Live Webinars

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What is a webinar?

One of ALSC's goals to provide children’s librarians with timely, educational and affordable professional development opportunities.  Because life in a library moves fast, ALSC's webinars are the perfect solution for someone who wants and needs educational information but doesn't have a lot of time or resources.  These short (one hour) interactive sessions taking place in Adobe Connect give librarians and library support staff the opportunity to learn right at their desks.  The only necessary tools are a computer and the internet.  Webinars are free and open to all. All webinars will be recorded and available in the archived webinars section of our website immediately following the live presentation.

Archived webinars are now free for members!

Archived webinars are now available free and on-demand for ALSC members! For non-ALSC members, individuals pay only $25, and groups $195.  These webinars will not be offered again live, but you receive unlimited access to the recording with your ALSC membership or archived webinar purchase.

Upcoming webinars

Exploring Similarity, Embracing Difference: How to Evaluate and Identify Literature Portraying Individuals with Disabilities
Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 12pm Eastern/11am Central
Carrie Banks,  Supervising Librarian, Child’s Place for Children with Special Needs, Brooklyn Public Library; Dr. Sara Kersten, Assistant Professor of Literacy Education, University of Nevada, Reno; Dr. Padma Venkatraman, Author

Gaining empathy for characters with disabilities in different cultural settings can help readers become better global citizens by increasing their understanding of disability-related challenges worldwide. Yet, discussions on diversifying collections tend to focus on race/ethnicity, and do not always include this aspect of diversity. A novelist, librarian and educator will team up to present suggestions on ways to create a welcoming library environment for readers with disabilities; evaluating the authenticity of books with characters with disabilities; building up collections that include books featuring characters with disabilities; going beyond tropes. So the presenters will discuss:
a. Creating a welcoming library environment for individuals with disabilities
b. Some evaluation criteria for authenticity (tropes and going beyond them, etc.)
c. Suggestions on criteria to include (or think about) when building and expanding collections (intersectionality, international perspectives, graphic novels, verse novels, etc.)
d. Examples of several suggested books and resources and lists.
The session will end by presenting a list of resources that attendees can draw from in the future.

Exploring Similarity, Embracing Difference: Programming and Activities
Thursday, April 27, 2017, 4pm Eastern/3pm Central

Carrie Banks,  Supervising Librarian, Child’s Place for Children with Special Needs, Brooklyn Public Library; Dr. Sara Kersten, Assistant Professor of Literacy Education, University of Nevada, Reno; Dr. Padma Venkatraman, Author

A novelist, librarian and educator will team up to present suggestions on engaging and encouraging readers to increase their literacy and sensitivity through writing activities and close reading. Carrie Banks will demonstrate how she uses literature, research, models, class discussion and demonstrations to help readers understand an aspect of the disability experience. Based on her work at the Pratt Institute, she will sketch a character development project that involves developing avatars with disabilities based on readings of children’s and YA fiction about disabilities. Sara Kersten will share how the graphic format of El Deafo gave voice to the different ways of being that people with hearing loss have to navigate in a society that privileges ability, and demonstrate how, through the use of anthropomorphized rabbits and various ways of depicting hearing through speech bubbles, her hearing students had an opportunity to become witness to and live an experience outside their own. Finally, Padma Venkatraman, award-winning author of A Time to Dance (a critically acclaimed ALA notable book set in South Asia, featuring a female protagonist who is disabled), will address her experiences as a writer and will provide questioning frameworks, critical thinking strategies, research activities, writing tips, book pairing ideas and other resources to increase comprehension of international attitudes and perspectives on disability. The session will end by listing further resources and offering links to discussion guides, lesson plans and handouts with suggested activities.
How Libraries can use Literature to Support Family Engagement in Children's Social and Emotional Learning
Thursday, May 4, 2017, 3pm Eastern/2pm Central

Jennifer DuBois,  Head Teacher Librarian, Wildwood Elementary,  School (Los Angeles, CA); Maria Pizano, Library and Technology Associate, Wildwood Elementary School (Los Angeles, CA)

Research shows that libraries are trusted spaces within communities and are therefore uniquely positioned to engage families in meaningful experiences that support children’s learning both inside and outside of school (Lopez, Caspe, McWilliams, 2016). One way that libraries can do this is by using literature to inspire dialogue with children and families about the importance of developing and practicing Life Skills.
Managing Children’s Services: Strategic Planning in the Youth Services Department
Thursday, September 7, 2017, 3pm Eastern/2pm Central

Megan Egbert, District Programs Manager, Meridian Library District; Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, Youth Services Manager, George Latimer Central Library
The phrase "strategic planning" is frequently tossed around in libraries, but what does it really mean? And how does it pertain to youth services? In this webinar, participants will learn about the importance of strategic planning, what different planning processes may look like, how to involve youth services in the strategic planning process, and how to apply these processes to create a more successful youth services department. This webinar is part of a series hosted by the ALSC Managing Children's Services Committee.

Managing Children's Services: Program Evaluation
Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 3pm Eastern/2pm Central

Laura Koenig, Team Leader for Children’s Services, Boston Public Library’s Central Library; Amanda Yother, Librarian, Park View Elementary School, Cookeville, Tennessee

Explore methods to evaluate library programs that take you beyond attendance numbers and surveys. We'll look at ways to gather meaningful feedback from both children and their caregivers. And finally, we'll share ideas for how you can use the information you gather in your program evaluations. This is one in a series of webinars presented by the Managing Children's Services Committee.

Managing Children's Services: Employee Engagement
Thursday, November 2, 2017, 3pm Eastern, 2pm Central

Liz Fraser, Director of Public Services, Madison Public Library; Krissy Wick, Coordinator of Children’s Services, Belmont (MA) Public Library
Learn how to retain and motivate staff by creating a positive workplace culture. This proposal is part of a webinar series hosted by the ALSC Managing Children's Services Committee.


ALSC will be announcing more webinars soon! Please check back for more information about upcoming webinars.