We’ll Link to That: Winter 2016

Every quarter we write a column for YAACING, a youth services newsletter published by the Young Adult and Children’s Services (YAACS) arm of the British Columbia Library Association. This winter our column is a collection of the most current resources for digital media and libraries, but make sure to check out the entire Winter 2016 issue! If you’d like to catch up on our past columns you can find them here:

Is your library doing advisory or programming around apps or digital media?  Do you want to start?  Research from Common Sense Media in 2013 cites that 75% of households own digital media in some format, with 40% of families with children under age 8 owning at least one device. Here are our Top 10 resources for learning about the research on using digital media with children and for learning about ways public libraries are embracing our role as media mentors.

1. NAEYC/Fred Rogers Joint Position Statement

In 2012, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College released this paper giving their recommendation that “when used intentionally and appropriately, technology and interactive media are effective tools to support learning and development.” They also state that we must pay special attention to media use with infants and toddlers, avoiding passive play in favour of shared technology time with an adult caregiver.

2. American Academy of Pediatrics Growing Up Digital Recommendations

Though widely cited for their 2011 recommendation of no screen time for children under the age of two, the AAP recently came out with updated suggestions that make a distinction between passive and active media. They now recommend that parents engage in digital media with their children, model media behaviours, and investigate the quality of media aimed at children. A more formal policy statement to follow their 2016 national conference.

3. ALSC White Paper on Media Mentorship

This 2015 paper published by the Association for Library Service to Children summarizes the current research on the topic of using digital media with children and makes four core recommendations for all youth services staff. They recommend that every library have staff who act as media mentors, that media mentors support families in their decisions, that library schools provide training to future youth services professionals, and that current staff receive the professional development they need to take on this role. Their website includes many helpful links, including free webinars on this topic to their members.

4. Zero to Three: Screen Sense
Zero to Three is one of the leading organizations advocating for early childhood education.  In 2014 they came out with their “Research-Based Guidelines for Screen Use for Children Under 3 Years Old.”  In these guidelines they advise that caregivers must participate in screen time for young children and that screen time should be interactive. They also highlight the importance of extending learning beyond the screen.

5. Joan Ganz Cooney Centre: Joint Media Engagement
The Cooney Center is an independent research organization that specializes in advancing children’s learning through digital media. They came out in 2011 with a publication that advocates for joint media engagement – using digital media alongside children – which leads to more positive learning outcomes. They were one of the first groups to emphasize the positive effects of caregivers participating in screen time.

6. Little eLit

While no longer being updated Little eLit remains a vital source of information when it comes to digital media. Browse through the archived blog posts, scroll through apps which have been reviewed on Little eLit and locate lists and other trusted review sites. Finally, their home page links to some of the reports mentioned above and other important publications.

7. Anne’s Library Life

If you’re just getting started or curious how to incorporate digital elements into your storytime we love Anne’s no-nonsense eStorytime outlines. She includes descriptions of the apps she uses and lots of images. Her introductory blurb on iPad Apps and Storytime would be great to adapt and share with caregivers as well.

8. Media Smarts

This is a great place to go for Canadian standards, research and policy for digital and media literacy. They also have excellent resources for educators and guides in several different languages.

9. Books by Lisa Guernsey

Lisa Guernsey is one of the leading researchers on digital media and young children today. Her most recent book Tap, Click, Read: Growing readers in a world of screens by Guernsey and Levine (2015) is a complete look at helping children develop strong literacy skills through “the combination of parents, educators, and high-quality media.” The book which started it all Screen time: how electronic media–from baby videos to educational software–affects your young child (2012) explores her journey as a parent and journalist to dispel myths around media use and children. If you’ve ever heard of the 3 C’s, we’ve got Guernsey to thank!

10. West Vancouver’s Youth Department App Reviews

Featuring app reviews for young children, teens and kids in between this is one tumblr you’ll definitely want to follow. Each review is written by a member of the West Vancouver Memorial Library Youth Department and includes helpful tags for searching by operating system, age, price and type.

Do you have a favourite resource for using digital technology with children that we missed? We’d love to hear about it, give us a shout at jbrary@gmail.com.

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