Children and Library Technology

Members of the TechSoup for Libraries team bond over many things -- love of libraries, interest in technology, an appreciation for delicious food -- but we also bond over parenting. Several of us have small children and enjoy sharing stories, photos, and questions with one another. Our own experiences may be a reason we've been focused on finding so many children and library technology stories and resources to share here recently.

Here are four recent features related to children and technology from the TechSoup for Libraries site!

Little Clickers - Darien, CT

In this article, Kiera Parrott, Head of Children’s Services at Darien Library, generously shared her experiences and insights with us in a recent interview about the Little Clickers computer classes for preschool age children and their parents or caregivers.

Pew Report - Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading

We highlighted and discussed the technology sections of the recent Pew Report that surveyed parent perspectives on the public library. For example, a quote from a parent interviewed for the report says,

I believe libraries should take a more active role in teaching patrons—both children and adults—how to interact with digital materials, whether that is computers, digitized materials, e-books, automatic book checkouts, or other devices. The world is becoming increasingly digitized, and many people are falling behind because they are not part of the school system or because the system has failed them. Libraries should step up to the plate and assume responsibility for the digital education of the community.”

AWE Early Literacy Stations

Julie Elmore, Library Director  at the Oakland City-Columbia Township Public Library in Oakland City, IN, wrote about the impact of AWE early literacy stations at the library. In addition to describing the AWE computers, Julie describes the Family Station created at the library.  Next to the AWE computers is a regular public access computer for adults to use while their children are playing on the AWE computers.  "This has been a great solution for our families.  Parents do not rush their kids off the computers because they grow bored waiting for their children.  And the children don't have to wait for their parent to get done at the public computers before they get a turn at their own terminal. With a family station, everyone is happy!"

Library Technology Accessibility for Children with Autism

Earlier this year, Holly Jin delivered a TechSoup for Libraries & LibraryEdge webinar called Tech on the Spec(trum). Holly is a Youth Services Librarian at the Skokie (IL) Public Library. Her outreach to patrons with special needs began in 2004 with the writing of an LSTA grant entitled: “Come On In: the Library is a special place for children with disabilities.”  Since that time, she has coordinated the Library’s special needs services and served as a resource to other libraries. In this hour-long webinar, she discussed affordable ways to make your library more technologically accessible for children with autism and other developmental differences.

Tell Your Story!

We would love to continue to feature stories from libraries doing interesting things with technology for children. Experimenting with Nabi tablets? Getting great feedback about TumbleBooks? Delivering classes to help parents select iPad apps? Let us know! Email your library technology stories to techsoupforlibraries (at) techsoupglobal.org. Thank you!