self pacedFormat: Self-paced Course
Developed by: LibraryU, a program of the Illinois State Library and the regional library systems
Length: 1 hour

This course is designed for teachers, librarians, and parents who are helping beginning readers choose books to read. As professionals we can fine tune this process before it begins, eliminate much of the frustration, and offer the learner appropriate choices that will get them into actually READING books while they still want to, and not after they're too tired to even care anymore! It is based on the Reading Recovery Teacher training in which teachers learn how an appropriate book choice for each daily lesson encourages successful reading. Reading Recovery is a program for early intervention for 1st graders who are at-risk in the area of literacy.

This course will help you:

  • Identify the interests and curiosities of a young reader by topics, authors and favorites
  • Assess the reader's reading level for appropriate choices
  • Choose books by looking at format, structure and language
  • Introduce a book to a reader to help ensure reading success
  • Become aware of different types of reading for varying difficulties and fluencies

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date September 3, 2014
Hosted by: Infopeople, an ELF 2.0 Webinar
Length: 1 hour

  • What do library staff need to know about the basic developmental tasks of early childhood?
  • How can we use this developmental knowledge to help us more effectively interact with family members in supportive and constructive ways?

This webinar will build upon and expand the conversation begun with our April 10, 2014 webinar, also given by Dr. Hornstein and entitled Foundations of Early Childhood Development: It's All About Relationships. In this second webinar we will review the basic tenets of child development from the Touchpoints perspective - identifying the major developmental tasks of infants, toddlers and preschoolers within the context of their relationships and culture. The discontinuous nature of this developmental process will also be explored. We will then examine how library staff can respond to families by focusing on parent-child relationships, and supporting parental mastery as might occur in various library-based scenarios.

Presented by: John Hornstein

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date October 12, 2017
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

As our library clientele becomes more diverse, so must our programming. The good news is that you already have the skills and access to the resources you need to research, plan, and deliver targeted programming in languages other than English. In this webinar, we’ll focus on how to adapt your current storytimes for Spanish/English storytimes. You can use this same process to deliver storytimes in any language.

Presented by: Tina L. Bartholoma and David Bird

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date June 12, 2014
Hosted by: Infopeople, an ELF 2.0 Webinar
Length: 1 hour

  • Struggling to infuse creativity into a cramped, quiet or quirky space?
  • Tired of following powerful literature with cookie cutter crafts?
  • Confounded by events attended by children 2 to 18 years old?
  • Think you have to be an artist to engage children in the arts?

As an institution, the library has the power to teach families the joy and meaning derived from the creative process. Yet, too often, after a powerful story, we shut down the opportunity for authentic, individual responses by asking children to mass produce popsicle stick protagonists or glue soaked story props.

Library staff and parents often feel inadequate as artists and pass along their hang ups by safety proofing crafts or spending loads of money for professional artists to lead the workshop. In this webinar, we will rethink what it means to engage children and their families in creativity as we explore play based and process art. You will leave with very concrete ideas about designing a space and an approach that nurtures the artist in each child. As the sole access point to the arts for many families, libraries are a key force in ensuring every child can engage with the world as a creator.

Presented by: Bridget Alexander

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date February 2, 2016
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

When children have regular contact with nature, they learn and grow better. Children who play, build, climb, grow, splash and read are developing their observation, visual-spatial, social, and literacy skills. Nature Explorium, a nature-based program at Middle Country Public Library (NY), encourages children to explore, discover and connect with nature. Learn about best practices and resources that you can use at your library to create outdoor spaces, along with indoor and outdoor nature activities. It's a unique way to connect literacy, learning and appreciation for nature as a regular part of the library visit.

Presented by: Tracy LaStella

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date April 10, 2014
Hosted by: Infopeople, an ELF 2.0 Webinar
Length: 1 hour

  • What do librarians need to know about the developmental processes of very young children?
  • How can we interact with family members in a supportive and constructive manner when these processes enter our settings?

