I’m Kelley Beeson and I’m the Youth Services Coordinator for ACLA-Allegheny County Library Assoc. which is the umbrella organization for all 45 libraries in the county. I oversee and support youth services like providing continuing education, county-wide programming and general support and resources I want today to have a conversation about technology and the library children’s department I’m a techie at heart so a lot of what I do (this presentation included) is inspired by how I (and others!) see libraries moving ahead it may get sticky but I hope it’ll be fun (I did a similar presentation at the NW chapter of PaLA and wasn’t invited back!)
so where do we start? What do we know? We know change is coming change is constant and libraries are bad at change. can’t afford that anymore
we so either ‘change or die’ @ the libraries that are embracing change, a lot of it is beginning in the children’s department
So what do I mean when I use the word technologyYes it’s computers, but it’s also about adapting, approach and techniquesAnd yes, the toys are part of it too
any discussion about children and technology and libraries, ultimately involves parents – they’re your patron too. see this is your patron – this is the mother who’s bringing in her daughter to baby lap-sit programs if your library’s programs and information aren’t accessible then there are plenty of other places she can go children’s departments have to see this picture when planning a marketing strategy or wondering why their attendance at programs is so low
first, I want to make my case before jumping into some great examples of how children’s departments are using technology. Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives so who here was born after 1980? is your public library meeting your needs?
There’s someone I want to introduce you to. This is Danah Boyd. She’s huge name in the research around children and technology and co-author of the new book: Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New MediaHere’s what she has to say about children’s libraries and technology: There is a lot of social learning that goes on in schools that we need to figure out how to support. Librarians can play a tremendous role in helping children think through the kind of environment they are living in.Librariesneed to be as public and transparent as possible in every waywhen dealing with children and social networking.In the same way that you keep the doors open in schools, you need to keep the digital doors open online.Social media helps kids make sense of things. Young people are getting access to more information than ever before, often unstructured and with no easy way to make sense of it. This is where the library comes in.
OK so how does a children’s department use technology? can a library use technology to better serve digital natives and their children and everyone else? So here we go: some of the things technology does-
libraries need to be more welcoming and address the needs of users. when I walk into a library with no wifi, wait – I don’t even walk into libraries without wifi!Panera, Barnes and Noble and I hear the new Giant Eagle at Settler’s Ridge has wifi – why choose the library? libraries need to show me that I’m welcome! That me and my projects, deadlines, groups, circumstances, whatever are welcome!
not only welcoming, but libraries need to shift services from passive to engaging services that encourage ‘creating content’ and using technology that inspires and enables users to do that here’s a sign from the kansas city public library – really makes me want to use that library!
(read sign) fine, I don’t need the library – you’ve lost 2 audiences (adults and teens) right there in swift move this is a picture from Michael Stephens Flickr account (Tame the Web) it’s taken from about a year ago when the Mishawaka Penn Harris Public Library decided to block Myspace and Facebook
technology makes the library theirs. The public library IS theirs afterall. so ‘THEY’ should be the motivation for services like this Quick Access Kiosk on all in-house catalogs at Columbus Metropolitan Library.It also shows a friendly face from member that works in that branch. :)
some kids want quiet, some kids don’t, make space for everyone
heard of thecybils? They are children’s and young adult bloggers’ literary awards definitely something to know about and promote in a children’s department in fact, the current cover of SLJ is bloggers (show mag!)bloggers are on oprah and good morning america – people are reading blogs and are interested What does that mean for libraries? It means information has been de-centralized and librarians need to give up control
loads of libraries do mock newberys where kids choose the best bookThey use technology to make it fun and easy, like blogs, wikis, you tube ALSC in fact just did a student session on how to run a mock newbery
the library can be a comfortable and relaxing place shifts in attitude and services can make that happen
Technology makes itcomfy and it makes it match what your families already know No room for library speak and mumbo jumbo like ‘circulation desk’ what about just ‘ask here’ parents and children and teens don’t have the time or the inclination 4 libraries that are failing to pick up on this stuff
If your library website doesn’t look and work like amazon then forget it. most reference librarians I know have amazon open at their desks in addition to the library catalog, because amazon’s friendlier and more helpful when looking up titles – when a patron comes in with part of a title, the library catalog can’t help what does that say about our own internal tools when WE can’t even use them?
speaking of difficult, technology makes it easy look how many ways to get answers at Tromball Library in Texas – F2F, email, phone and chat
Technology makes it accessible.Here’s Rebecca O’Connell from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh with a book review
OK, talk about easy! How accessible is this? It’s on your iphone! Dude, how cool is that? you can:search for library materialsseean item’s cover and read a summaryplacea hold for pickup at the location of your choice and findthe hours, locations and phone numbers of DC public libraries
iphones are everywhere, if they aren’t coming to you (and so many aren’t) go to them
as I said at the beginning, technology doesn’t mean just the toys and tools, but the approach and attitudedarien library in connecticut has shifted its whole way of cataloging and shelving, among other things (check them out if you have some time – they’re doing amazing things up there!)
they just built a new library and while they were closed for construction, they offered their kids and parents this:
again, go to your usersthis is Shaler North Hills Library’s Kids Connection Facebook Page they are going to where their patrons already are what if it turns out no one wants to use your website? What if that’s already true?
Make it fast and easy things can happen instantly these days, the parents expect fast easy services – dad wants a drive-through book drop instead of getting out of his car with his 3 kids and a stroller how busy are people’s lives these days? Do they have time for antiquated and slow library services? I don’t.
again fast and easy how many of you know about or use flickr?mtlebanon (and a handful of other libraries in this county) have had a ton of success taking pictures of their library programs they’ve gotten amazing feedback from grandparents who live in other parts of the country who can see their grandkids easily again, go to where the families already are the best part? They don’t use release forms!
