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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Beyond Screen Time

There is a lot of debate out there about the use of apps, technology, and screens of any kind with young children.  Librarians like the ones at Little ELit are embracing the thoughtful use of technology in programs, and advocating the importance for librarians to know enough about apps to be able to recommend high quality ones to parents.  Others point out research that shows the importance of human interaction for young children, and the American Academy of Pediatrics statements on screen time being detrimental for children.

I'm not sure where I stand on this debate, but I think it is incredibly important.  I am in the information-gathering phase of it all, I find intelligent and thoughtful people on both sides, making compelling points.   I'm thinking that maybe the argument doesn't need to be as polarized as it has become.  There is no doubt that we all understand that engagement with caregivers is crucial.  The question is whether screens can be used as a tool for engagement, and if so, how to ensure that parents, librarians, teachers, caregivers all have the information they need to select and use the tool effectively.

There is a lot to learn and think about, which is why I haven't taken a strong position right now.  I have inclinations, but I'm trying to be open and learn.  Watch for more posts as I take in more information (and please send your opinions and resources my way!).  I highly encourage all of you to take advantage of the conversations going on around us and learn as much as you can about the topic.  It's something we all need to delve into!

On that note, I found information about a forum called Beyond Screentime, sponsored by The New America Foundation.  It is a live presentation with all sorts of fascinating speakers and exhibits, and there will be a free screencast of the event on March 26.  No need to register for the screencast, and since most of us won't be in Washington, DC that day, you just need to remember to check it out!


  1. I admire you for remaining open to different opinions about this, as I tend to get fired up!
    I will listen for sure; I assume the times listed for the sessions are eastern time zone....