This webinar will orient participants to the Touchpoints approach to child development. The discussion will include identifying the themes of development that operate when parents of infants, toddlers and preschoolers bring their children to libraries. We will also examine how libraries can respond to families by focusing on parent-child relationships, and supporting parental mastery.

Presented by: John Hornstein and Rivkah Sass

Format: Webinar, original date June 16, 2020
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour 45 minutes

Many libraries are moving their storytimes online, to be able to engage with families during times of social distancing. If you want to launch virtual storytimes at your library, but don’t know where to start, this webinar is for you! This comprehensive introduction to virtual storytimes will include book selection and copyright, technology and social media tools, strategies for accessibility and inclusion, early literacy activities, and ideas for promotion. Learn lessons on how to create a dynamic and engaging online presence and building a rapport with your virtual audience.

Presented by: Renee Grassi

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date April 24th, 2012
Hosted by: Infopeople
Length: 1 hour

  • Thinking of enhancing early literacy environments in your library?
  • Wanting to learn more about technology for young children?
  • Can’t decide what type of early literacy technology to add to your library?

This webinar will review the benefits of technology for young children, the types of technology available, and how to incorporate the technology into your library. Find out how libraries can play a role in enhancing early literacy technology experiences and the importance of promoting technology for all ages.

Presented by: Kelly Stade

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date July 9, 2013
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

The importance of early childhood education was underscored by President Obama in his most recent State of the Union address: "Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road." Join us to hear Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, present on a recent report, Growing Young Minds, developed with the Campaign for Grade-level Reading, that highlights the role of libraries in early learning. The report also offers a plan of action for policy makers to build on current research and include libraries in early learning strategies. Attendees will learn about best practices for enhancing reading programs and how to participate in your community’s efforts to address literacy concerns. In addition, Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, will describe the Project’s newly released report about the special role that libraries play in the life of families with children. Attendees will learn what matters to parents about their library experiences with their children, and how library programs and outreach can address those needs.

Presented by: Susan Hildreth and Lee Rainie

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date February 15, 2011
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

Join us for a showcase of reading initiatives that will draw readers of all ages to your library. Presenters will share how they plan, promote, and carry out successful summer reading programs, and will discuss year-round efforts that encourage and support lifelong readership in the community. Panelist Melanie A. Lyttle, head of public services at the Madison Public Library in Ohio, will describe her library's use of social media to support their summer reading program, including the famed "Crabby Librarian." Carol Evrard and Jenny Sitzman of Indiana's Spencer County Public Library will speak about their summer reading program; and Janet Ingraham Dwyer, library consultant at the State Library of Ohio, will talk about other successful reading programs in her state including Choose to Read Ohio, a statewide initiative which encourages Ohioans of all ages to read and enjoy books together.

Presented by: Carol Evrard, Jenny Sitzman, Melanie A. Lyttle, and Janet Ingraham Dwyer

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date April 28, 2016
Hosted by: WebJunction and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Length: 1 hour

Youth in grades K-12 spend an astounding 81% of their time in informal learning environments outside of school. Libraries are a locus of informal learning. As the number of STEM related careers continues to multiply, libraries can play a key role in fostering the interest and excitement for STEM learning that may be missing in schools. Through the generous support of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Kitsap Regional Library System (KRL) has developed a ready-to-use system that empowers libraries of all sizes to become community STEM leaders. If you feel like an "accidental STEM librarian" and are wondering how to get started, staff at this semi-rural library system will share fresh ideas and hands-on, practical advice for planning and implementing impactful programs. Learn how to take the lead with informal learning for youth and families in your community.

