ALSC releases Fall 2011 online education schedule

For Immediate Release
Tue, 08/09/2011


Dan Rude

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announces the release of the new Fall 2011 Online Education Course schedule. ALSC is offering five courses, each of which begins September 26.

Each of the five courses addresses a different topic and includes ideas for librarians and children’s literature enthusiasts. The courses run four to six weeks long and are administered through Moodle, ALA’s online learning platform. Through Moodle, participants will interact with other course members, read articles and resources and share class assignments.

Connecting with ‘Tween Readers (four weeks, Sept. 26 - Oct. 21) examines the developmental needs and abilities that make this age group (children 10 – 12 years old) unique.  Participants will discuss why tweens are particularly vulnerable to illiteracy, and what types of activities and programs (including the utilization of currently popular technologies) libraries can offer to keep these children on the path to becoming lifelong readers.

The Caldecott Medal (six weeks, Sept. 26 - Nov. 4) investigates how the winning book is selected each year and what characteristics are important in picture book art. What makes picture book illustration distinguished? And how has that definition changed over time? Learn about how the award has transformed the publishing world over time, and how to look critically at picture book art.

Series Programming for the Elementary School Age (four weeks, Sept. 26 - Oct. 21) examines series book and why kids love them! This course provides the tools necessary to establish series clubs at the library to get more children reading and using the library. Programming with trivia, games, music and reading will have children clamoring to come back to the library each week.

Introduction to Graphic Novels for Children (six weeks, Sept. 26 - Nov. 4) opens children’s literature to graphic novels, an emerging trend in children’s publishing. Students will be educated in what resources are available to locate children’s graphic novels, how to evaluate these books, how to start or develop a collection and how to market the collection and provide programming to patrons. Funding and cataloging will also be discussed.

Reading Instruction and Children’s Books (five weeks, Sept. 26 - Oct. 28) provides children’s librarians with an understanding of different methodologies for reading instruction and ways that the grade-level of reading materials is determined. Books, periodicals, websites and other material that children need to read will be evaluated from these perspectives. Librarians will be encouraged to develop strategies for explaining these grading formulae to parents and to communicate more effectively with teachers as a result of their understanding.

In addition to these five courses, ALSC is also offering two webinars in August that are perfect learning opportunities before the school year starts. These one-to-two hour webinars are offered at specific times and offered through Adobe Connect, a Web-based platform that’s fast and easy to use.

Leveling Easy Readers (1 p.m. CDT Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011) is an examination of books focused on emergent literacy. In this webinar, participants learn the criteria for placing these materials in different levels. With strategies for selecting and organizing these materials, this session is highly valuable for children’s librarians.

Newbery and Caldecott Mock Elections Toolkit (noon CDT Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011) takes you behind the process of running a mock election at your library. Mock book award programs can develop multiple skill areas, including reading motivation, critical thinking, and interpersonal communication, both for young readers and for professional staff.

Detailed descriptions and registration information is available on the ALSC Online Education website at Fees are $95 for personal ALSC members; $145 for personal ALA members; and $165 for non-members. Questions? Please contact ALSC Program Officer Jenny Najduch at or 1 (800) 545-2433 ext. 4026.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their website at