[kids-lib] New Media and Young Children - Online Resource

Rick Samuelson ricks at wccls.org
Thu Oct 16 11:08:55 PDT 2014

Hi gang,

There is a new idea that has been gaining traction in the field of children's librarianship called media mentorship. The idea is that public libraries ought to step up and begin offering families help navigating the world of touchscreen technology for children, in much the same way we began mentoring families on the topic of early literacy a little over 10 years ago. I wanted to share a good online resource on this new topic:

The folks over at the Little eLit website have begun to self-publish a book entitled Young Children, New Media, and Libraries. You can check out the first chapter here:

It is my understanding that they will publish a new chapter every month until sometime next spring.

If you or your staff have been wrestling with how to respond to the advent of touchscreen technology in the early childhood arena, this might be a good place to start. The authors advocate for a respectful approach that attends to the needs and realities of the families we serve.

They do a great job of summing up the key points from the NAEYC/Fred Rogers Center policy statement on "Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8":

"* When used intentionally and appropriately, technology and interactive media are effective tools to support learning and development.
* Intentional use requires early childhood teachers and administrators to have information and resources regarding the nature of these tools and the implications of their use with children.
* Limitations on the use of technology and media are important.
* Special considerations must be given to the use of technology with infants and toddlers.
* Attention to digital citizenship and equitable access is essential.
* Ongoing research and professional development are needed.
(NAEYC & Fred Rogers Center, 2012)"

Overall, this chapter clearly spells out a major trend in the field of children's librarianship. I realize it is a scary trend.. but very relevant to many of the families we serve.

Best wishes,

Rick Samuelson, Youth Services Librarian
Washington County Cooperative Library Services
111 NE Lincoln, MS 58A
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 681-5092
ricks at wccls.org
"The clever men at Oxford
Know all that there is to be knowed.
But they none of them know one half as much
As intelligent Mr Toad!"
-Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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