Presenters: Shannon Peterson and Seth Ciotti

webinar iconFormat: Webinar, original date October 8, 2019
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

Do you feel it is important to have a diverse children’s collection, but don’t always know where to start? The Diverse BookFinder Collection Analysis Tool (CAT), funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is specifically designed to help you diversify your picture book collection. This free, online resource allows you to upload a single file and get a snapshot of WHO is (which racial/cultural groups are) represented—and how—in your collection.
The session includes a demonstration of how to use the CAT and the resulting report in combination with the Diverse BookFinder Search Tool to drive collection-based decisions. Finally, you'll learn more about the important role of library staff in carefully reviewing books to build authentic and inclusive library collections that counter bias and promote cultural pluralism.

Presented by: Dr. Krista Aronson, Dr. Andrea Breau and Andrea Jamison

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Format: Webinar, original date September 12, 2019
Hosted by: Infopeople
Length: 1 hour

Are you interested in creating a bilingual storytime at your library? Whether you are working with a Spanish speaking partner or are a fluent speaker, it can be daunting to create a bilingual storytime that supports families wishing not only to share their culture, but also support raising a bilingual child.

Bilingual storytimes are a great way to create a welcoming space for new families and strengthen a child’s early literacy skills. It allows non-english speaking families to see themselves and their culture through books, rhymes and movement. It is also an opportunity to nurture cognitive and language development for families in their native language as well as a chance for monolingual families to share in the cultural and linguistic diversity.

In this webinar, presenter Addie Rogers discusses how to create a Spanish-English bilingual storytime that is culturally inclusive and will strengthen the relationship with your Spanish speaking community. She also covers the importance of early literacy practices on a bilingual child’s development. While this webinar focuses mainly on Spanish-English storytimes, the principles and theories can be used for any language.

Presented by: Adilene (Addie) Rogers

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Format: Webinar, original date November 5, 2020
Hosted by: Infopeople
Length: 1 hour

If 2020 has shown us anything it’s that, now more than ever, library staff need to find creative and flexible ways to bring resources and programming to families where they are in their communities. Additionally, we must continue finding new ways to serve families who have been left out of traditional library programming in order to build equity, develop inclusive practice, and encourage diverse voices.

In this session, a panel of youth services presenters will share their approach to serving families in poverty, immigrant communities, and rural communities as examples of how library services and programs can be designed with the changing needs of today’s children and families in mind.

Presented by: Liz McChesney, Marisa Conner, Sue Abrahamson, and Amy Twito

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date May 21, 2015
Hosted by: Infopeople
Length: 1 hour

Are you looking for:

  • Quick and easy outreach opportunities?
  • Ways to expand your storytime portfolio?
  • Ideas to increase strategic partnerships with businesses, corporations, and non-profits?

Then look no further than Pop-Up Storytimes. The most popular program in the library is still storytime. What about taking a time-honored program on the road. Instead of having storytime in the library, you could have it at a bank, a toy store, or a car dealership.

Presented by: Cheryl Lee

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Format: Webinar, original date April 8, 2020
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

Public and school libraries are driven by a similar goal—to help community members gain new knowledge, skills, and confidence to pursue their lives fully. Unfortunately, these libraries often lack the resources to fulfill that goal. There is a powerful opportunity for public and school libraries to collaborate to overcome many of the resource gaps they encounter when seeking to meet community needs. Join this webinar to explore how public and school libraries can initiate collaborative relationships and the types of programming that can benefit from these partnerships. Learn how to market or publicize your services to teachers and school librarians, and identify the best times of year to communicate with local schools. And part of the session will be spent discussing how public and school libraries can work together to address the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, including summer reading program planning.

Presented by: Cara Perrion

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date June 18, 2014
Hosted by: Infopeople
Length: 1 hour

  • Does your library serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) families?
  • Do you know how to design displays, programs, services, and collections inclusive of these Rainbow Families?
  • How do you select high-quality children's materials representing Rainbow Families?
  • Where can you find information about successful children's library programs that welcome Rainbow Families?

This webinar will help library staff establish a basis for understanding the informational and cultural needs of children and adults in Rainbow Families while exploring the best resources for collection development and program planning.

