Category Archives: webinar

Mirroring iPad Apps in a Webinar, by Christine McNew

Greetings from Austin, Texas! I’m Christine McNew, and I am writing to share about a webinar I presented on April 29 called “Selecting Early Literacy Apps for iPads in the Children’s Department.”

The webinar began with a chat about what makes a great early literacy app, followed by a discussion of review sources–including Little eLit, of course! You’ll find this information in the pdf slides, available by clicking here (slides may be reused with proper attribution).

Webinar participants then viewed 16 topical collections of early literacy apps that I developed in Edshelf. The collections include highly reviewed or rated apps and apps that librarians have reported using successfully in their early literacy programs. One of the collections is a list of apps in Spanish, which are especially important here in Texas. (By the way, Edshelf is a wonderful tool for organizing and sharing your early literacy apps with colleagues and parents and is ideal for app advisory. And it’s easy to set up a free Edshelf account and begin sharing your app collections. Just go to and click on “Create a Free Account.” Then, let your colleagues and parents know so they can follow you.)

The 1.5 hour webinar concluded with a preview of about a dozen early literacy apps that are listed in one of my Edshelf collections. To make these previews happen, I mirrored the apps from my iPad to the computer from which I was presenting the webinar; that way participants got to see exactly what was on my iPad’s screen in real time as we explored the apps. Some of the participants commented that they wished they could have seen more apps and more variety, and I wish I’d had time for more. Sharing the apps was really fun!

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission hosted the webinar and I invite you to view the archived webinar (for free). Many participants who are new to early literacy apps for iPads asked questions that were addressed in another webinar I presented for the Texas State Library on November 19, called “Early Literacy Apps and iPads in the Children’s Department.” That webinar is an overview of how children’s librarians are using iPads and apps, along with a discussion of how to get started. You may view that webinar (also free).

For those who would like to know a bit about the technical aspects of my webinars, the Texas State Library uses Go-To-Webinar. To mirror the apps, I installed Reflector on my PC, which communicates with iPad’s Air Play. After experimenting, we found that the best way to amplify the volume of the apps was through speakers connected to my PC, and that a stand-alone mic produced the best sound quality for both my voice and the apps for the webinar recording.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know! And, please let me know if you set up an Edshelf account so that I can follow you! You can reach me at

Christine McNew is an independent library consultant with 20+ years of experience as a children’s librarian in public libraries and as a youth consultant for the Texas State Library. She earned an MLIS with a specialization in Youth Services from the University of Texas and has a passion for early literacy. Christine enjoys volunteering, gardening, travelling, reading, spending time with her family, and lots of live music in Austin, Texas, where she lives.
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.

MakerSpaces: A Webinar and Book with Little eLit-ers Cindy Wall and Lynn Pawloski

The Little eLit community now includes 200+ library staffers and other professionals across North America. It should come as no surprise that these passionate librarians are involved in many youth services initiatives in addition to the usual young children and new media focus of Little eLit. Today’s post, by Cindy Wall and Lynn Pawloski, highlights some of the pair’s work with makerspaces, another library service concept getting a lot of traction. ~Amy

Sometimes Libraryland hands you lemons and all you can do is make lemonade. If your library is too crowded to accommodate a dedicated MakerSpace like ours, don’t give up. Create your own mix of Maker lemonade with library Maker programming.

At the April 2013 Connecticut Library Association Annual Conference, we delivered a presentation on iPad programming for children that inspired many questions and much enthusiasm from the audience. On the same day, we attended a terrific presentation by Bill Derry and his colleagues at the Westport Public Library on MakerSpaces which, in turn, inspired our own questions and enthusiasm. However, when we returned to the reality of our own library, we were told our library was too small to house a dedicated MakerSpace.

What were we to do with all of this unbridled Maker enthusiasm? We decided that even if we couldn’t have a MakerSpace, we could have Maker programming. We started with programming for older children and worked our way through the ages until we offered Maker programming for ages 1-12.

While we were brainstorming Maker program ideas, we were still being contacted and visited by librarians interested in iPad programming. We wondered if we might receive the same amount of interest in our ideas for Maker programs as we did from our iPad programming presentation. Then we thought, “What if we wrote a book about Maker programming?” We laughed at the outrageousness of the suggestion, but researched publishers anyway. Sure enough, we found one who was interested in our proposal.

ABC-CLIO is currently editing our book, The Maker Cookbook: Recipes for Children’s and ‘Tween Library Programs. We’ll be previewing a selection of ideas from the book in the ALSC webinar, Maker Programming For Kids: No MakerSpace Required, on Wednesday, April 9th from 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET or Thursday, April 24th from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. Some of the programs we’ll discuss include:

  • Balloon Zip Line
  • Stop Motion Film
  • Food Detectives
  • Maker Open House for Preschoolers
  • T-shirt Transfers

Maker programming is a great way to add diversity to your library’s offerings. There is something for everyone, regardless of budget, staff size or technology comfort level. So, go ahead, mix it up. Like real lemonade, your Maker programming will be refreshing and a sweet success!

