Hey, remember when the Park Slope branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at 6th Ave and 9th Street was closed for renovations like, 150 years ago? Of course you don't -- it was before you were born. Well, we can all stop collectively holding our breaths because the library is re-opening for business today! This epic event will include a Bluth-style ribbon-cutting ceremony, with G.O.B. Bluth Marty Markowitz wielding the giant scissors, and a book reading by legendary Brooklyn author Pete Hamill. Lastly, we also just learned that iPads will be available for the neighborhood bebes at the new and improved location. That's right.
According to DNAinfo, the freshly-renovated digs will be equipped with four iPads for children ranging from 2-8 years-old. Rachel Payne, director of early childhood services for the Brooklyn Public Library, told DNAinfo that the iPad will be loaded with interactive picture book apps that will allow the kids to read and do hands-on activities with classic books like The Cat in the Hat and Harold and the Purple Crayon. This 9th Street location will be the first in the borough to have four of its 75 iPads devoted to very young readers.
Sounds potentially cool, right? Another way for kids to learn? But in a neighborhood where parents work hard to ban ice cream vendors from Prospect Park because they're worried about upsetting their rambunctious children, there are bound to be parents who don't like the idea. Brooklyn Library Director and Chief Librarian Richard Reyes-Gavilan says there has already been some complaining (shock):
Some parents have complained about the use of high-tech devices like iPads at the library, Reyes-Gavilan said. Parents say they bring their kids to the library to escape the deluge of screen-based entertainment in daily life and they get upset when they see glowing screens at an institution dedicated to books.
Really? Because honestly, if I didn't have one already, I'd totally go to the library just to use one of the kiddie iPads (does that sound creepy?). And if I did have a kid, I would totally let them use an iPad for learning and reading.
In the grand tradition of hitting the nail on the head, Reyes-Gavilan adds:
We're serving all of Brooklyn's kids — most of whom don't have access to that kind of technology at home. At the library, you're still going to overwhelmed with books, and it's going to be many years before that's going to change... It's the parents' job to steer their kids toward books when they're at the library if that's what they want to emphasize.
Amen, brother! If the parent doesn't like the iPads, he or she can SIMPLY SAY NO.
FIPS'ters: Your thoughts? Cares? Concerns?