Digital Media Resources

Articles -- All Things Digital  |  Tablets & Apps  |  Ebooks  |  Early Literacy
Free Collection of eBooks

Welcome to ALSC's Digital Media Resources page.  This collection is a go-to list for children’s librarians navigating their way through the evolving digital landscape. Discover current articles, blog posts, and websites about iPads, tablets, eBooks, apps and more. The articles are categorized by the following topics: All Things Digital, eBooks, Tablets & Apps, and Early Literacy.
Do you have eBooks in your library?  Are you thinking about starting a library program with tablets? Curious about what’s happening in the digital world and libraries?  What makes a good app for young children? This webpage offers the latest tech news impacting the youth services field. Please visit us often.  We hope to encourage a healthy dialogue around these topics, and to continually grow the site with new materials and your recommendations.  
Thank you, 
ALSC Children and Techonolgy Committee


Developed by and for Latino parents with children ages 0-5.  Includes tips for children and technology, family apps, videos, and additional resources.
Cool Mom Tech is the intersection of tech and style, of parenting, practicality, and fabulosity. Resources include resources for kids, best apps, online safety tips, digital parenting guide, and more.
The work of the Fred Rogers Center resonates with Fred’s own belief in the positive potential of television and new media for supporting the healthy social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of young children.
The mission of the Cooney Center is to advance children’s learning through digital media.
Little eLit is a collaborative think tank of professionals thinking about the topic of young children, new media, and libraries.
All Tech Considered explores how technology is changing culture and connection.
Since 2003, Common Sense has been the leading source of entertainment and technology recommendations for families and schools. Every day, millions of parents and educators trust Common Sense reviews and advice to help them navigate the digital world with their kids.
Features stories and resources on technology.
The Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award is given to a digital media producer that has created distinguished digital media for an early learning audience.


All Things Digital 

A brief look at the impacts of screen time on a child’s development. Includes link to full research from JAMA for further information.
Tips for engaging with AI devices with children.
Screen Time and Children (AACAP | February 2020)
The most recent guidelines for screen time and children from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, updated February 2020.

Agonizing Over Screen Time? Follow the Three C’s (New York Times | April 2020) 

A timely look at child, content, and context in regards to screen time and current events.


Kids and Technology:  Age-Appropriate Milestones to Aim for (Rasmussen College | September 2018)

Explores different technology milestones by age, looking for thoughtful ways to use tech in supporting children’s development.


How and When to Limit Kids’ Tech Use (New York Times)

From top tips for tech use to age-specific guidance, this article explores ways to build healthy habits and digital literacy skills.


To Tech or Not to Tech?: The Debate about Technology, Young Children, and the Library (Children & Libraries: The Journal of ALSC | 2019)

Based on a presentation from the 2018 ALA Annual Conference, this article explores research into children and technology, practical applications, and effective practices.

Tablets and Apps 

Young children have increasing access to interactive applications (apps) at home and at school. Existing research is clear on the potential dangers of overuse of screens, but there is less clarity around the extent to which interactive apps may be helpful in supporting early learning.
A grassroots organization that advocates for high quality children's audio podcasts. Features links to member sites and children's podcasts.

Parents Likely Misjudge Children’s Digital Screen Time
Nearly three fourths of parents misreported preschoolers’ mobile technology use; some children ages 3-5 engaged with apps intended for teens and adults.

How to Set Up a Tablet for Kids
How to set up parental controls, add accessories, and download games and apps.
Selection guidelines and hallmarks of quality apps for young children.
Apps recognized foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration and are user friendly to encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.
Selection guidelines and hallmarks of quality apps for young children.

Online Learning Games for Kids
Learning apps and games for kids recommended by educators, experts, and parents.
Review site of children's music and podcasts


Providing eReaders and e-books to children around the world. 

ALA Congressional Report denouncing current digital market practices which limit library core services - October 15, 2019.

A clear explanation of the legal differences between libraries lending print books and eBooks.
A list of features to look for when considering juvenile eBooks, along with descriptions of freely available--and available only to BCL patrons--juvenile eBook apps.
When an Ebook is the Best Book, - SLJ July 5, 2016.
There are times when an e-book is the best choice; a School Library Journal blog article.

E-Books vs. Print: What Parents Need to Know
An introductory article of identified pros and cons when considering digital reading for ages 3-5.

Results of study Differences in Parent-Toddler Interactions With Electronic Versus Print Books
A 2019 study published in Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics which recommends sharing print books with toddlers.

Beyond the Book: New Publishing Models and Online Platforms Feed Gen Z's Need for Free or Cheap Reads, February 3, 2020
An explanation of fanfiction and free or cheap subscription reading services platforms and an introduction of how libraries can be a part of this growing trend.

Free Collection of eBooks 

eBooks of historical children’s books published mainly between 1839-1920, multiple file types available.
Internet Archive Children’s Library
Books for children from around the world.
From University of California Libraries (list), the University of Florida's "Literature for Children" Collection, the National Yiddish Book Center, the New York Public Library, International Children's Digital Library, and other libraries.
Project Gutenberg Children’s Bookshelf
Project Gutenberg eBooks are mostly older literary works, mostly published before 1924. Project Gutenberg eBooks require no special apps to read, just the regular Web browsers or eBook readers that are included with computers and mobile devices.
International Children’s Digital Library
The International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) is a research project funded primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and Microsoft Research to create a digital library of outstanding children's books from all over the world.
Kid’s Classics on
A select collection of the most popular english language children’s literature that is now beyond their US copyright dates; available in HTML on any web browser.
How to Get Free eBooks, updated March 23, 2020
This advice is more useful for personal eBook access, rather than for school or public libraries, but it is a great resource for building a free ebook library on a single device.

Early Literacy 

Tools and recommendations on children and media using the AAP’s recommendations.
Agenda for community and city leaders to help empower parents in the digital age.
References the AAP recommendations and encourages a balance.
Provides indirect evidence that children’s interaction with technology and digital media can support whole child development.
Screen Sense: What the Research Says About the Impact of Media on Children Aged 0-3 Years Old (Zerotothree, October 2018)
Zerotothree: describes the effect of screen media on young children’s learning and development.
Healthy Digital Media Use Habits for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers
Quick info for parents through bullet point, charts to reinforce info, quick tips for parents, additional links (family media use plan)