Becoming a Media Mentor: The Book is Here!

Becoming a Media Mentor book cover

We just got word that our book, Becoming a Media Mentor: A Guide for Working with Children and Families is now ready to ship! Cen Campbell, the Association for Library Service to Children, and I are happy to finally be able share the book with you.

Librarians are lifelong learners, experienced researchers, and excellent communicators- all skills we can use to mentor families as they navigate media and literacy in the digital age. The book is full of useful information that will help library staff as we evolve our roles as children’s librarians and continue to support families in new ways.

Are you interested in a recent webinar, Media Mentorship and Family Engagement in the Digital Age, that I led with Chip Donohue from the TEC Center at Erikson Institute and ALSC ? Find the link to the webinar and resources we discussed here. Find my Media Mentor’s Reading List here.

You can find out more about the book here, order it here, or contact me to ask questions, comment about the book, etc.


Media Mentorship: Let’s Talk About it!

Have you heard?

The Association of Library Service to Children is hosting a virtual release party for the new Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth white paper! (I cowrote it with Cen Campbell, Amy Koester and Dorothy Stoltz.) If you’re a member of ALSC, join the ALSC Community Forum on Tuesday, 6/2. The conversation continues after the forum on Twitter and blogs to spread ideas for media mentor programs and services that include kids and teens 14 and under. You can join us by using the hashtag #mediamentor.

Help us spread the word!

ALSC and Media Mentorship

Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth

Recently, the Association for Library Service to Children released a white paper in support of librarians as media mentors, a term coined by Lisa Guernsey at the New America Foundation. I am so proud to have worked on the paper, Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth, with three other librarians, Cen Campbell, Amy Koester and Dorothy Stoltz. The adoption of the paper by ALSC, as well as the wealth of research and insights within the paper, are an important part of the conversation about what it means to be a youth services librarian and how we can support the literacy needs of the families in our communities.

Please read it and join the conversation!

ALSC will be discussing media mentorship and the paper at its next Community Forum on June 2nd (ALSC members only).

Welcome to the Digital Neighborhood: A Fred Rogers Center and Little eLit Digital Literacy Symposium

This week I’m on the East Coast and I had the pleasure of working with a group of innovative librarians and early childhood experts who all care about kids and supporting their families’ literacy needs. The league of media mentors just got bigger! Here is the Little eLit post about our collaboration.

Little eLit

This was a week of collaboration. Librarians and early childhood education experts teamed up in Harford County, Maryland, to talk with more than 80 librarians and educators as part of a grant from Comcast to expand the Harford County Public Library system’s digital literacy efforts. We had two goals: to talk about what’s new and what’s still true in the world of new media and young children, and to train librarians in their evolving role as media mentors. The successful training included Tanya Smith from the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, Dorothy Stoltz and Kristen Bodvin from the Carroll County Public Library (Maryland), and myself, Claudia Haines, from the Homer Public Library (Alaska).

While in Harford County, Tanya and I also spent time with families of young children at the Abingdon and Bel Air branches to talk about what to consider when using digital media with young…

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10 Ways to Explore a Book: Alaska’s Dog Heroes


Earlier this winter I posted the first in a series of flyers, 10 Ways to Explore a Book,  designed to help families explore a book together. The idea behind the poster was to encourage families to enjoy books in different ways and even to extend the experience beyond the book, bringing in their own knowledge and fostering the early literacy practices of reading, writing, singing, playing and talking.

Here is the second poster in the series which features the book Alaska’s Dog Heroes (Sasquatch Books, 2014) by Shelley Gill. The book highlights the stories of several Alaskan dogs that lived a remarkable life. It’s just in time to celebrate the start of Alaska’s Iditarod, the annual 1,000 mile sled dog race between Anchorage and Nome that was established by Dorothy Page and Joe Redington, Sr.  “to save the sled dog culture and Alaskan huskies, which were being phased out of existence due to the introduction of snowmobiles in Alaska; and to preserve the historical Iditarod Trail between Seward and Nome.” ( You may also find the idea behind the poster useful if you’re library will be participating in the 2015 CSLP summer reading program, Every Hero Has a Story. Explore Book: Alaska Dog Heroes