In the past, children and young adults used Reader's Guide to search for articles and gathered information from sources such as World Book encyclopedia. Today's information resources include a wide range of electronic tools as well as traditional resources. In many cases digital resources can be accessed anywhere, anytime. This is changing the role of the library and librarians. Today's professionals must be prepared to address the face-to-face as well as virtual needs of young patrons.
Read Reading in an iPad Transmedia Universe by Annette Lamb. Notice the six sections of the article.
The child in the photo is using the resources available at his school library. He may be enjoying the outdoors, but he may also be researching the fish that live in the lake near his home. His media specialist has created a pathfinder focusing on local wildlife that can be accessed anywhere, anytime.
Many websites allow you preview or read entire books online. Try Google Books. Google books has launched their own ebook store, but you can still read many books for free using their website, mobile apps iOS and Android), and eReaders such as Nook and Sony Reader.
Read Rise of the App: How Smartphones and Tablet Computers Will Impact How Young Adults Find Information by Kathleen Meulen (August 2010) in VOYA.
Bridging Print and Nonprint Resources
Some library professionals are reluctant to embrace electronic resources. They'd rather see young people reading books than surfing the web. However in the information age, the media is not as important as the message being presented. The key is ensuring that children and young adults are responsible users of all types of information resources.
As you explore information resources, create a bridge between traditional materials and emerging electronic resources. For instance, you can extend the print reading experience with informational materials related to the book.
Explore Literature Ladders from eduscapes. Read Open Doors to Learning: Reading, Writing, and Technology -Rich Learning Across the K12 Curriculum by Annette Lamb. It describes ways to connect books with technology-rich resources.
These book-technology connections as easy to create. For example, you might gather a number of books related to the same topic and encourage students to select and read the book that peaks their interest. Then, be prepared with additional resources related to the plot, setting, and characters of the book to extend the experience.
Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs focuses on a fifteen-year-old's experience attempting to "cross the wire" from Mexico into the United States. Bring the book alive by connecting to the author's website and ALA's Becoming American - New Immigration Stories.
Thematic activities and literature circles are a great way to promote reading as well as encourage students to conduct personal inquiries. Regardless of whether you're partnering with a classroom teacher on a social studies unit or promoting a new reading club for young adults at the public library, the key is building connections that will entice young readers.
Read Themes & Literature Circles by Annette Lamb. Then, follow the suggested steps to create your own book-technology Literature Ladders including Get Started, Select a Book, Search for Author Info, Search for Book Info, Search for Topic Info, Meaningful Activities, and Implement & Evaluate.
Go to some of the following literature circle starters for ideas of how you can make book-technology connections: All About Me & Celebrating Diversity, Quilts, 100th Day Celebration, Japanese Internment Camps, Underground Railroad, Civil War, or Native American Legends. Also, check out Newbery and Caldecott book connections.
A Range of Resources
From peer reviewed journal articles to fan club sites, electronic materials can easily be produced and distributed by anyone. It's important that young people understand how information is produced and distributed. In other words, they need to be able to evaluate the quality of resources. In addition, they need to question how web content is created and updated.
For example, wikipedia is produced collaboratively. Thousands of people have contributed content. Although it's fine to use this resource, young people need to understand how the information is generated. A particular article may be written by a person with specialized expertise in a particular field. On the other hand, the author may have little knowledge of the area. This resource can be a good starting point because it can lead to quality resources in the same way that print encyclopedias are often used by children. However it should not be the only resource used.
Considering joining a project that involves students in the process of building a wiki so they understand how they are built. The wikipedia website has a section specifically for young people called wikijunior where children can participate in projects such as Wikijunior Dinosaur.
A group of concerned educators has created a school version of wikipedia called Wikipedia Selection for School that provides an edited version of wikipedia.
Proceed to the Starting Points page.