A Media Literacy Library for Adults

A more nuanced approach to screen time recommendations is on the rise. Many people are moving away from the less-than-effective, all-or-nothing approaches of avoidance and over-indulgence from the past. Knowledge really is power and our understanding of the complex relationship between humans and media is evident in these readings. Most of the titles pictured above are reading recommendations for parents and those working with children. The exceptions are Program or Be Programmed by Douglas Rushkoff and The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption by Clay A. Johnson. These books are for anyone (and everyone) that consumes media (yes, that includes you). 

For parents and those working with children, The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life by Anya Kamenetz receives my highest recommendation. Kamenetz is the the lead education blogger at NPR and her motto, “Enjoy screens, not too much, mostly together” is backed by research and applicable for parenting in the 21st century. If you are looking for a thought-provoking investigation of the research on media and young children, also check out Screen Time by Lisa Guernsey. Guernsey, a former journalist is now the director of the Learning Technologies Project at New America. Although Guernesys book focuses on young children, both books offer fantastically-thorough and balanced reviews of the research that exists on the effects of media in children’s lives.

Also on the list for parents are Media Moms and Digital Dads by Yalda T. Uhls, PhD and Screen-Smart Parenting by Jodi Gold, MD. Gold is a psychiatrist living in New York. Yalda is a former Sony and MGM executive. She recently founded the Center for Scholars and Storytellers at UCLA where she teaches. She is also a senior advisor for Common Sense Media. Both of these books offer parents an understanding of the research on media in the lives of children of all ages, as well as realistic tips and recommendations for healthy media consumption. Last, but not least… for designers and creators of children’s media, I recommend, Designing Digital Experiences for Positive Youth Development: From Playpens to Playgrounds by Marina Umascni Bers. Umascni Bers is a professor at Tufts University where she also chairs the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development.  

Got any recommendations for me? Please share your thoughts in the  comment section.

Please note: No money has been received in exchange for inclusion in this list of recommendations. Also note there are links to author’s websites and resources that may interest you; however, no links to Amazon are included here. I highly recommend finding these texts at your local library or supporting an independent bookstore near you.