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Digital-Storytime’s 4th Annual “Best of the Best” for Children’s Storybook Apps

Digital-Storytime’s 4th Annual “Best of the Best” for Children’s Storybook Apps

| September 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

As I begin my 5th year reviewing children’s book apps, I’m struck by the evolution of this still embryonic new format. While there are more sophisticated apps coming to market today than in 2010 and signs of an industry that is more sure-footed, the revolution in storytelling that arrived with the tablet has still only […]

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Support Your Child’s Teachers and School Librarians with The Perfect Back-to-School Gift

Support Your Child’s Teachers and School Librarians with The Perfect Back-to-School Gift

| August 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

This school year, more and more K-12 classrooms across North America and abroad are getting access to a digital buffet of educational content. Schools that had never had more than a few older desktop computers are now getting laptops and other digital tools, like tablets and smart devices. Each device has an array of uses, […]

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Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years – A Textbook for 21st Century Educators

Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years – A Textbook for 21st Century Educators

| August 23, 2014 | 3 Comments

Are you looking for a wealth of thoughtful, educated and tech-savvy resources for teaching the youngest learners? I’ve co-authored a chapter in Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years, out  on Monday, August 25, 2014. This extraordinary textbook for 21st century educators includes up-to-date information about new media in many forms, with a focus […]

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AppRot – What it is and why it matters to everyone in the app economy …

AppRot – What it is and why it matters to everyone in the app economy …

| August 15, 2014 | 2 Comments

Recently, developer Marco Arment, a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast, wrote on his blog about something he called “AppRot”. Over time, apps that are released into the iOS AppStore for iPhones, iPads and iPods can become unsupported by the original content creator (whether the app is from an independent developer, author or established […]

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Note to the #DigitalShift: The Librarians Have Arrived!

Note to the #DigitalShift: The Librarians Have Arrived!

| July 22, 2014 | 5 Comments

Over the past two years I’ve been working closely within the library community about digital content for children. I’ve attended conferences, participated in the brilliant @LittleeLit think tank and even co-created training modules to pilot for professional development in multiple states. But until this past month, after attending the exceptional American Library Association (ALA) 2014 […]

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Take Five for Family Engagement: Tips from Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR)

Take Five for Family Engagement: Tips from Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR)

| June 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

Recently, my son (age 7) told another kid his age that there are some interesting things to be learned from “old people”. He explained, “you know, the ones who were alive during the 19′s”.  “They know some cool stuff,” he told his buddy … and I hope we can continue to share our ‘old-fashioned’ 20th […]

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Authors Unite to Create Interactive Books for Kids – Guest Post from the Book App Alliance (BAA)

Authors Unite to Create Interactive Books for Kids – Guest Post from the Book App Alliance (BAA)

| May 2, 2014 | 4 Comments

A new organization, featuring some of my favorite independent and self-published authors and illustrators was created last year. Michelle Anaya, one of the members of the Book App Alliance (BAA) wrote up this lovely guest post to explain more about BAA, it’s goals and how to join. The book app alliance is making great strides in creating […]

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Take Five for Family Engagement: Apps to Get Moving TOGETHER!

Take Five for Family Engagement: Apps to Get Moving TOGETHER!

| April 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Take 5 to get moving! This month’s list is brought to you by Carissa Christner, one of my favorite librarians – and I LOVE her first name! Carissa works at the Madison, WI public library and has embraced new media. She is a major contributor to the LittleeLit think tank and has suggested five apps for […]

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Youth Literature in the Digital Realm – Q&A with Kent State MLIS Students

Youth Literature in the Digital Realm – Q&A with Kent State MLIS Students

| March 31, 2014 | 2 Comments

Last month I was invited by Dr. Marianne Martens to speak to her class at Kent State University. The students are getting their MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) degrees and the course is called “Youth Literature in the Digital Realm.” We pre-recorded a short presentation for the students and then invited them to submit […]

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Parenting in the Digital Age: Teaching Kids to Balance Their Own Media Diet

Parenting in the Digital Age: Teaching Kids to Balance Their Own Media Diet

| March 7, 2014 | 1 Comment

Over the past two years, I have begun to transition away from full-time work on my book app review site, Digital-Storytime.com, in order to work on more outreach and training projects, especially within the public libraries in California. I have also done a number of presentations to parents, educators and content creators in the past […]

