From Boardbook to Facebook: Children's Services in an Interactive Age

From Boardbook to Facebook: Children's Services in an Interactive Age

From Boardbook to Facebook: Children's Services in an Interactive Age

From Boardbook to Facebook: Children's Services in an Interactive Age


The ways in which we communicate, learn, and interact have changed drastically in the last decade, and this worldwide revolution applies to the youngest members of society as well. Today's books and learning materials are being presented and used in new and different ways. From the toddler's first boardbooks to the young teen's conversations on Facebook, children are interacting with print and media rather than passively listening or viewing. Libraries can contribute to this interactive world by inviting children to take an active role in their library collection and library service experiences.

This book examines the impact of new technologies on children's experiences of books and libraries, and demonstrates how librarians can adapt to new technologies and integrate library services into the lives of today's children. " From Boardbook to Facebook: Children's Services in an Interactive Age" draws on current research to illuminate how children's use of media has changed in recent years and suggests ways in which new technologies can be integrated into library services now and in the future.


Tomorrow is our permanent address.

—e. e. cummings

Children born in the 21st century are living in a constantly changing world of media. We have heard a great deal about the “information revolution” that has dramatically shifted the way information and entertainment are produced, communicated, and used. The development of computers has made it possible to amass large quantities of data and to store it in text or video format for retrieval by individuals or groups locally or at a distance. This has changed the way people earn their livings, do business, and entertain themselves. For the average person, however, and especially for children, the change has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Many libraries and schools provide collections and services that are not dramatically different from the ones they were providing 20 years ago with only slight adjustments toward more efficient catalogs and acquisition processes.

This book is organized in sections to look at children and the services libraries provide to them. After a general overview of the way media for children have changed in the last 10 years, section I, “Changes in Children’s Lives” examines the lives of different age groups of children in our communities. Whether they are preschoolers, school-age children, or so-called tweens, their worlds are far different from the worlds of their parents and older generations. Much of their knowledge of the world and their interactions with it are shaped by electronic media of all kinds. We examine the types of services and programs that have been offered by libraries in the past and the extent to which they are being modified to take advantage of the different experiences of today’s children.

Section II, “Literacies for the 21st Century,” considers evolving notions of literacy and how the demands of our global civilization have spurred efforts to promote universal literacy. Because of the increasing mobility of individuals and groups, the state of literacy throughout the world has implications for libraries in developed countries where literacy rates are high. A library in America may serve . . .

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