Presented by: Jamie Campbell Naidoo

webinar iconFormat: Webinar, original date May 23, 2023
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

School libraries play a vital role in preparing students for educational and economic success in our rapidly changing, technologically driven, and globally connected world. School librarians are leading the way by reimagining and redesigning their libraries to support new models of learning, engagement, and partnerships for success. The new School Librarian’s Information Shelf provides videos, articles and tools that offer recommendations and strategies related to creating powerful storytelling for advocacy, designing student-centered spaces, supporting inquiry-driven learning, offering compassionate makerspaces, and implementing innovative virtual teaching and learning practices. Join this webinar for an introduction to the School Librarian’s Information Shelf and to learn more from practitioners who have applied transformative practices to their school libraries.  

Presented by: Nancy Lensenmayer, Brianna Hoffman, Jennifer Sills, Brittany Tignor, Damaris Arocho, and Fabiola Baez

Self Paced CourseFormat: Self-paced Course
Developed by: PALS Development Team – Florida State University
Length: 4 hours

Whether you knew it at the time or not, you have likely interacted with or assisted a library user with autism, as it is the fastest growing disability. This course, designed by experts in both the library and autism fields, is a series of four independent, self-paced instructional modules that are intended for librarians and library staff to learn how to better serve their users on the autism spectrum.

The modules are:

  • About Autism in the Library
  • Arranging the Library Environment
  • Communicating with Individuals with Autism
  • Interacting with Technology

Research-based checklists, examples of materials, tip sheets, lists, templates, and additional resources are included throughout the course to assist you to implement best practices in your unique library setting.

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date October 21, 2014
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: Length: 1.5 hours

Whether large or small, rural or urban, all library communities serve patrons with special needs. Developing an awareness of and sensitivity to children with disabilities is crucial for providing top-notch library services. This webinar shares inspiring programming and innovative ideas for new services to target this special population. Learn about what online resources are available for staff to serve children with special needs more fully, and explore strategies to reevaluate and make new accommodations in existing youth programs for an inclusive audience.

Presented by: Renee Grassi

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date May 7, 2014
Hosted by: Infopeople
Length: 1 hour

STEAM in youth services--programs and services with connections to science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math--has become a particularly hot topic. Many public libraries may find themselves wondering:

  • What exactly do STEAM programs and services look like?
  • How does STEAM fit within my library's existing goals and programs?
  • Can my staff and I offer STEAM without specialized training?
  • How do we implement STEAM in time for summer reading, as the 2014 Collaborative Summer Library Program theme, Fizz Boom Read, is directly connected to science?

STEAM programs and services for children can take many forms, and every public library can find the right STEAM fit for them. This webinar will explore the topic of STEAM programs and services for children from the bottom up, starting with what STEAM is and what it looks like, to ideas for age-appropriate implementation, to resources for finding and creating your own STEAM programs.

Presented by: Amy Koester

webinar iconFormat: Webinar, original date June 5, 2018
Hosted by: Infopeople
Length: 1 hour

The centuries-old contemplative practice known as “yoga” is much more than a passing trend; it has physical, cognitive, and social-emotional benefits for practitioners of all ages, including preschool age children and their caregivers. This webinar will introduce participants to ways in which the intentional use of yoga-inspired movement in the storytime setting can support and enhance the work of youth services library staff and others helping prepare young children for school success. Participants will be exposed to new ideas and great books they will be excited to share. No prior yoga experience required!

Presented by: Katie Scherrer

self-paced imageFormat: Self-paced Course
Developed with: funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and OCLC
Length: Approximately 10 hours of videos, activities, readings and reflection questions

You already provide great storytimes. Supercharge your practice to make them even better!

