I am very excited to be working in the library world right now! This digital age has made the librarian field blossom and continues to constantly change. I find this highly interesting about the field and what this will bring for the future.
I am also concerned about this field as well, because many of the old stereotypes of librarians still hold. The stuffy, uptight, strict librarian who will “ssh” anyone talking to loud. This is detrimental to the field because in this digital age people need helpful gatekeepers to information. And librarians should be the ones leading the field. Also, there is somewhat of a digital divide in libraries. There are some who are keeping up with current technology and trends, while others are left in the dust with limited technology available. I feel that all libraries and librarians should be at least aware and updated on current technologies such as databases, eBooks, tablets, and apps. This is how librarians can advocate for a place in the digital world by understanding it and able to navigate it.
This is where the problems arise because it’s not only the frame of mind of the librarian willing to implement new technology and services at the library, but there needs to be funding as well. This ties directly into people coming into our library to use programs and materials. Librarians need to be actively advocating to keep patrons coming in but also to keep up finding from state legislature. If we are able to continue to influence our patrons and communities that we are worthwhile than libraries and librarianship will continue to have a place in the digital age.
This is an important topic for youth services librarians to be aware of. Children and teens are coming in contact with more technology and media than ever. when they come into the library for help or pleasure we can use this as an opportunity to teach them indirectly or directly. Pierce’s Sex, Brains, and Video Games instructs librarians that their job is to educate teens and parents on how to be information literate.
The librarian could do this many ways by acquisition of materials, classes for teens and parents on this topic, and instruction at the reference desk or through print or online resources. Librarians should not only provide the resources but the education of it as well in how to use them. It is also critical to work with the people who also interact with teens, their parents or caregivers, teachers, education professionals, and community leaders. With a combined vision of how information literacy should be taught to this group can greatly increase the chance of a positive outcome.
Pierce also recommends that librarians always be on the lookout of new information and technology so we can stay on the cusp of popular media and are able to provide information and instruction about the newest technology. It is imperative for librarians to stay ahead of the game. This way we can be the information provider to children and teens, which in turn will lead to more returning patrons.
A great article to understanding how to integrate early literacy initiatives into storytime is “Early Literacy Storytimes @ Your Library: Partnering with Caregivers for Success” by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Díaz. It really opened my eyes to all the ways that librarians can promote literacy to infants and toddlers. This brought a whole new level of what can be done in story time to promote literacy and caregivers importance to allow for such activity.
They expand on six skills that are important to early literacy development. The authors explain what it is, how to incorporate it into storytime, what to tell caregivers, and provide examples of what to say or do. The formats that are used in storytime are picture book; flannel or magnet board; rhymes, songs,and finger play; movement; activity, writing, craft; and take home activity. The concepts of print motivation, phonological awareness, vocabulary, narrative skills, print awareness, letter knowledge can even be used in most formats not just in picture books. the authors stress sticking with books and resources you know but just enhancing the skills shown in those materials to the children.
I think that any Youth Service Librarian that faciliates storytime should be aware of these skills and using one or more in their programs. This was a informative article in understanding storytime as a avenue for early literacy and stressing the need for caregiver involvement. All Youth Services programmers and librarians can benefit from reading this. I certainly have and now I know how important these things are to infant development.
Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Díaz, Early Literacy Storytimes @ Your Library: Partnering with Caregivers for Success pp. 3-43