Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's new Web site for kids, www.carnegielibrary .org/kids, is providing an exciting way for children to learn and have fun.
Drawing on the expertise of staff members from the Library's Information Technology, Communications & Creative Services and Children's Services departments, the site provides original games, homework help, booklists and other tools to promote literacy and learning.
The first part of the Library's kids' Web site is designed for “Little Kids” who are just beginning to read and includes interactive components. Age-appropriate book lists and original games involving color recognition, memory skills and counting encourage discovery through random clicking and exploration. The site's “Big Kids” section focuses on the needs of older, school-age children (ages six to twelve) with live homework assistance, a research tool on numerous school subjects, monthly highlights of authors, topics and genres and events. The monthly “character spot” highlights popular children's book characters to encourage kids to explore reading.
Kids of all ages also have the freedom to create, print and share their own special stories at home through the exclusive interactive my StoryMaker feature. Developed by graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Corporation (ETC) exclusively for CLP, my StoryMaker is aimed at increasing literacy rates in children during their formative learning years. my StoryMaker uses artificial intelligence to form sentences in relation to how the child is interacting with the story.
Since its debut in late 2007 more than 2,000 children have discovered my StoryMaker at the library. The addition of the Web component marks the first time the computer-based my StoryMaker is available outside of the Library's Children's Departments.
Parents, caregivers and educators are also encouraged to use the Library's Kids' Web site to find information about Internet safety, bookmark family-friendly events and locate bibliotherapy booklists to help the young children in their lives tackle difficult situations. Resources, including links to education, recreational opportunities, parenting advice and local organizations that offer services to families, are conveniently grouped in one location for easy reference.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh staff will offer demonstrations of the site's features on April 25 at CLP – Main, 4400 Forbes Avenue. From 1-4 pm, librarians will help customers experience new technology during Technology Playground, a multi-dimensional, interactive event.
For more information, visit www.carnegielibrary.org/kids .