use.

iPads in Storytime: Skokie Public Library Primary Time+

The last resource I’ll mention today is Little eLit. I found this through an advertisement for a recent PLA webinar: Early Literacy Programming in the Digital Age: Apps and eBooks in Storytime! (slides are now up for free, yay!) Great resources here for designing storytimes, outlines and tips, and the work being done to make connections to our existing programs such as Every Child Ready to Read and Mother Goose on the Loose. Frequently updated with articles and other ideas and lots of good comments to start and continue the conversation on children, technology, and libraries.

Many libraries have started lending technology to our patrons, but we haven’t necessarily started incorporating it into our services. As technology becomes more integrated in our schools as well as our everyday lives, here is another way that we can further our mission and help prepare our children. I’m looking forward to incorporating some technology into parts of my services and seeing what will work best for my audiences.


Thinking on Children’s Services

Waking up this morning, I had one of the many ‘morning songs’ I know stuck in my head. How can you not get energized starting out with this number:

(Thanks to King County Library for their AMAZING YouTube channel of resources!)

I was reminded of a recent experience I had utilizing this for filler while working in a primary classroom with many language learners. Children love song and rhythm, and we had a great time choosing different animals and noises. We had a request for owls, and I wondered if they would notice the difference in their sleeping habits. When we were finished, a student said, “But owls don’t get up in the morning!” Right you are! And we sang it the correct way for owls – “in the evening.”

These episodes of engagement, discovery, and critical thinking are what we strive for with our services as educators and library professionals. An integral role of public libraries is to provide opportunities for education and to foster life-long learning within our communities. Children’s library services are a significant approach we use to accomplish these important goals.

Public libraries play an essential role in improving and supporting childhood literacy skills. We expose children and their caregivers to a variety of print, audio visual, and digital resources. Our creative programs and engaging resources make a difference in the literacy learning and critical thinking of children.

Preschool programs foster positive early learning environments for young children and help them develop important skills to get them school-ready prior to entering kindergarten. We model literacy techniques and provide support for caregivers they can use outside of the library. Our positive engagement with caregivers to spend time in their children’s literacy development leads to greater future reading achievements.

Children’s library services create imaginative access points to materials and model methods to engage with information resources for this important community of users. The meaningful language opportunities children are provided in story times and other library programs are crucial to supporting their learning achievements.

Summer reading programs are a significant way public libraries fulfill a need while school is adjourned for the summer. These programs provide children with incentives to continue the practice of reading during the school break when reading skills often fall into decline.

We help children to explore the depth of their interests and the world while providing opportunities for discovery and learning in other arenas. Children’s library services facilitates these important educational opportunities and fosters the growth of these children into life-long learners within our communities.

I love my work ❤

Surprise! Peace Corps Recruiting Photo


You can see the picture of me and my awesome 8B class under “Teaching English in Ukraine”.

Just perusing my social media feed, minding my own business, when what do I spy? A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who also served in Ukraine posted a link to Peace Corps’ Fall 2013 volunteer opportunities, and it is using a photo of me and my awesome 8B class!

The photo was taken during a special lesson. I was chosen from my region’s volunteers to give a demonstration lesson with my counterpart during Deputy Director of Peace Corps’ Carrie Hessler-Radelet’s visit to Ukraine.

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Extending Our Reach


Screen caption of me on the left listening to a fellow volunteer during our outreach day at Straley House.

I attended “Librarian Outreach to the Homeless in Seattle: Midwinter Day of Caring” at this year’s American Libraries Association Midwinter Meeting – just a hop, skip, and jump from where I live in Northern California. It was exciting not only to see first-hand one of the organizations engaging with homeless persons in Seattle but to personally contribute a little bit to the awesome work they do!

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