Results from the Young Children, New Media, and Libraries Survey: What Did We Learn?

With new technologies, the youth services landscape is changing. In 2012, two children's librarians in Colorado designed and implemented a research study in which they used iPads to create digital storytimes for preschoolers. They carefully chose apps and designed hybrid experiences that included both traditional and digital pieces. They then asked participants to fill out a survey describing their reactions to the storytimes and were surprised and pleased to discover the parents and children preferred the digital storytimes. To understand the context and impetus of this survey, the current state of thought and research on this topic needs be explored. The use of technology in youth programming in libraries is an emergent area, and much of the research literature resides in the areas of early education, psychology, and neuroscience. As libraries incorporate technology into their infrastructure, they can become what IMLS has termed digital hubs -- venues to guide and frame resource use for adults and children in a way that facilitates a balanced media diet.

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