LIBR 559B (3) New Media for Children and Young Adults

*As of Summer 2016 LIBR 559B will be replaced by LIBR 541 (3): New Media for Children and Young Adults*


MLIS and Dual MAS/MLIS: completion of the MLIS core

MAS: completion of MAS core and permission of the iSchool Graduate Advisor

GOAL: This course will survey the emerging media forms and formats which affect the lives of many young people. “New Media” in this course is broadly defined to encompass a wide array of artifacts and technologies which flavor modern childhood, including but not limited to: movies, games, websites, virtual worlds, toys and television programs. The goal is to engage critically with these media forms, examining how children incorporate them (or don’t) in their daily lives, and how adults shape and reshape notions of child culture and play. In the process, we will grapple with diverse conceptions of both media and children, and confront issues that sometimes lie below the surface of media creation and use, such as power and control, privacy, safety, gender bias, cultural stereotypes, authority and violence.


Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Identify the developmental attributes of youth as they relate to media design, selection, and use [1.1]*
  • Apply knowledge of the historical, cultural, and technological context of youth media to contemporary youth services [1.3]*
  • Contribute to debates on the effects of media on youth culture and behavior [1.4, 5.2]*
  • Apply knowledge of young people and media to contemporary social concerns, including fair use, safety, privacy, violence, and demographic inequity [1.4, 5.3]*
  • Analyze and evaluate diverse technologies, media, programs, or services designed for and/or adopted by youth [4.1]*
  • Conceptually design or redesign youth media [4.2]*
  • Identify and discuss future trends in new media for youth [2.1]*

* Course objectives are stated in terms of student learning outcomes and reference the iSchool Statement on Graduate Competencies.


  • Changing conceptions of media and youth
  • Commercialization and commoditization of play
  • Participatory media: Texting, tagging, tweeting
  • Children and youth as media creators
  • Digital libraries and digital storytelling
  • Games and gaming culture
  • Gender/ cultural images and stereotypes
  • Virtual worlds & Social networks
  • Social, ethical, and developmental issues surrounding media creation and use
  • “Digital divide” and demographic inequity
  • Cross-cultural and global perceptions of media and childhood
  • Emerging and future trends in media design and use
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