Institute Education Programs

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ALSC offers a wide variety of education programs at the 2016 ALSC National Institute. All of the programs fall within the theme of the conference: Believe. Build. Become. Programs will repeat throughout the Institute so that participants have the opportunity to attend eight programs in total. Specific program speakers, dates and times will be announced this fall. Program offerings and details are subject to change.

Program Descriptions

2014 ALSC National Institute

Adele, Rascal Flatts, Mumford & Sons, and LL Cool J Come to Storytime
Teresa Cain, Central Rappahannock Regional Library
Break away from convention and incorporate music by notable artists in a variety of genres in your ECRR2 storytimes. Learn to support the ECRR2 practice of play by: * using manipulatives * leading creative movement * leading creative dramatics The caregivers will thank you. (And the preschoolers don't come to storytime without them.)

But What Do I Read Now? Developing Reader's Advisory for Middle Grade
Angie Manfredi, Los Alamos County Library System
Where do you turn when your fifth graders want to read YA? What’s the solution to readers who aren’t ready for the content of YA but need engaging titles? Middle grade is the answer! This session will provide you with themed booklists the best new titles, strategies for promoting and booktalking to your middle grade patrons (and their parents and teachers) and the confidence to tackle reader’s advisory for this group with a renewed passion.

Inclusion Means Everyone: Critical and Emerging Research about Inclusive Library Services for Children with Disabilities and Their Families
Jo Kaeding, Doctoral Candidate, University of South Australia; Tess Prendergast, Doctoral Candidate, University of British Columbia
Two doctoral researchers who met at ALSC Institute 2014 vowed to collaborate when it came time to disseminate their emerging findings on this topic. Using completely different methods and study sites, both researchers nonetheless found that persistent assumptions about disability contribute to perceived and actual barriers to library participation for families whose children have disabilities. This session summarizes their findings and offers attendees recommendations for how to move towards the achievement of inclusion aims.

Discover & Explore: Playful Learning Centers/Descubre & Explora: Centros de Aprendizaje
Tina Birkholz and Grisel Leon, Gail Borden Public Library
Are you looking for fun, easy and practical STEAM and pre-literacy activities for preschoolers? As a recipient of the ALSC/Dollar General 2015 Building STEAM with Día mini-grants, we would like to share the science, technology, engineering, art and math stations we developed, as well as the stations from our successful Ready...Set...Read!/¡Listos...para...Leer! programs. All of the materials were created in English and Spanish and are ready to be used in your library!

ECRR the Next Generation: Innovative Ways to Present Early Literacy Information to Parents, Teachers, Children and the Community
Lisa Dengerink, Mary Kuehner and Sarah McNeil, Denver Public Library
Denver Public Library moved beyond the PowerPoint and created innovative ways to spread the word about ECRR, including an ice cream cart to engage parents and children in early literacy learning at family events, play and learn groups, passive programming and community partnerships. Come learn about these activities (including successes and failures) and how they can work in your community to help parents and caregivers understand how simple early literacy skills building can be!

Family Portraits: Picture Books That Feature All Kinds of Families
Linda Gann, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; Karen Perry, Old Dominion University
From animals to people, families take all kinds of shapes, colors, and configurations. This booktalking session, presented by two children’s literature instructors, will share picture books from the last three years that will help bring diversity to your library collections and ensure that your patrons can see themselves in a book. Link to a LiveBinder of related resources will be provided for attendees.

Hunting for Great New Middle-Grade Reads
Authors Kathi Appelt, Varsha Bajaj, Rebecca Behrens, MarcyKate Connolly, Alison DeCamp, Polly Holyoke, Lauren Magaziner, Gayle Rosengren, Tara Sullivan and Tamera Will Wissinger
NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author and Newbery Honoree Kathi Appelt moderates a speed-dating-style interactive discussion with middle-grade authors Varsha Bajaj, Rebecca Behrens, MarcyKate Connolly, Alison DeCamp, Polly Holyoke, Lauren Magaziner, Gayle Rosengren, Tara Sullivan, and Tamera Wissinger. This session’s book scavenger-hunt activity will help attendees discover great new middle-grade reads, and participants will have a chance to win fabulous prizes! Attendees will also receive information about creating engaging book scavenger-hunt activities at their libraries.

Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth (Up to age fourteen)
Vicky Hays, Poudre River (CO) Public Library District; Claudia Haines, Homer (AK) Public Library; Darrell Robertson, Carroll County (MD) Public Library; Dorothy Stoltz, Carroll County (MD) Public Library
This workshop will feature a panel of librarians who are developing effective practices on media mentorship, such as, how to become the best media mentor I can be, how to offer library café discussion programs to engage parents on the topic of media, and how to incorporate media conversation starters for parents into existing programs. Through discussion activities, participants will explore ways to support families as they create best practices for their individual family situation.

