YALSA E-Course: Start at the End: Backward Design for Library Programming

Monday, 7/8/2019 - Sunday, 8/11/2019

Library staff, parents, and youth alike want library programs that are both fun and educational, and library professional organizations like YALSA and the Urban Libraries Council have recently shifted their language to make it clear that they view public library programming as a form of instruction. So what’s the best (and most efficient) way to plan for effective learning experiences in the library? In this 5-week course, learners will be introduced to the backward design model for instructional planning, and will practice implementing this model in their library setting. While intended for public library staff, school library staff who are not already familiar with backward design (or who want a refresher) may also benefit from this course.

Watch this video course introduction to learn more about the content and makeup of the course.

Participants in the course should expect to spend 2 to 3 hours per week on course activities.

Learning Outcomes

After participating in this course, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the three steps of the backward design process and their relationship to learning in the library.
  • Write clear, age-appropriate learning goals to guide the development of library programs.
  • Articulate types of evidence that will show them whether participants have reached the learning goals.
  • Plan and implement goal-referenced library programs for youth.

Who Should Attend

  • Library school students
  • Library staff in school or public libraries
  • Library administrators
  • Youth development workers supporting teens


Dr. Casey Rawson is a Teaching Assistant Professor at UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science, where she earned her PhD in 2016 and MSLS in 2011. She  taught in both K-12 and post-secondary settings, and regularly teaches the library instruction course at UNC SILS. In 2018, she edited and published the open access textbook Instruction and Pedagogy for Youth in Public Libraries, and she is currently working to edit a follow-up volume titled Picking up STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics Instruction in the Public Library. She is also the Co-PI of Project READY: Reimagining Equity and Access for Diverse Youth, an IMLS-funded project that has resulted in an extensive online professional development curriculum for youth services library staff focused on racial equity.



  • $130 for YALSA members
  • $175 for ALA members
  • $210 for non-ALA members
  • $100 for student members and retired members

How to Register

Register on the ALA website - login is required.

Tech Requirements

This course will be hosted using the Canvas online course management system and optional live sessions will be hosted using the Zoom platform.

Contact Hours

Those completing this course will recieve a certificate for 10 hours of class/learning time.


For more information contact Linda W. Braun, YALSA CE Consultant - lbraun@leonline.com or 917 847 7804.