Tomorrow’s Playground

One of the main projects I have at my new place of work is rethinking and redesigning the children’s website. It will be completely different from how it currently is, all new in just about every way.

Now, I understand that there are certain expectations for its design and layout, both from our users and our staff. I can’t completely redesign the wheel here. And yet, I feel I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t at least consider new ways to look at computer structures and layouts.

And so, I look at Sugar, the new OS for the One Laptop Per Child project. And my mind is somewhere in the vicinity of Blown. What a fascinating way of looking at a computer interface! I love the way it simply and naturally encourages and facilitates communication, community, collaboration. Even if we stick with a traditional website layout and structure, the children’s site we end up with should encourage and facilitate these same things with a similar ease. In my wildest dreams, the new website will be less like a grown-up’s website, less like a classroom, and more like a playground.

Because I’m all about the play.

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4 thoughts on “Tomorrow’s Playground

  1. …I want that OS for ME. Thankyouverymuch.

  2. There are instructions for installing an emulator onto various PCs (Windows, Linux, and Mac). I’m planning on trying it out, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    But, yes, I wouldn’t mind a little Sugar thrown my way.

  3. We are also going through a re-design. I’ve been wondering if kids actually use the kids page, or it’s more parents who use it? My hunch is that a lot of parents use it to look for info on story hour and other events. But, then, I don’t spend a lot of time in Youth Services, so am guessing at stuff I don’t know nothin’ about.

  4. I haven’t yet done any real research and I don’t yet have any solid numbers, but I do have this: as soon as I showed my 10-year-old daughter the YS blog on my previous place of work’s website (which is still our local public library), she immediately read it and left a comment. She’s since left more comments and submitted a book review. (Scroll down to the post about favorite books and you can read her comment about Eragon.) When I asked her if kids want to be included in what adults are doing, she said, “YES!” When I asked her if kids want to be able to comment on what adults are doing, she said, “YES!” When I asked her if kids want to be able to add their own stuff to the library, she said, “YES!” Based solely on that, I think that there is at least a small number of kids who would love a more 2.0 library website.

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