Oh Baby! Unconventional Programming for your Youngest Patrons
Kendra Jones, Tacoma Public Library; Brooke Newberry, La Crosse Public Library
In many communities, the library is the only organization offering free activities for babies and toddlers. Learn how to create exceptional, early literacy rich programs for this demographic that will have caregivers lining up to participate. Explore manipulatives, draw on a partner, see examples of successful activities, and learn why these activities are important for early literacy development.

Putting SPELL (Supporting Parents in Early Literacy through Libraries) into Action: Partnerships and Best Practices Nurture Young
Beth Crist and Carol Edwards, Colorado State Library
“Putting SPELL into Action” is an IMLS-funded project that enabled eight Colorado public libraries to partner with community organizations to reach families in poverty with children 0-3 who are not traditional library users. Pre and post surveys allowed the Colorado State Library to collect data from innovative, community-relevant, early literacy programming to discover the best practices for reaching the target audience and helping them produce literacy-rich home environments that will lead to kindergarten readiness.

Serving ALL Families in Your Library: Inclusive Library Collections and Programs for LGBTQ Families & Children
Jamie Campbell Naidoo, University of Alabama - SLIS; Megan Roberts, LGBT Center of Raleigh Library
Children with LGBTQ caregivers live in almost every community nationwide. Is your library meeting the informational and recreational needs of these Rainbow Families? Do ALL types of families feel welcome in your library? This session explores the concept of Rainbow Families, offering criteria for selecting and using children's books with LGBTQ content. We will also examine how librarians can offer inclusive programs for these families by using materials that redefine gender norms and family compositions.

STEM-Rich and Library Broke: Crash Course in Funding Innovative STEM Children’s Programs
Cheryl Lee, Santa Clara City Library; Sharon McClintock, Mountain View Public Library; Angela Ocana, Santa Clara City Library
Over the past few years, children’s librarians have been embracing the benefits of STEM programming. Everything from circuits to maker-spaces to soldering kits can now be found at your local library. Unfortunately, STEM programming can be an expensive endeavor for public libraries to fund. Learn from two Silicon Valley Public Libraries how they funded out-of-the-box innovative STEM children’s programs, by using alternate funding methods without dipping into their library budgets.

Stories Speak Louder than Numbers: Making the Case for Youth Services
Marina Claudio-Perez, San Diego Public Library; Anita Kinney, United States Access Board; Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library; Jenna Nemec-Loise, Member Content Editor, ALSC Everyday Advocacy
Libraries need funding from a variety of sources, but getting access to these various sources can be quite a challenge at times. This program will provide resources and practical guidance for telling the stories that will help you get the funding you need. You will have the opportunity to hear speakers with a history of advocating for and obtaining funding, and you will be given time to engage in discussion with fellow librarians, to brainstorm strategies for your own libraries.

Summer Reading/Summer Learning
Enid Costley, Library of Virginia; Chantal Emerson, Colonial Heights Public Library; Donna Hughes, Handley Regional Library; Marie Mena, Newport News Public Library; Jen Shepley, Chesterfield County Public Library

Every year, public libraries around the country offer summer reading programs. We know from anecdotal information that participants love them, but what is the real impact of these programs? The Library of Virginia, with the cooperation of the Virginia Department of Education and researchers from McREL, conducted a 33-month study to understand how children and teens use reading programs. We will share the findings and our next steps to transform our summer reading program.

The Art of the Author Visit: Connecting Kids with their Favorite Authors
Jennifer Nielsen, Author; Lauren Oliver, Author; Courtney Saldana, Ovitt Family Community Library; Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library
Want to inspire young minds by connecting them with their favorite authors? Two youth services librarians who regularly host high-profile authors at their libraries will share techniques for author event success, and children's authors will share insider perspectives on what makes an ideal library visit. You’ll learn to build bookseller partnerships, leverage social media to engage authors and attendees, and put on polished author programs that engage the audience.

Welcome to Reading: Amp Up Your Services for Beginning Readers
Katie O'Dell, Multnomah County Library
From campaigns to coalitions, the entire nation is talking about third grade reading. While many struggle to move the dial, the real asset not being discussed is public libraries. What is the role of public libraries in supporting children learning to read? How can we build on Every Child Ready to Read to continue skill building? Multnomah County Library reports results from their recent Paul Allen Family Foundation grant that investigated how libraries can better support our youngest readers. 

Learn what kindergarten through third grade teachers say is the greatest need for new readers and how you can answer their call, hear how the library re-envisioned the collection and services to address this, and come away with new messaging any public library can share with early grade stakeholders to create deeper connections between beginning readers and the public library.


Looking for more information about the 2016 ALSC National Institute. Download a copy of our full-color brochure! This PDF document includes descriptions of programs, keynotes, and networking! It also makes a great document to show manager and directors how much value you will gain as an attendeee. See you in Charlotte!