PROFESSIONAL READING

Cultivating Connected Learning: Library Programs for Youth

BARRETT, Megan E. & . 133p. appendix. bibliog. index. Libraries Unlimited/Teacher Ideas. Jun. 2018. pap. $50. ISBN 9781440855382.
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A 2012 paper by researcher Mizuko Ito originated the term connected learning, which describes informal learning related to gaming, media, and the Internet. Barrett and Ranallo outline reasons and methods for maximizing informal learning among teens. Their discussion on the wording of collection policies covers diversity in materials choices, including best practices in print and digital acquisitions. The authors offer guidance on selecting online tools and list excellent apps in areas such as animation, coding, and music production. They also recommend music equipment and fabrication tools. The chapter on staffing reflects contemporary philosophy on recruiting and maintaining staff and volunteers, and there are tips on getting fellow staff on board with programming. Each chapter concludes with a summary and a short list of "action steps." Examples of successful programs and facilities in both school and public libraries from around North America pepper the book. Numerous thoughtful STEAM-oriented programs are carefully outlined, with steps, supplies, and desired outcomes. Back matter contains sample forms and checklists, along with additional information on online resources dealing with a variety of digital topics.
VERDICT A pragmatic addition for school and public librarians who work with teens.

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