Mr. Kent’s Storytime

Archive for November 2008

Libraries across the country just celebrated gaming day, a day devoted to the future of our country – our teens, tweens and children.

The interesting thing is that this has divided a lot of librarians.  I’m for doing whatever it takes to get kids of all ages reading and learning to love to read.  I listened to a presentation at the WLA about teen areas.  The librarians at this presentation seemed to all embrace the gaming culture and the comment was made that many of the teens who were waiting to use the games actually (gasp!), discovered they were in a library and began to read!  Some even joined book groups.  Isn ‘t that the idea?

Can we, as librarians, limit our use of computers to the internet and catalog searches?  Should we limit library spaces to ooks and magazines?  Oh, wait a minute, perhaps you remember when the thought of cd’s and videos was at least heresy in a library!

Another positive outcome is the raise in confidence of kids who were not necessarily the popular kids.  These kids, who are good gamers, have been asked for help by others, and the attainment of higher levels brings a certain status.

Yes.  I love books.  I love the feel and smell of a book.  I love bringing the characters to life with my own version of how they sound.  I seriously doubt printed materials will ever go  away.  I certainly hope not.  I also feel that libraries should have quiet book nooks – comfortable spaces where folks can relax and read.

If you think there is no appreciable value in gaming, you have but to look at the heads up display in an F-18 jet fighter or M-1 Abrams tank, to name just two of the many military vehicles using technology that has even been designed after a video game.

Look at the big picture.  Our children need us to reach them in anyway we can.

Happy Holidays!

Mr. Kent

Welcome Back!

Technology marches on!   As a grad student and future children’s librarian, I became very interested in the role technology faces now and in the future of our libraries.

Last week I attended the Wisconsin Library Association Conference, my first.  It was an amazing experience and has really solidified my decision to become a children’s librarian.

I should qualify this by saying that I use the term children’s librarian as a term that includes as it’s patrons all persons under 21.  I know this probably irks some Youth Services Librarians, but it’s really just semantics, plus, I love the sound of Children’s Librarian.

I am writing a research paper on the topic of Technology and the Future of Children’s Libraries.  If you are a librarian, library technologist, administrator, or just a person who has an opinion, please feel free to post a comment or take the all-new web-based questionnaire!

The questionnaire is at:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=ppryyns6kT1Rqnr-ie0r8Ng

I would love to have as much feedback as possible, so please fill it out, send the link on to your friends and colleagues anywhere and everywhere in the world!

Technology can never replace human interaction, nor should it be used thus.  It was an interesting note at the conference during a seminar on youth services, that the tweens and teens waiting for computer games or gaming devices started reading books, and then even joined book clubs.

We all need computers, as a matter of fact, we can probably never have enough – desktops for card catalogue searches, gaming, laptops to check out, and computers to control interactive displays.

I believe the future of Youth Services (see Children’s Libraries does sound better), will involve more hands on interactive “exhibits”; more play, including toys; and even more storytimes; more book clubs; music performances; and in general more entertainment.

Take the questionnaire – give me your thoughts.

Thanks for your help!

Until next time!