I have to take a minute and introduce my 2 interns Rachel Nard and Lindsey Myers – they roll with whatever I throw them!technology makes it fun! there are so many toys/tools to inspire you and give your children’s department the kind of spirit that attracts kids and parents
OK so FUN – this is bookflix from Scholastic this is Scholastic Books’ Bookflix super cool online literacy resourceItpairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks kids listen and read along with stories they are ‘actual books’ so they can check them out and take them home nonfiction, spanish, games, spelling, author information, resources for educators etc.
You want to talk technology making the library fun?this is Carnegie library of pittsburgh’sStorymaker with it, children can create online stories. When they’re done, they can print out a ‘book’ of their story!
you can see how you can pick a setting, characters, scenery and make action! print out your book! See others’ books!
another cool ‘story/book’ centric toolstorytubesis where kids pick a book they love and review it in a 2-minute video and there’s a contest for the winning video
Here’s one of the submissions. Think about the possibilities
And more fun – digital storytelling This is voice thread (darien library used it)Free, web-based, easy to use One of those, is digital storytelling. Play hers, then woman at bottom on the left – lauradeisley
OK OKOK so the internet and some of these tools no doubt the changing world online means added danger like children meeting ‘bad’ people, seeing content too early, issues of discernment and context (trust) and bullyingyes, I know….
BUT that can be a great opportunity for some librarian intervention libraries are great places for parents and kids to get the real scoop on what to look out for and what to enjoy! Classes, guides, conversations with parents and kids
busy parents and kids need flexible services at the library, one of my favorite new ‘toys’ that every age is enjoying, is the playaway. books-on-tape, but in a very cool format. it’s a pre-loaded digital audio player, all you need is earphones.
more flexible formats – this is pretty interesting when do you think the last book will be printed on paper?
embrace transparency libraries can no longer risk being private about information and decisions Stop hiding!
GASP! Email addresses, pics and bios right on the website! technology makes it personal I love that darien library in CT has pictures, mini-bios and email addresses of their staff on the website. I never see that on library websites – why?
this is angela and tony diterlizzi. He’s responsible for the Spiderwick Chronicles as you know and his wife is co-creator of a new series just out. (Adventures of meno)the pic is from their interview on a great children’s lit blog ‘7 impossible things before breakfast’ where Jules blogs about children’s book illustrations and illustrators and authors. this is one of the blogs I use for collection development. It’s not just about SLJ and the horn book.
It’s about the children and families in your library, not solely how well a book is reviewed by professionals. That’s a hard one to swallow for many children’s librarians. We’ve been ‘the experts’ for so long – maybe that’s not a role that’s helping our communities grow so much anymore.technology has allowed (insisted that!) libraries invite other voices and opinions into the mix. Just like Amazon has reader reviews, shouldn’t libraries be more about what people (taxpayers) want than what professionals want? Interesting, no?
this is one of the tools to use to get ‘everyman’s’ opinion This is goodreads. Here is Anythink library’s goodreads account (I’ll talk about Anythink in a bit) If you havent’ experienced goodreads yet, go check it out!goodreadsallows you to see recommendations from others, keep track of your reading, respond to others’ reading choices, manage a book club, etc. this is what should be happening at the library’s website
Though some libraries are trying to do just thatThis is ann arbor’s opac And they have added a feature where you can add your own tags to a book. Maybe we haven’t done such a bang-up job on making our materials accessible, maybe the public could do it better?
Back to voice thread – this is fascinating.Think of the possibilities
Technology makes it different These are moo mini cards – cheap, easy to create and fun think about handing these out at events, or loading ‘em up with librarian reference tips, or database recommendations, or library hours, or book suggestions, anything!
And here we have the dewey debate. Lots of libraries are ditching dewey and going with a more intuitive structure. Darien and their children’s collection – Why do we demand that our users learn a complicated and frankly antiquated system
They’ve created this interactive map Think of how much fun kids would have trying to find books Or how easy and fast busy parents could find what they’re looking for
This is anythink library in colorado(read description)Interesting, no?
How about this job description for a library page, or, as this library refers to it, library wrangler Job descriptions are changing! (read highlights)
I want to introduce you to Anastasia goodstein – creator of ypulse Which is one of the best places to go to find out about what teens, tweens and gen Y are up to and interested in Again, another place for collection development and marketing ideas – youth services departments are going outside of the traditional library media for advice, recommendations and ideas
Ok, some toys. How are libraries using some of these extremely simple, intuitive and free web-based toys Audacity for podcasts One true media for slide showsYoutube and vimeo for videosUstream for live streaming video Skype and Animoto for remote presentations or programs
Children’s departments are using video to provide quick and easy book reviews
They’re using it for promotion, and ways to connect to other librariansThis is David Lee King and Michael Porter’s new project, Library 101You must check them out!
They’re using these tools, again for collection development and recommendationsBut parents can benefit from these quick and easy (and entertaining resources!) too
This is using one true media
Couldn’t resist these next few slides
Google wave – has anyone played around with this yet?
Technology SHOULD be changing your personal and professional lives, if it’s not, I’m not sure you’re in the right place this is delicious and it is. Social bookmarking – bookmark a page, store it online, access it anywhere, share it others, find out what others are bookmarking, delicious. create a delicious page of stuff your patrons want or are always asking for – it reinvents the ‘pathfinder!’
Technology can truly free up a lot of time and remove some of the tediousness of being a librarianWhich leaves room for the really rewarding stuff, like interacting with patrons.
making it work creating a children’s department where technology works for you and your community