“We’ve got two iPads that are going to be loaded with early learning literacy-based apps,” Morgan Peletier of the Fort St. John Public Library said, “…They range from story book apps that feature familiar characters, and fairly tale and nursery rimes, to math apps, science exploration ones, and lots of interesting things like that.”
Peletier explained what role these iPads play in regard to early childhood education.
“Increasingly in our society, digital literacy is becoming an important tool as kids go into school and become citizens,” Peletier goes on to say. “Part of a library’s role in the community is (making) sure there is equitable access to learning resources for everybody in the community.”
These iPads are not only valuable to those who don’t have access to them at home, but also parents who do and are looking to explore the options in which they can choose from before purchasing apps for their children.
“If they do have their own devices at home but would like to see which apps might be good, the library is trying to play a role in helping people access apps that have been well reviewed by education sources and things like that,” Peletier explained while adding the price of these apps range anywhere from .99 – $5.00, opposed to thousands of dollars if a household would try to emulate the previous early childhood education software available at the library.
Peletier says she’s looking forward to hearing feedback from parents once the project begins to gain traction.
“We’re really looking forward to getting some feedback from families who are using this,” Peletier said. “We really want to know how families would like to see technology used in the children’s collection. We want to know if there is more interest in things like children’s e-books or audio books; if people would like to see more of this or less.”
Peletier adds, “We’re really putting it in the hands of the public right now. We’re starting off with this and really look forward to hearing from people in the future.”
The iPads were made possible by donations from Friends of the Library and are available from noon until closing.
As for the children’s multi-lingual collection – that’s a feature of bilingual and unilingual children’s books in German, Russian, Arabic, and Tagalog, while Peletier says the library expects to acquire books in Hindi and Punjab soon after.
“In choosing these first six languages, we spoke with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Integration Services to ask about which were the most common first languages spoken by families with young children who had immigrated to the Fort St. John area in the past few years.”
Peletier again adds, “This obviously isn’t a comprehensive collection of every first language spoken by people in Fort St. John, however, it is a good start and we’re definitely open to expanding it to include other first language communities in Fort St. John.”
The new addition was made possible by the family of Leslie Norman, a frequent patron of the library who passed away earlier this year.
Peletier says the family wanted to honour that memory while also contributing to early childhood education.