Category Archives: conferences

Early Literacy, New Media & Young Children: A Pre-conference Recap by Claudia Haines

For me, being a children’s librarian and media mentor means supporting both the literacy needs of the families in my community as well as supporting my peers as we navigate through the still-murky waters of using new media with young children. Knowing about the latest research, understanding the technology and how to use it, and being able to sift through what’s good and what’s awful are essential skills for media mentors. Having opportunities to discuss what’s new, what works, and what we don’t yet know are important parts of our professional community’s bigger conversation about new media.

Recently I got a chance to share what’s new and the how-to’s with fellow librarians at the Alaska Library Association’s recent state conference, Channeling Our Voices, in Juneau, Alaska. It was exciting to share what has developed in the year since Cen and I led a similar pre-conference in Anchorage together. The group represented various urban and rural communities across the vast state of Alaska and came to the pre-conference with a variety of experience using new media. The early literacy and new media conversation during the conference was dynamic and thoughtful. I particularly loved discussing the many ways to be a media mentor regardless of budget, space, or community and what librarians/media mentors need in terms of support to be their community’s champions.

The slides from this year’s pre-conference are below. A list of resources that I provided can be found here and the list of apps we discussed can be found here. Please feel free to share your thoughts and contact me with any questions.

Claudia Haines, Little eLit Curation Coordinator
Youth Services Librarian
Homer Public Library
Little eLit is a collaborative think tank of professionals thinking about the topic of young children, new media, and libraries. Individuals who share their viewpoints, experiences, and presentations in Little eLit blog posts are expressing their personal views and do not represent Little eLit as a whole.

Vote for our SXSW panel: Hacking the Culture of Learning in the Library

Vote for our SXSWedu panel: Hacking the Culture of Learning in the Library

Here’s our description:

How do we help learners of all ages stay curious, develop their passions, immerse themselves in learning? Welcome to the library. Libraries are the informal learning space that encourages exploration and discovery and librarians lead in creating new opportunities to engage learners and make learning happen. Libraries are the incubation space to hack education; to create new paradigms where learners own their education, librarians mediate learning, and learning outside school walls is legitimized.


Marijke Visser American Library Association
Christopher Harris Genesee Valley Educational Partnership
Cen Campbell

Voting info is as follows:

Community voting accounts for 30% of the final score for your session proposal. Remember, this is not a popularity contest, but an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to engage a community. Another 40% is contributed by the SXSWedu Advisory Board, and the remaining 30% is from SXSWedu staff evaluation.

Public voting will open at 10AM Monday, August 11 and close at midnight Friday, September 5.


PanelPicker Vote 1

Little eLit @ #alaac14: Little eLit Group Meeting

ALA14 logoOn Sunday, June 29, at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Little eLit will have a table at the ALSC All Committee meeting in the Las Vegas Convention Center in N110/112 (not sure which yet, so check both!)

We’re meeting to discuss the whole Young Children, New Media & Libraries movement. Cen will be there from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and would love to meet any and all Little eLit think tankers, contributors, lurkers, and anyone else who wants to say “hi.” Discussion will start at 8:30 a.m. and continue throughout the morning.

Little eLit @ #alaac14: Sunday Sessions

ALA14 logoLibrary folks will be flocking to Las Vegas next week for the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. Many a person from Little eLit will be in attendance and presenting a handful of sessions that touch on the topic of young children and new media. Considering adding these Sunday, June 29 sessions to your schedule:

Whet Your APPetite: Rapid Reviews of Apps for Children from Preschool to Tweens

Sunday, June 29, 2014 – 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Las Vegas Hotel, Pavilion 11


  • Allison Santos, Youth Services Librarian, Princeton Public Library
  • Amy Graves, Teen Librarian, Manchester City Library
  • Cen Campbell, Founder,
  • Claire Moore, Head of Children’s Services, Darien Library
  • Marianne Martens, Assistant Professor, Kent State University
  • Paige Bentley-Flannery, Community Librarian, Deschutes Public Library

Are you ready to start using apps in your library programs and services? Already using apps but want to try something different? Looking for new recommendations for caregivers and children? Come to our showcase of new and favorite apps selected by ALSC’s Children and Technology Committee and Digital Content Task Force. A variety of app recommendations will be paired with ideas for how to use them with children in your library.

Dynamic Digital Dia: Promoting Cultural Competence in Digital Storytimes

Sunday, June 29, 2014 – 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Las Vegas Hotel, Pavilion 11


  • Cen Campbell, Founder,
  • Jamie Naidoo, Associate Professor, University of Alabama School of Library & Information Studies
  • Karen Nemeth, Author, Presenter, Consultant, Language Castle

For almost 20 years, librarians have used Día to celebrate literacy and cultural and linguistic diversity. By getting digital with Día, librarians can provide broader access to culturally responsive materials, connect digital natives with global children’s literature, and provide interactive programs promoting cultural and digital literacies. Navigating the fluctuating landscape of digital media, this dynamic session provides selection criteria and suggestions for using apps and digital books to promote cultural competence in children’s library programs.