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Take Five for Family Engagement: Early Learning Apps from the Fred Rogers Center

Take Five for Family Engagement: Early Learning Apps from the Fred Rogers Center

| February 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

This month’s “Take 5″ post features five free iPhone apps (plus one free Android app) created by the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media. With these fun apps, designed for young children and their families to use together, you can go on a photo scavenger hunt, enhance family routines and engage in […]

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A New Digital Divide? Production Costs vs Consumer Awareness in New Media Publications for Children – Guest Post by Allison Pomenta

A New Digital Divide? Production Costs vs Consumer Awareness in New Media Publications for Children – Guest Post by Allison Pomenta

| February 18, 2014 | 12 Comments

Several years ago, I met Allison Pomenta when she was still developing her storybook app, Axel’s Chain Reaction. Her app is a terrific indie title and recently shortlisted  as a finalist for the Digital Book Awards. Allison is talented, outspoken and quick to offer her experience with new media in the wild-west of digital publishing. […]

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Six Lessons from the App Industry: An Interview with Oceanhouse Media President Michel Kripalani

Six Lessons from the App Industry: An Interview with Oceanhouse Media President Michel Kripalani

| February 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

Among the most innovative, educationally-sound and prolific developers in the book app
 space is a company that is also one of my favorite to work with as a reviewer and blogger. What follows is a thoughtful and informative interview with the forward-thinking president of Oceanhouse Media, Michel Kripalani. Being first and best in a market this […]

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The 5 Types of Free Apps and How to Find Them

The 5 Types of Free Apps and How to Find Them

| January 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

This post is an excerpt from a collaborative guest post, with Claudia Haines in the wonderful blog, Little eLit (http://littleelit.com). Little eLit provides librarians and literacy advocates with thoughtful articles, reviews and technical resources from a large pool of talented contributors. Claudia is the “Curation Coordinator” for Little eLit and a Youth Services Librarian at the Homer Public […]

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Take Five for Family Engagement: Great Puzzle Apps to Share With Kids 4-10+

Take Five for Family Engagement: Great Puzzle Apps to Share With Kids 4-10+

| January 8, 2014 | 2 Comments

This is a new series we’re starting off for 2014 – a quick list of five apps, websites, tech tools or other resources for the digital age to help families connect, balance and nourish their relationships in a world prone to ‘digital distraction’. While we strongly encourage families to consider the overall number of hours […]

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The Baby and the Bathwater: A Nuanced Message About Screen Time

The Baby and the Bathwater: A Nuanced Message About Screen Time

| December 11, 2013 | 4 Comments

The debate about ‘screen time’ and children continues to be a hot topic in the field of early childhood education. Among the most difficult questions I have to answer are the ones about app recommendations for children under three. It seems like an innocent question, but it can also feel like I’ve entered a mine-field […]

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7 Ways to Use Digital Reading to Boost Kids’ Skills – Guest Post by Suz Lipman of Bookboard

7 Ways to Use Digital Reading to Boost Kids’ Skills – Guest Post by Suz Lipman of Bookboard

| November 13, 2013 | 0 Comments

Susan Sachs Lipman (Suz) is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which grew out of her blog, Slow Family Online. I met her in her new role as the Social Media Director for Bookboard, a digital children’s book library. You can try Bookboard for FREE, a service that hooks kids into reading by unlocking digital books, […]

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New Media Partnerships – The Role of Mentoring and Training

New Media Partnerships – The Role of Mentoring and Training

| October 23, 2013 | 3 Comments

Two weeks ago I had the honor of being invited to the Erikson Institute in Chicago to meet with Amanda Armstrong, Iara Fuenmayor and Chip Donohue, from the Technology in Early Childhood Center, Rita Catalano and Michael Robb of The Fred Rogers Center, Aimee Strittmatter and Joanna Ison of ALSC – Association for Library Service to Children and librarian extraordinaire, Cen Campbell of LittleeLit.com. […]

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Thinking Out Loud – How New Media is Changing Our Species on a Fundamental Level

Thinking Out Loud – How New Media is Changing Our Species on a Fundamental Level

| October 5, 2013 | 2 Comments

This week I was honored to meet with other thought leaders in new media and the education of young children. I’m working on a post for next week about our ‘next steps’ and what I learned from the amazing participants in this conversation. There is something so grounding about meeting with people in person, in […]

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CYBILS: Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Awards – Nominations open Oct. 1st!

