Librarians Help – Tech Games

I’m going to make an exception to my never during work time blogging rule, because they’re asking us to use our blog to reflect on our experience with the Tech Games.

So far, I’ve learned a little bit new, but not a lot.

Some of the most valuable ones can’t be done from a work computer, and I think that policy really needs to change for us to respond better to the needs of library patrons.

But the library is trying! I do love it that the library I work for is trying to get staff to do several technological activities as “Tech Games.” My big wish? That they were talking about new tools we could use at work like Pinterest or the new Riffle. Or even Goodreads, which completely relates to libraries.

And I do hope that librarians feel responsible to be tech-savvy. I love this post about apps that a fellow member of ALSC’s Children and Technology Committee put up at Little eLit. Here’s a mini-manifesto she included:

She and I agreed that the long-term studies that will support the inclusion of digital media in literacy programming for kids is at least a decade off. Does that mean that we AREN’T going to begin to develop best practices around using this new format with kids? NO! Tablet technology is pervasive and parents are using it anyway. Abstinence-only education doesn’t work. Telling parents that they shouldn’t use technology with their less-than-five-year old child is not an acceptable course of action for professionals who pride themselves on evaluating, curating and recommending high quality media for children.

When people think about where to get quality recommendations of media for children, I hope they will think of librarians, whether they are looking for books or movies or apps.

Today I was weeding out ratty copies in the children’s area, and I heard a mom trying to find a book her daughter would read. I cautiously asked if she’d like some help, and found out she loved Harry Potter and other magical series. When I mentioned the Mysterious Benedict Society, she said she’d read them all many times, so I asked if she knew about the prequel (which I’d just spotted on the New shelves). She hadn’t, and I think I won her confidence with that book, because she went away with a Robin McKinley book, a Diane Duane, and a Philip Reeve book as well. I made sure she wouldn’t feel bad if she didn’t like the first book — then she’d know not to read on. But if she did like the first book, this was another series that would keep her busy for awhile.

So, yeah, I’m afraid no matter how much I assert that I’d like to be an expert with Apps, I still get all happy and excited when I help a kid find Books. But things like the Tech Games help me learn how to find sources of good recommendations. What Librarians ARE good at is looking things up.

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