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Becoming a Media Mentor: A Guide for Working with Children and Families
Claudia Haines, Cen Campbell, and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1463-2
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $48.00
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176 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1463-2
Year Published: 2016
AP Categories: A, C, G

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Foreword by Chip Donohue

In a time of rapidly changing technologies, the role of the youth services librarian has expanded to include the realm of digital media. Supporting children’s literacy now means serving as a media mentor. This book empowers youth services staff to confidently assist families and caregivers as they navigate the digital world, guiding them towards digital media experiences that will translate into positive and productive lifelong learning skills, regardless of format. Melding the latest research and key messages from a variety of experts with replicable examples, this book
  • defines what it means to be a media mentor, providing historical background and context;
  • outlines three types of media mentorship: media advisory, programming, and access to curated media;
  • outlines the implications of media mentorship in libraries, focusing on a shift from the notion of “screen time” to “healthy media decisions”;
  • draws on detailed case studies from a wide variety of libraries and community partnerships to showcase inspiring media mentorship in action with ages 0-14;
  • provides guidelines for working with diverse families and caregivers; and
  • explores management issues around media mentorship, ALSC competencies, suggestions of additional resources, and professional development.
Guiding children’s librarians to define, solidify, and refine their roles as media mentors, this book in turn will help facilitate digital literacy for children and families.
Table of Contents

Foreword, by Chip Donohue, PhD

Introduction: How to Use this Book

Part I    Becoming a Media Mentor

Chapter 1    What Is a Media Mentor?
Voice from the Field: Carisa Kluver
Chapter 2    Media Mentorship: Research and Implications for Libraries
Voice from the Field: Michael Robb
Chapter 3    Media Mentorship and the Three Cs: Content, Context, and the Child
Voice from the Field: Lisa Guernsey
Chapter 4    Media Mentorship and Diversity
Voices from the Field: Susan B. Neuman and Donna Celano
Chapter 5    Media Mentors: Working with Parents, Families, and Community Needs
Voice from the Field: Jason Boog
Chapter 6    Media Mentors and Professional Development
Voice from the Field: Sarah Houghton
Chapter 7    Three Ways to Be a Media Mentor
Voice from the Field: Michael Levine

Part II    Media Mentors in Action

Media Advisory
App Finder
Homework Help / Ayuda gratis con la tarea para niños y jóvenes
Curating Apps on Pinterest Boards
“Raising a Reader” Newspaper Column
New Media in Programs
Digital Storytime
Graphic Novel Club
Hour of Code: Basic Video Game Design
Teen Media Mentor Intern Program
Access to Curated Media
Circulating Maker Kits
Listening Station
Chicago Public Library YOUmedia
Maker Jawn

Appendix A: ALSC White Paper: Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth
Appendix B: ALSC White Paper: The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children
Appendix C: Evaluating Apps and New Media for Young Children: A Rubric


About the Authors

Claudia Haines leads storytimes, hosts maker programs, and gets great books into the hands of kids and teens as the youth services librarian and media mentor at the Homer (Alaska) Public Library. She is a coauthor of the Association for Library Service to Children’s white paper, Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth, and trains other librarians as media mentors. She serves on local and national committees that support families and literacy. She blogs at never shushed.

Cen Campbell is a children’s librarian, an author, and the founder of She has driven a bookmobile, managed branch libraries, and developed innovative programs for babies, young children, and teens, and now supports children’s librarians who serve as media mentors in their communities. She was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2014 for her work on She is a coauthor of the Association for Library Service to Children’s white paper, Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth.

For more than eight decades, librarians from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) have intensely scrutinized the children's books published each year, selecting the winning and honor books for the Newbery and Caldecott Awards. In addition, the ALSC division of the ALA is committed to creating a nation of readers, starting with the youngest. ALSC supports all those providing library services to children, including youth librarians, teachers, families, literature experts, publishers, and child advocates.

”With the variety and quantity of content available today, media mentorship has taken on increasing significance. Mentors should be promoting healthy media consumption that shows balance, quality, and engagement. The text directly addresses the concept that high-quality content matters. The authors cover this topic extensively, from providing research supporting media mentorship to showing how media mentorship works in practice ... [this book] provides enrichment for current mentors or those looking to evaluate what being a mentor means."
— Booklist

”Well-written and useful ... This is a timely selection that addresses an important topic. While everyone will find something useful, administrators, managers, and heads of youth services departments will especially be able to put into practice the ideas included here."
— School Library Journal

”While demystifying new and emerging technology, Haines and Campbell offer a clear, concise roadmap that helps youth services experts in public libraries assume the vital role of media mentor. Much more than a simple how-to manual, Becoming a Media Mentor focuses on field-tested, research-based best practices for librarians serving children and families. The book will benefit any public library aiming to excite their community by offering innovative learning experiences in the library and at home."

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