Little eLit @ #alaac14: Saturday Sessions

ALA14 logoLibrary folks will be flocking to Las Vegas next week for the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. Many a person from Little eLit will be in attendance and presenting a handful of sessions that touch on the topic of young children and new media. Considering adding these Saturday, June 28 sessions to your schedule:

The Apps are All Right! Exploring the Role of Apps in Children’s and Teen Services

Saturday, June 28, 2014 – 8:30am to 10:00am
Las Vegas Convention Center, S230


  • Barbara Klipper, Consultant and Author, Serving the Spectrum, Stamford, CT
  • Carisa Kluver, Founder,; Editor,
  • Cen Campbell, Founder,
  • Tess Prendergast, Doctoral Candidate, Early Literacy, University of British Columbia

Designed as a primer for children’s and teen librarians, this session offers a dynamic overview of the place of the app as a new format within our profession. Four panelists will provide relevant research and examples from practice with diverse populations of children and teens. Participants will also be invited to explore the continuously evolving rationale for strengthening the role of the children’s and teen librarian in app recommendation for the communities we serve.

ECRR 2.0: Using Apps and eBooks in Early Literacy Programs

Saturday, June 28, 2014 – 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Las Vegas Convention Center, S230


  • Carisa Kluver, Founder,; Editor,
  • Cen Campbell, Founder,
  • Chip Donohue, Dean of Distance Learning & Continuing Education; Director of TEC Center, Erikson Institute
  • Claire Moore, Head of Children’s Services, Darien Library
  • Naomi Smith, Youth Services Librarian, Pierce County Library

Interactions between grownups and young children using technology can enhance the child’s learning experience, just as using printed storybooks can. This panel will discuss digital technology for young children in the context of the ECRR Five Practices. Come join the discussion.

Florida Library Association Conference Resources, from Laura Doyle

Laura Doyle, Senior Librarian at the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, has generously shared a wealth of resources based on a presentation she and her colleague Cheryl Wolfe did at the Florida Library Association Conference in May, 2014. Check out their annotated slides and materials handouts below, or click here for a pdf of the original HCPCL Tablet Proposal.

Little eLit is a collaborative think tank of professionals thinking about the topic of young children, new media, and libraries. Individuals who share their viewpoints, experiences, and presentations in Little eLit blog posts are expressing their personal views and do not represent Little eLit as a whole.

H”App”y Kids at the Maryland Library Association, by Sam Eddington

On May 9th, the last day of the Maryland Library Association’s annual conference, we held a program called “Apps, Tablets and Children…Oh My!” Rachael Stein of the Eastern Shore Regional Library organized this event as a follow-up to the trainings that Cen Campbell conducted here in Maryland last October. We wanted to showcase some of the many ways in which libraries are using new media in children’s services, and also provide a venue for library staff to discuss trends, issues, and ideas around this topic.

The first hour of the program featured lightning talks (and demonstrations!) from Phyllis Bontrager (Baltimore County Public Library), Betsy Diamant-Cohen (Mother Goose on the Loose), Jenny Gallagher and Julie Ranelli (Queen Anne’s County Free Library), Sharon Lanasa (Dorchester County Library), Daria Perry (Harford County Public Library), Carly Reighard (Frederick County Public Library), and Amanda Roberson (St. Mary’s County Library). The second hour was an unconference-style time for discussion, brainstorming, and reflection, facilitated by Sam Eddington (Eastern Shore Regional Library). There was a great energy in the room, and dozens of library staff members participated in the program!

This handout was prepared by Amanda Roberson. There was a lot of interest in this list, and so she kindly made it available to us, with her permission to share it freely.

Little eLit is a collaborative think tank of professionals thinking about the topic of young children, new media, and libraries. Individuals who share their viewpoints, experiences, and presentations in Little eLit blog posts are expressing their personal views and do not represent Little eLit as a whole.

App Chat at the MiKidLib Unconference, by Lisa Mulvenna

What happens when you put 20 or so youth services librarians in a room together?  They talk about apps!  Last Friday was the first MiKidLib, a youth services librarian unconference, at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library.  One of our afternoon breakout sessions was all about apps-the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Here’s what was discussed:

Devices-There was no one favorite device, although both the iPad and Nexus tablets were mentioned.  When choosing what to use, it is important to check for availability of apps before you purchase your tablets.  Customers will ask you why you chose what you did and this will help you explain why you chose what you did.  Know your community-do they mostly use one device over the other?  Also, check with your schools-if they only use iPads, you may want to do the same.  One library had recently purchased an Inspire-NG from Kaplanco which will support 50 touches at a time.

