To Tech or Not to Tech? The Debate about Technology, Young Children, and the Library

Kathleen Campana, J. Elizabeth Mills, Claudia Haines, Tess Prendergast, Marianne Martens


Recent discussions on the ALSC electronic discussion list signaled a need for a better understanding of the research around young children and technology. The controversy and debate around using technology with young children has been going on for several years. While research is emerging in this area for libraries, there is still not a huge body of research out there and data do not yet exist at this point that answer some of our most basic questions of how technology use will affect children long term. However, new research in this area is emerging regularly so it is important to have opportunities to explore the findings that do exist. Ultimately, we see that a majority of families are already using technology with young children so libraries can play an important role by providing guidance on what to use and how to use it effectively with their young child. We wanted to share the content of our panel presentation with readers to further disseminate the research as well as some recommendations for effective practices that can impact and enhance practice, especially when working with families.

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