Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If You Couldn't Make the eBook and Apps Conversation

We had a blast!  Dr. Leanne Bowler from Pitt's MLIS program and Lisa Dennis, CLP Kids' Collection Guru (and teacher herself!) shared some valuable insights and impressions about econtent for kids - ebooks, databases and apps.  It was a really interesting morning and sparked some great discussions and questions.  Dr. Bowler brought 5 iPads for the librarians to play around with.  It was pretty cool to see first-hand some ebooks and fun games created specifically for little ones like Pat the Bunny and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Dr. Bowler

Lynn, Colleen and Debra exploring the iPad

Debbie and Rachel having fun with the iPad

Amanda, Leanne and Suzi discussing the iPad

Lisa sharing insights on ecollection development

There really are a number of complicated issues that surround building an econtent collection like evaluation, policies and devices.  Dr. Bowler shared a number of eye-opening statistics like the fact that 1/2 of the 100 top-selling apps are for kids!

There are also so many unanswered questions about how growing up with econtent will affect kids' development and literacy levels.  The most important point that Leanne made was that the message coming out of libraries needs to be this:  read with your kids, in whatever format you like, but read together.

Lisa shared her take on developing an ecollection for CLP.  She had interesting statistics as well: in August 2010, 23 ebooks for kids were checked-out.  In August 2011, 210 ebooks for kids were checked out.

I realized after we were finished, there is a real need to create a longer day dedicated to talking about econtent in Allegheny County.  Maybe next spring!  If you can't wait until then, School Library Journal's 2nd Annual eBook Summit is happening on October 12th.  I blogged about it a few months ago.

Also, there are 2 really valuable committees in Allegheny County where we need some KidLib representation.  One is the Downloadables Committee.  If you're interested in being on that one, please email Sarah Beasley at CLP.  The other, is the Database Committee and you can email Dustin Shilling (Northern Tier) if you'd be willing to serve on that one.  Because econtent for kids is really important stuff, we need some KidLibs talking with those groups!  


Rachel said...

What a great conversation that was!! Super informative and very fun. Looking forward to future workshops :)