CYBILS: Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Awards – Nominations open Oct. 1st!

| September 25, 2013 | 0 Comments

People often ask me what the top award for a book app might be … and I’ll admit to be being biased but my favorite hands down, is CYBILS. Every year now, for the past three years, I’ve been involved with the fabulous people who founded and run the CYBILS Awards for children’s books – in […]

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Blurring the Digital Page: The Difference Between Book Apps and eBooks

Blurring the Digital Page: The Difference Between Book Apps and eBooks

| September 9, 2013 | 9 Comments

This past week brought lots of questions my way, asking for a definition that distinguishes between an “eBook” and “book app”. The flood of interest may have been partly in response to the announcement from Random House, stating that they are bringing Dr. Seuss to ebooks for the first time. Articles with titles like Dr. Seuss Makes […]

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Digital-Storytime’s Best Books of the Year: Top 25 Picture Book Apps for Ages 2-12

Digital-Storytime’s Best Books of the Year: Top 25 Picture Book Apps for Ages 2-12

| August 29, 2013 | 11 Comments

It’s time for Digital-Storytime.com‘s 3rd annual Best Books List for 2013! We’ve combed the iTunes AppStore and selected the following titles for special recognition. These are the most exceptional, innovative and well-crafted storybook apps for kids on the iPad* that we’ve discovered over the past year. We salute the authors, illustrators and talented development teams […]

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Illustrating in the Dark: Why Dick & Jane Can’t Count (A Publishing Mystery)

Illustrating in the Dark: Why Dick & Jane Can’t Count (A Publishing Mystery)

| August 7, 2013 | 12 Comments

The world of children’s books has changed a lot in the past five years. Print titles may look the same, but anyone who has heard of the iPad, eReader or tablet technology knows that there are digital options that stretch our conventional ideas of a what books can and sometimes should do. Browsing in bookstores […]

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Parental Notification, the FTC and Kids Apps: What’s COPPA all about?

Parental Notification, the FTC and Kids Apps: What’s COPPA all about?

| July 5, 2013 | 2 Comments

COPPA is a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) statute - TITLE XIII – also known as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Law. It was originally written in 1998 and had not been updated to account for the latest wave of digital kid’s content in the form of apps and other mobile media aimed at kids under 13. […]

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Do Screens Belong in Library Storytimes for Young Children? Response to ALSC Blog

Do Screens Belong in Library Storytimes for Young Children? Response to ALSC Blog

| June 22, 2013 | 4 Comments

A few days ago, a guest post in the ALSC Blog about how “The Screen Free Storytime is the Best Storytime” really got me ‘all riled up’. The post is from Kathy Kleckner, a children’s librarian for Dakota County Libraries at their Rosemount branch. She has worked as a librarian on a bookmobile,  in elementary schools and […]

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Fast, Cheap and Out of Control – The Perils of the New World Order

Fast, Cheap and Out of Control – The Perils of the New World Order

| June 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

Recently, Porter Anderson’s column for authors, “Writing on the Ether” (in Jane Friedman‘s most excellent blog) had a post titled, “Faster, Authors, Faster!” It inspired this post and has given me something to chew on intellectually for several days now. I’ve been following Anderson’s delightful curation, usually weekly, for over two years. He gives an up to the […]

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Can Technology help Parents become better Teachers? – Guest Post by Becky Fisher, M.Ed.

