Bessemer Library Goes Positively Digital

The traditional meaning of literacy means the skill possessed by a person to read and write. In modern terms, the meaning of literacy has changed and the capacity of any person to use a language, images, numbers or other forms to understand culture have been added. This idea is spreading to OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

The story is about the digitalization of a F.D. Campbell Memorial Library in Bessemer. Besides providing books, this library is now able to provide Early Literacy Stations to those children that are between the ages of 2 to 8 years. The Early Literacy Station is a digital learning solution consisting of multiple applications, all in one place.

History and Details of ELS

Lorena Williams, the prior director of the library took an endowment from Shell Oil Co., and with the help of this funding, the library was able to establish ELS. The Early Learning Station is responsible for helping local children to learn at a very early age; i.e., 2-8 years.

This station consists of one computer and two handheld tablets that are preloaded with productive informative content programs that are highly appealing, has an instinctive interface and are highly secure.

Learning is Fun

According to Kari McKenna, who is the current director of the library; “The kids are very excited to use ELS”. If they are allowed by the parents then they would visit the library for long hours to play on the computer and handheld tablets. The kids are so excited about library being digitized that they make long queues in front of the library to play and learn at the same time.

The ELS not only provides multiple applications with puzzles or games but it also provides learning which is based on the subjects that are taught to a kid between 2-8 years of age. The learning software is based on questions from mathematics, geography, social studies, science, music and arts, computer studies, and more.

Content Details and Connectivity

There are around 70 applications installed in the tablets, out of which 50 courses use famous kid’s characters like Dora the Explorer, Jump Start, Reader Rabbit, and Sesame Street. All the activities offered by ELS are strictly monitored by regulatory authorities in accordance with the laws of the U.S standards.

As far as connectivity of ELS is concerned, ELS works without any internet connection so parents don’t have to worry that kid might mistakenly use the internet. ELS is highly safe and secured as per the common core standards.

User Friendly Interface and Future Plans

Each device in Bessemer Library has gone digital having a nice user friendly interface with touchscreens, and any kid can easily navigate the device by simply listening to the audio aid. The director of the library has never had to help a child as they already know how to shut down the device by pressing an icon over the touch screen, and an audio voice guides kids through the next steps. ELS has proven to be a great tool in the learning of young kids and McKenna is planning to expand this project to Mohawk Head Start classes.

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