Children can grow and learn with iPads at Dundee Library

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
iPads enhance the activities and experiences children enjoy at the Dundee Library. The iPads at the library are most often used in addition to books and crafts during Thursday story times, but can be used by patrons and their children under supervision of the Youth Services Director in the Children's Room at any time.

Last August, the Dundee Library was awarded a Community Foundation grant from the Yates Community Endowment fund, a part of the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

With the awarded funds, Children’s Librarian Rachel Knapton, who wrote the grant application, was able to purchase four iPads for the children’s room, as well as four protective LifeProof cases, four Apple Care Warranties, and a few educational apps, books, and games to get them started. After receiving all of the iPads, Knapton wrote a second successful request to the Dundee VFW for an additional $1,000 to pay for educational content for the iPads.

“They make excellent additions to story times, offering an interactive reading experience with after school students read on their own,” says Knapton. “They also offer a way to model appropriate screen time and actions at the library,” she adds. “A big thank you to the Yates Community Endowment Fund and the Dundee VFW for helping us acquire them!”

Knapton has attended multiple programs offered through the Southern Tier Library System in order to best understand how to incorporate the iPads into the library. One of the most interesting facts Knapton says she learned and loves to share with parents is that not all screens are created equal. Spending some time on an iPad is not the same as time spent watching TV or time spent playing video or computer games.

“While a child interacts with an educational app on an iPad, they are actually doing something more closely related to a physical/in person activity, like playing with blocks. They understand immediately and innately that what they are doing is what is affecting the things on the screen. When there is a distance between what the child does and what happens on the screen (for instance, with a video game controller or a computer mouse) they have a harder time understanding the cause and effect,” she says. “Watching television, children never think ‘I did that,’ but when working with the touchscreen of a tablet, they are constantly aware that they are causing reactions on the screen, and this helps them continue to grow and learn.”

The iPads at the library are most often used in addition to books and crafts during Thursday story times, but can be used by patrons and their children under supervision of the Youth Services Director in the Children’s Room at any time.

Knapton says she would be happy to talk about the iPads, discuss successful apps, books, and games, and help model appropriate practices with tablets whenever she is available.

Knapton says her favorite new saying is, “Where there’s an app, there should be a lap.” She encourages parents, “Be with your kids and the tablets, help them interact, read to them, and play along,” but reminds us that all good things should still be enjoyed in moderation. “Try to keep screen time to a minimum, especially with children under two.

Stop in to the Dundee Library to use an iPad today, or join us for story times at 10:45 a.m. Thursdays.”