Supercharged Storytimes is a self-paced course consisting of six modules, which include videos, readings, activities, and reflection questions. The course provides training in how to intentionally apply research-based practices to boost early literacy in young children attending library storytime.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of taking the Supercharged Storytimes self-paced course, practitioners will be able to:

  • Explain the impact of library storytime practices on early literacy development in children, referencing significant studies such as the VIEWS2 research. Describe the key pillars of a supercharged storytime and integrate them into their own storytimes.
  • Be intentional in supporting early literacy behaviors in relation to books and storytime activities through the use of the Early Literacy Planning Tool.
  • Increase interactivity with children during story times, observing children’s behaviors, and engage parents/caregivers to reinforce these behaviors at home and in other environments.
  • Share early literacy information with parents/caregivers, providing them with ideas and resources they can use with their children in everyday life.
  • Use assessment tools to evaluate and improve storytimes, including self-reflection and the Project Outcome Early Childhood Literacy outcome-based assessment toolkit.
  • Employ strategies to reach children and families of highest needs in communities served by the library.
  • Confidently articulate the value of library storytimes to a variety of stakeholders and recognize how Supercharged Storytimes connects to other early literacy structures such as their state’s early learning guidelines, Every Child Ready to Read® and Head Start Child Outcomes.

Presented by: Saroj Ghoting, Early Literacy Instructor; Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Programs Manager; CiKeithia Pugh, Early Learning Program Manager at The Seattle Public Library; and Emily Plagman, Project Manager at Project Outcome, PLA.

With support from OCLC and a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, RE-95-17-0085-17.

Originally published 2018; updated 2023.


webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date November 19, 2014
Hosted by: TechSoup
Length: 1 hour

What's the best way to bring technology into a storytime? How do you evaluate apps for early literacy?
Everyday there are new apps and technologies being made available to young children. Libraries are integrating technology into children's programming, including storytimes and other early literacy services. When used correctly, technology can be used to increase early literacy skills in young children.
This free webinar shares best practices, resources, and ideas to help you easily and effectively bring technology to your library's early literacy programming. We hear from two guests with expertise in early literacy and childhood education.

Presented by: Tanya Smith and Lori Crocker

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date March 16, 2016
Hosted by: TechSoup
Length: 1 hour

More and more preschools, childcare centers, libraries, and community-based organizations that support the parents of children birth to five are turning to technology to enhance their engagement with families. A plethora of texting programs, video coaching tools, apps, and early literacy devices are now available to help families support their young children's development. But which are the best tools to use for your program?

In this webinar, we will:

  • share the latest research on the technology habits of millennial parents
  • discuss how program providers can incorporate technology tools to engage modern families
  • provide an overview of some of the leading early learning platforms available

This webinar, presented by the Early Learning Lab, is the first in a series of four webinars on technology for the early childhood education field. The Early Learning Lab is partnering with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, New America, Frontiers of Innovation, TechSoup and New Profit to produce this series.

Presented by: Sheetal Singh, Elena Lopez, Sandra Gutierrez, and Rebecca Parlakian

Format: Webinar, original date December 5, 2023
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

Libraries play a vital role in preparing young children for school by providing interactive and playful programs in which children can develop social, emotional, math, science, and executive function skills and practices. Research has shown these skills to be important for later academic and lifelong success.

The Reimagining School Readiness Toolkit provides free, online, research-based resources, created specifically for library staff. These resources make it easy for you to enhance what you are already doing, with eye-catching tips, planning tools, program surveys, activity ideas, family conversation starters, social media posts, and more.

This webinar introduces library staff to the background and components of the Toolkit, along with testimonials from practitioners about how they are reimagining school readiness in their own libraries. You’ll come away with ideas and strategies for supporting your families and communities.

Presented by: Michelle D. Weissman Randall, Julia Shaheen, and Kate Greene Smith

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Format: Webinar, original date February 21, 2018
Hosted by: NCompass Live, Nebraska Library Commission
Length: 1 hour

This episode's discussion will focus on the need for robust representation of cultures, religions, and lifestyles in our book collections. A key part of this topic includes a conversation regarding the effects of exposing young readers to diverse literature and why this is important.

Presenter: Erica Rose