Liven up your library service through ALSC online education courses

Contact: Jenny Najduch

ALSC Marketing Specialist

(312) 280-4026


For Immediate Release

November 17, 2009

CHICAGO—Bring something new to your library by taking an online course this winter from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). Starting on Feb. 1, ALSC is offering five timely courses that are sure to cure your winter blues and liven up your library.

The winter course selections are: Connecting with Tween Readers; Information Literacy—From Preschool to High School; The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future; Reading Instruction and Children’s Books; and Series Programming for Elementary School Age. Registration will open Dec. 14, and discounted rates are available for ALSC members. Course space is limited, so please register early to reserve your spot.

“Connecting with Tween Readers” will examine the developmental needs and abilities of children ages 10-12; why children of this age group are particularly vulnerable to illiteracy; and unique activities and programs (including the utilization of currently popular technologies) libraries can offer to keep these children on the path to becoming lifelong readers. A primary focus of the course will be studying the literature available for this particular age group. The instructor of this course is Edward T. Sullivan.

“Information Literacy—From Preschool to High School” will show participants how to conduct information literacy instruction for all ages. Participants will be encouraged to examine their local schools’ and state’s requirements pertaining to library skills, and to develop methods of using the library to complement those requirements. The course will include examples of successful programs, and participants will also discuss ways that information literacy instruction can be a useful “outreach” tool. The instructor of this course is Maryann Mori, director of the Waukee (Iowa) Public Library.Â

“The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future,” discusses different aspects of the award, the history of the medal and how it has changed over time. Participants are given an opportunity to read, discuss and consider past and present Newbery winners with their colleagues from across the nation. The instructor of the course is Kathleen T. Horning, director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Reading Instruction and Children’s Books” focuses on the different methodologies for reading instruction and how to determine and interpret grade-level assigned books to effectively assist patrons. Participants will then evaluate children’s materials for grade-level of reading and develop strategies for clearly communicating this system to parents and teachers. The instructor of the course is Katherine Todd, adjunct instructor at Manhattanville (N.Y.) College.

All kids love series books! That’s why “Series Programming for Elementary School Age” will teach participants how to add series clubs to the library in order to get children reading and using the library more. Using trivia, games, music and reading, children will come back for more each week. Series such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Magic Tree House, Spiderwick, Fancy Nancy, Froggy, Curious George and American Girl will be discussed. The instructor of this course is Lisa M. Shaia, children’s librarian at Oliver Wolcott Public Library.

Courses are taught asynchronously using Moodle, an online learning community. A certificate of completion will be sent to participants upon successful completion of the course. Detailed descriptions and registration information is available on the ALSC Web site at Fees are $95 for personal ALSC members; $145 for personal ALA members; and $165 for non-members. For more information, contact ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter at

ALSC, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 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 Web site at