Can Technology help Parents become better Teachers? – Guest Post by Becky Fisher, M.Ed.

| June 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

This guest post is from Becky Fisher, a talented writer, artist, musician, educator, adventurer and blogger. She writes about innovation in educational technology, design thinking & art. You can find her on Twitter at @BFish921. She is also the marketing and community manager at Kidaptive, an educational and storytelling project for the iPad. The achievement gap is […]

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Using Dialogic Reading Techniques for Early Literacy – Guest Post by Tico Ballagas

Using Dialogic Reading Techniques for Early Literacy – Guest Post by Tico Ballagas

| June 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending AppFest, the opening afternoon of Dust or Magic’s App Camp in Monterrey, CA. While there, I met many talented folks, including Dr. Tico Ballagas, creator of a new app called Kindoma.  Our family tried this new, free app and it is really unique. Initially you download the app to […]

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Screen Time Vs Screen Quality: Why the Current Media & Kids Debate is About the Wrong Topic

Screen Time Vs Screen Quality: Why the Current Media & Kids Debate is About the Wrong Topic

| May 28, 2013 | 6 Comments

In a recent ALSC – Association for Library Service to Children – blog post, Cen Campbell wrote about the idea that “Screen Time is Bad” and how that is truly not the conversation we want to be having today, in 2013. She goes on to point out that, “What most people mean when they talk […]

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What is a digital book worth? Reflections on Pricing Book Apps for Kids in 2013

What is a digital book worth? Reflections on Pricing Book Apps for Kids in 2013

| May 21, 2013 | 12 Comments

Over two years ago, as one of my very first blog posts I wrote about the prices in the book app market, using my first 100 reviews for analysis. Now that I have reviewed over 700 titles in this new industry, I’d like to share a few of the points I made in 2011, which […]

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iPads in Education: Five Tips for Teachers Introducing Devices to the Classroom

iPads in Education: Five Tips for Teachers Introducing Devices to the Classroom

| May 13, 2013 | 9 Comments

Last year I volunteered in my child’s Kindergarten class daily for an hour with our family’s three iPads. I learned a lot about selecting educational content (primarily early math & literacy apps) and how to set up an environment most conducive for learning. I was most impressed by the potential for mobile devices to improve […]

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Children’s Librarians in the Digital Age – Part I: A Call to Action

Children’s Librarians in the Digital Age – Part I: A Call to Action

| May 10, 2013 | 2 Comments

In March, I was honored to be invited to the Watsonville, California public library to do a presentation with Cen Campbell, a librarian in Mt. View and blogger at LittleeLit.com. Our audience was a small group of dedicated librarians who work in a variety of settings in the public library system in Northern California. It […]

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Resources for Researching and Evaluating Educational Kids Apps

Resources for Researching and Evaluating Educational Kids Apps

| May 8, 2013 | 2 Comments

I recently developed a series of  in-person presentations, kind of like an “Educational Apps & Ebooks 101″ for groups of parents, educators, librarians or other helping professionals in my community and state. In the process, I have created a handout with my favorite research reports and online resources to guide app evaluation & the selection […]

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Literacy and The Digital Shift: How Educators, Parents & Librarians Can Bridge the Cultural Gap

Literacy and The Digital Shift: How Educators, Parents & Librarians Can Bridge the Cultural Gap

| March 6, 2013 | 6 Comments

The revolution is here. Over 500 years ago, when the Gutenberg Press was introduced, many people did not understand how the cultural shift would reverberate in every institution within society. We have greatly improved research that can quantify and qualify our projections for the future now, but this does not do anything to hedge against […]

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Why Public Libraries are the Only Thing That Matters (to me) in the Print vs Digital Debate

Why Public Libraries are the Only Thing That Matters (to me) in the Print vs Digital Debate

| February 10, 2013 | 11 Comments

I began this post nine months ago and have struggled to feel like it is finished. I now realize it will never be finished … no more than a river will be done flowing. It is about information, knowledge, curiosity and ultimately our humanity. In many ways, the cultural landscape is being transformed before our […]

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Parents, Kids & The Digital Shift: Strategies for a Balanced Media Diet

Parents, Kids & The Digital Shift: Strategies for a Balanced Media Diet

| November 26, 2012 | 8 Comments

 This guest post is brought to you in collaboration with Lorraine Akemann of Moms With Apps. This is Part 1 of a 2 part post … the 2nd part will appear in the MomsWithApps.com blog in December of 2012. From Lorraine, “Carisa and I have both been blogging about family-friendly apps since 2009. We realized through our […]

