iPads® in the Library: Using Tablet Technology to Enhance Programs for All Ages
136 pages • 7 x 10
Tablet computers are fast becoming a ubiquitous technology. These devices also represent a unique opportunity for librarians and teachers because they are relatively affordable, easy to configure and maintain, and highly adaptable. Written by a practicing digital literacy instruction librarian who is also a trained children's librarian, this book offers 50 practical programming scenarios that librarians can use to integrate iPads or other tablet devices into their programming, offering different plans for toddlers and pre-K child, school-aged patrons, teenagers, adults, and even seniors.
The plans provide easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions and are designed to be easily adaptable to serve specific audiences. The book serves as a unique resource that helps librarians address digital literacy and bridge the digital divide by focusing on—and catering to—the needs of many age groups. Author Joel A. Nichols also provides annotated lists of apps that present librarians new to tablet computing simple and effective ways of integrating an iPad into their programs.
Reviewed by Pam Harris, Mississippi Mills PL
This is a user-friendly treasure trove of ideas for all-ages iPad based programming. These ideas do not have to be limited to public libraries but would be of interest to anyone wanting to really use their iPad to its best advantage and is of particular interest to educators and programmers in a variety of settings.
The introduction includes a section on "How to use this book" which provides the instructional map for the programmes: the goal(s)—the why of the programme (always good for funding and support); what apps are used; planning notes (the how-to's of set-up, introductions and what in-app work you need to do in advance), books and related materials/resources; step by step instructions, and finally, other sources of help (trouble-shooting). Not every programme had each section. The chapters are laid out by age, but the author, Joel A. Nichols, does suggest how they can be reworked according to theme so that a programme series can be developed or adapted to different audiences.
Although this book is meant for iPad users Nichols gives some suggestions for how to adapt to different tablets. One caveat is that apps come and go and as such this book captures what was available app wise at the time of publication (2013) meaning that you will have to make sure apps are still available before offering the programme (obviously). Another concern is this book is American and not all apps are available in Canada.
Ideally, you would want one iPad for each student, however, Nichols suggests a minimum of 2 for the participants and one to demonstrate the programme. I suspect that this would result in a fair bit of frustration for people wanting their turn. You will also want dedicated staff time to develop these programmes as the apps need to be downloaded and tested, some require accounts so you will have to set up your iPads with dummy accounts, and some programmes do require quite a bit of work to set up. That said, there are a number of really fun ideas here. It's well worth having a browse through to get inspired, especially if you have just bought some iPads or tablets for your library—either for in house programming or public use, I am sure you will find something here to animate and advance digital literacy in your library for both staff and the public