The Role of Librarians as Children’s Media Mentors

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In the age of the internet, many people assume that the role of the library has diminished. Nothing could be further from the truth. As we move further into the digital age, libraries and librarians are adapting by being mentors for children in the types of media that can be utilized for reading.

The Age of Digital Books

Books on paper may be slowly going away to be replaced by e-books. Because of this, there are several different platforms on which e-books can be read. Knowing how to access that information can be difficult for some parents. As such, children’s librarians are using traditional story times in order to showcase technologies along with the stories.

Instead of simply having story time and reading from books, children’s librarians are now having media story times. Librarians like Amy Wright in Colorado are integrating interactive media into their story time, such as a digital felt board.

By showcasing different technologies, like Kindle readers or iTunes, librarians are able to mentor children in the use of digital media tools. They are also able to showcase platforms that can be used to access the digital media. This serves as both education for parents on what technology is available as well as showing children the basics of how to access media in the digital age.

Why is New Media Important for Libraries?

Librarians, particularly children’s librarians, are in a unique place to help families get much-needed resources on digital media. With the rapid adoption of mobile computing among both adults and children, many parents can feel overwhelmed by the amount of choices that are being made available. Librarians provide a service to these parents by:

  • Bringing digital media directly to families. Parents might not know what digital resources are out there for them and their children. Libraries can help parents see just what is available and how to access it.
  • Acting as gatekeepers for parents. With the amount of content that is being generated, knowing what is good and what is potentially harmful can be difficult. Librarians can act as filter making recommendations on what technology is useful and what to be wary of.
  • Helping to bridge the digital divide. Just because families have access to different forms of media doesn’t mean that they know how to leverage it. Libraries and librarians can help direct at-risk communities towards news and other resources. Increased access to accurate information for young children can make a huge difference. 

A Technological Community

Different communities have different needs. A good library and librarian can help to bring needed technological resources and education on their use to communities that need it most.

If your librarian is looking for new content to share with the community, iStorybooks has a wealth of resources ready for you to read at your fingertips. It is also a great tool to have in your own home. Take some time and ready a book with your children today. Find a great one by clicking here!