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iPad Best of the Best – 50 Essential Children’s Book Apps (Part 4: Tweens)

iPad Best of the Best – 50 Essential Children’s Book Apps (Part 4: Tweens)

| September 2, 2012 | 3 Comments

Children’s book apps have been around now for over two years and we have seen a lot of wonderful titles at Digital-Storytime.com over this time. What follows is the forth and final post in a four-part series, listing the best 50 iPad books for kids, broken down by age. You can see our first list […]

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The Bedtime Story App – Our Top 25 Recommendations (Part 2)

The Bedtime Story App – Our Top 25 Recommendations (Part 2)

| May 16, 2012 | 1 Comment

  This is a list of individual book apps, mostly from small publishers, representing our “best of the best” for bedtime reading in 2012. Some of these are lightly interactive, but done in a way that doesn’t lend itself to endless tapping (or over-stimulation). We did not include any of the apps that made our list last year, […]

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Marketing Kids Apps (Part III) – The logic, logistics & politics of pricing apps

Marketing Kids Apps (Part III) – The logic, logistics & politics of pricing apps

| December 2, 2011 | 11 Comments

This is the third and final post in my series about marketing kids apps. [See: Part I: Three Things No Amount of Code Can Fix & Part II: How Consumers Decide to Download] We end the series with some of the stickiest questions in the app world: What’s an app worth? What price point will encourage downloads? Should an […]

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Recommended iPad Book Apps for Older & Reluctant Readers Ages 8-12

Recommended iPad Book Apps for Older & Reluctant Readers Ages 8-12

| November 8, 2011 | 7 Comments

Of all the requests for recommendations I get, the most common seems to be from parents & teachers looking for book apps for children in 4-6+ grades (ages 10-12+) who are struggling with basic reading skills. “What can you recommend for my students who are in 5th grade but read at a much lower level? […]

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Why the iPad has revolutionized bedtime reading for parents & kids …

Why the iPad has revolutionized bedtime reading for parents & kids …

| July 12, 2011 | 7 Comments

There is no getting around it. The iPad has transformed the reading habits of some of the littlest readers. The lines between reading and ‘media’ are even blurred. I knew this to be a fact when my child began to choose iPad books over television & video games, even. But when it comes to reading […]

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The Changing Face of Children’s Books – New Challenges, New Opportunities

The Changing Face of Children’s Books – New Challenges, New Opportunities

| May 24, 2011 | 1 Comment

It is such an honor to write this post for Armchair BEA – An extension of the Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention in New York this May 2011. I’ll admit, a year ago I had not even heard of Armchair BEA. In fact, I had not heard of BEA itself. I was a […]

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Are there Ways to Make a Timely Response to Messages in the Digital Age?

Are there Ways to Make a Timely Response to Messages in the Digital Age?

| March 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Recently I searched on the “interwebs” to see what other people consider a timely response to emails, RSVP requests and other messages like voice mail and social media DMs (direct messages). I regret to say that I did not find Miss Manners especially helpful. She suggested that you should respond to email within 24 hours […]

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The Cost of Being Online

The Cost of Being Online

| March 11, 2014 | 6 Comments

This post is simply one to ‘set the record straight’. I have been running, on my own, a review site for nearly four years now that focuses exclusively on book apps for kids ages 2-12. The site is Digital-Storytime.com. Many of you are familiar with it or even regular users. This website, our deal site […]

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The Cost of a Writing Life

The Cost of a Writing Life

| October 31, 2013 | 2 Comments

When I first began my review site, Digital-Storytime.com, I had in mind a life of writing that involved a lot of freedom of expression and time … I might not make much from my brief evaluations of book apps, but I would have complete control over every aspect of my expression. Having control over your […]

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Librarians in the Digital Age – Part 2: A to Zoo for Apps Starts the Conversation

Librarians in the Digital Age – Part 2: A to Zoo for Apps Starts the Conversation

| July 16, 2013 | 3 Comments

At the end of June, I had the honor of being on a panel at the national ALA (American Library Association) conference in Chicago, IL. Originally I was going to prepare a video or be available remotely by Skype, but at the last minute I decided to visit the windy city, stay with a dear […]

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