There was a big debate over whether or not to use apps in storytime.  Some parents will actually argue when you add them in as they want their storytimes to be screen-free.  It can also slow down your timing as you wait for an app to load.  Others thought of apps as an additional tool in our storytime toolbox, such as a flannelboard or puppets.  The big thing decided here was that intention and purpose are important.  Why do you want to add them and what do you hope to accomplish?

Other librarians have created tablet-specific programs to highlight apps.  They are extremely popular and then you only get attendees who want to learn about apps.  Participants want a chance to explore the apps used, so make sure you add this component into your program.  Two examples of programs are:

We all agreed that parents want to know about apps.  How can we put quality apps in their hands?  One idea was to schedule Facebook posts on the same day each week about a new app.  Does your library/children’s department have a blog?  If so, you can regularly post there.
Where can we find out about new apps?  The sources discussed include:

What were some of our favorite apps mentioned?

Due to the success of the day, MiKidLib will be an annual thing.  Look for us in 2015 in Kalamazoo, MI!

Lisa Mulvenna is the Head of Youth Services for the Clinton-Macomb Public Library and one of the three co-founders of MiKidLib.  You can also find her blogging at or on Twitter at @lmulvenna.

National Head Start Association Conference

nhsaI am very pleased to announce that Karen Nemeth and I will be presenting Links with Libraries: The Surprisingly Diverse Ways Libraries are Supporting School Readiness at the National Head Start Association Conference in Long Beach, CA, on April 30th. Here are the details:

Links with Libraries: The Surprisingly Diverse Ways Libraries are Supporting School Readiness

Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Session Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Learning Block: Classroom Management & Teaching Strategies

Details: Public libraries are doing amazing things for early learning and school readiness. Partnering with them can really help Head Start programs make a difference. Ideas for collaborating with libraries should be part of every Head Start teachers plan for supporting young DLLs (Dual Language Learners). This session will present exciting examples of library initiatives that meet diverse language needs, offer access to technology, and build family literacy.

Learning Outcome #1: Participants will learn an overview of ways that early childhood programs and libraries can work together,

Learning Outcome #2: Participants will learn about specific library initiatives, resources and funding options,

Learning Outcome #3: Participants will list the library resources and needs in their communities and how they can be used to leverage existing Head Start programs and services to better serve children/families.

Karen Nemeth, Ed.M.

Karen Nemeth, Ed.M Nemeth, Ed.M. has been working with young children and their teachers for … a long time. From her graduate work in language acquisition through her years as a teacher, college professor, and professional development provider for child care resource and referral agencies and the New Jersey Department of Education, she has continued to study the research and the work of tireless practitioners in supporting first and second language development. Now she is an author and speaker on early childhood education and language development. She has worked with diverse early childhood programs across the country to improve services for DLLs and school readiness Karen has written several books on young dual language learners, several articles for NAEYC and other periodicals, and maintains a resource sharing website at

Cen Campbell

Cen is the founder of and the librarian at She has driven a bookmobile, managed branch libraries, developed innovative programs for babies, young children and teens, and now helps other libraries incorporate digital media into their early literacy programming. She is currently a consultant for the California State Library’s Early Learning with Families 2.0 Initiative and serves on the American Library Association’s Children & Technology committee.

ECRR 2.0: Cen & Saroj at PLA 2014

Saroj Ghoting downloading an app for the very first time

Saroj Ghoting downloading an app for the very first time

At midwinter I had the pleasure and the privilege to share brunch with someone who has been supporting me since the beginning of my new media in storytime advocacy campaign: the effervescent Saroj Ghoting.

Saroj and I will be presenting ECRR 2.0 at PLA in Indianapolis in March, and we’ve got a killer program lined up.

Here’s the details:

ECRR 2.0: Using Apps and E-Books in Early Literacy Programs
March 13, 2014 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Parents and librarians want to know how to safely integrate apps and e-books into their lives without feeling guilty. Join Cen Campbell and Saroj Ghoting as they shares why apps are useful and successful and should be incorporated into early literacy programming; how to model healthy media behavior; and what is the current research on the effects of digital media on children.

Here’s a brief outline of our program:

  • Demonstration New Media Storytime
  • The Five Early Learning Practices and how to support them with new media
  • Joint Media Engagement
  • Content vs Format
  • Apps that work well, Apps that don’t (and why)
  • Where to go for more information

I’ll also be showcasing some new media guidance at the ECRR preconference:

Put It into Practice: Implement Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library
March 11, 2014 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Join us for a full demonstration of an ECRR 2.0 workshop with hands-on activities. A panel of children’s librarians and early literacy experts will share tips, along with their experiences and insights into using ECRR 2.0 in a variety of settings. Special topics will include foundational early literacy skills; community partnerships; informal ECRR presentations; using volunteers for ECRR outreach to low-income neighborhoods; training caregivers and parents; and seizing the opportunity to be a positive partner with families around the topic of media and young children.