The power of play: An introduction to designing early learning spaces

For Immediate Release
Tue, 11/04/2014


Dan Freeman

eLearning Manager

ALA Publishing

ALA Publishing

CHICAGO — ALA Editions announces an exciting new workshop, The Power of Play: An Introduction to Designing Early Learning Spaces with Dorothy Stoltz, Marisa Conner and James Bradberry. This workshop will consist of two 90-minute sessions and take place at 2:30 Eastern on Monday, Dec. 1 and Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014.

In this two-part workshop, you will learn how to draw families with young children into your library and make your institution a destination for play. The instructors—an early childhood specialist, a designer and an outreach librarian—will take you step-by-step through the process of designing an early learning space that fits your space limitations and budget. With a strong focus on making play spaces welcoming for parents, caregivers and children while reducing stress for library staff, the instructors will use their years of experience to show you how you can create a fantastic environment for children in any library on any budget. 

After participating in this workshop, you will be able to:

  • identify ways to inspire creative thinking to help you design a space aligned to your specific library size, funding and staff;
  • identify strategies to increase staff enthusiasm and support for early learning spaces and interaction with families;
  • learn techniques to increase the likelihood that your space will offer families a destination play spot in your community;
  • learn strategies, techniques and methods to increase your effectiveness in designing the right environment for your library and community.

About the Instructors

Dorothy Stoltz coordinates programming and outreach services at Carroll County (Maryland) Public Library. With more than 30 years of experience in public libraries, she oversees early literacy training, peer coaching, programming, mobile services, community outreach and grant projects. She spearheaded a successful early literacy training study for Carroll using home childcare providers and three and four year olds. In 2011, she became a member of the ALSC/PLA Every Child Ready to Read Oversight Committee and is 2014-2015 committee chair. Stoltz is co-author of several ALA Editions books, including "The Power of Play: Designing Early Learning Spaces" (2014) and "Every Child Ready for School – Helping Adults Inspire Young Children to Learn" (2013). 

Marisa Conner, M.Ed coordinates the programming and services for children and youth at Baltimore County (Maryland) Public Library. She created Early Learning Activity Centers in all 19 branches at BCPL and designed the learning components for both Storyvilles, BCPL's award winning early childhood learning environments. She brings 27 years of experience in education and over 9 years of experience in public libraries to her work. She has presented workshops and trainings on creating play spaces in libraries at state, regional and national conferences, including Virginia, Montana, New York, Maryland, PLA, ALA and to the national Children's Board in Denmark. She studied early childhood, elementary and special education and school administration at Towson University (MD), Loyola College of Maryland, and the Johns Hopkins School of Education (MD). Conner is a member of the ALSC/PLA Every Child Ready to Read Oversight Committee and is co-author of "The Power of Play: Designing Early Learning Spaces" (ALA Editions 2014). 

James Bradberry, ALA, LEED, is an award winning architect/author and principal of James Bradberry Architects, located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He was educated at Auburn University, the University of Pennsylvania and Cambridge University, where he was a Fulbright and Lusk Fellow. He has taught architecture at Yale, Penn and the Technical University of Nova Scotia, and his work has been published in the U.S. and abroad. His firm has designed several noted interactive learning environments for children, including two ‘Storyville’ projects for the Baltimore County Public Library and the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University. He is the author of several novels, including "The Seventh Sacrament" and "Ruins of Civility." Bradberry is also co-author of "The Power of Play: Designing Early Learning Spaces" (ALA Editions 2014). 

Registration for this ALA Editions Workshop is available on the ALA Store. You can purchase registration at both individual and group rates.

ALA Editions Workshops are designed to give you and your staff the opportunity to participate in a hands-on learning experience that will help you make the best technology decisions for your library.

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