Cindy and Lynn work together in the Children’s Department at Southington Library and Museum in Southington, CT. They have dedicated their year to creating Maker programming and have recently taken to the podium to spread the word about the joys of integrating Maker programming into programming for children of all ages. Cindy and Lynn are co-authors of the forthcoming book The Maker Cookbook: Recipes for Children’s and ‘Tween Library Programs.
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.

Early Literacy Programming in the Digital Age

Genesis and I had great fun presenting our Early Literacy Programming in the Digital Age InfoPeople webinar last week! The archived version is now available for your viewing pleasure, along with our presentation slides and webliograhy. We had 238 people and the chat was on fire the whole time! We had some great discussion about new media in storytime, and it became clear to me yet again that we need more venues to talk about the topic of new media in early literacy programs. Keep the conversation going!

Early Literacy Programming in the Digital Age Webliography

I made a mistake in my webinar and I can’t do take-backsies, but I can expand the issue a little here.

CLA-springfling-logo.2012I participated in a CLA Spring Fling webinar last week with the fabulous Eva Mitnick (LAPL) and the forward-thinking Elaine Meyers. The webinar was entitled Every Child Reading to Read 2 in Action; Eva talked about implementing ECRR2 at LAPL, Elaine discussed space, and my part was how ECRR2 now includes digital media.

At the end of my session someone asked if it would be appropriate to use an iPad when visiting preschools, and I said that since what we want to do most of all is model for parents and caregivers the best use of media with young children, perhaps we shouldn’t whip out the iPad at every preschool visit. (Not the exact wording, and when the archived version comes out I’ll go back and check). I cringe even admitting that I said that. Preschools teachers are caregivers! We need to be modeling for THEM how to use high quality children’s media with young children, though, to be honest, early childhood educators and their governing organizations are far ahead of libraryland when it comes to the theory, research and official stance taking on the use of digital media with young children. We need to be partnering more with early childhood educators (ie and not attacking them, like the shameful exchange that took place on the ALSC blog recently).

I do think that if you’re considering bringing an iPad with you to a preschool/school visit, you should communicate with the administration/teachers beforehand, because some schools DO have a very strict no-screen policy (like my son’s preschool!) I think I must have been wearing my mom hat and not my librarian hat when I responded to this question. I wish I could contact everyone who attended the webinar and further expand this conversation, but the best I can do is explain myself here, offer what the correct response should have been, and learn from this experience.

I don’t think that the use of an technology in storytime is always appropriate (like I wrote about here); we must alway use the best tools for the job. Sometimes an iPad is appropriate, sometimes it isn’t. Our job is to develop in ourselves the competencies to discern when and how to use which tools, and to communicate to our communities (families, caregivers, preschool teachers, administrators and other community stakeholders) the reasoning behind our inclusion or exclusion of technology in early literacy programs.


I’m Teaching an ALSC Webinar: Best Practices for Apps in Storytime

Best Practices for Apps in Storytime

Parents are faced with ever-expanding media options to share with their children, and many children’s librarians are beginning to incorporate apps and eBooks for young children into their collections and programming to satisfy the growing need for reader’s advisory in the app space (“Appvisory”). This webinar will explore why and how incorporating digital media into our collections and programming is now an essential part of children’s librarianship, and tips and tricks for translating traditional storytelling techniques into the digital realm.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify sources for current research on the effects of digital media on young children
  • Identify review sources for digital media for children
  • Understand the difference between passive and interactive media and the implications for storytelling
  • Communicate effectively about the importance of healthy media behavior
  • Model healthy media behavior in early literacy programming

Who Should Attend

Children’s librarians, library paraprofessionals, library support staff, library administration, college faculty, and students who are interested in the subject matter.

Course Level & Prerequisites

This webinar is open to anyone of all experience levels; no prerequisites are required.


Cen Campbell is a children’s librarian at the Santa Clara County Library District and the Mountain View Public Library, and a children’s digital services consultant 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 attended the California State Library’s Eureka! Leadership Institute in 2008 and now serves on the ALSC Children & Technology committee.

Date(s) & Time(s)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Every Child Ready to Read in the Digital Age

CLA-springfling-logo.2012I’m going to be presenting a webinar  with Eva Mitnick and Elaine Meyers for the California Library Association’s Spring Fling. My part of the panel will focus on incorporating apps and eBooks into ECRR programs. Looks like there might be some scholarships available to attend; check it out!

Every Child Reading to Read 2 in Action

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Noon-1:30pm PDT

Presenters: Cen Campbell, Children’s Librarian, Santa Clara County Library District; Elaine Meyers, Consultant; Eva Mitnick, Coordinator of Children’s Services, Los Angeles Public Library.

This workshop will provide participants with an introduction to the Every Child Ready to Read 2 (ECRR2) initiative and a guide to implementing it successfully in your library. Presenters will focus on staff training, community outreach, incorporating digital media in ECRR2, creating literacy spaces, and making the best use of ECRR2 materials. The webinar is presented by CLA’s Youth Services Interest Group.

About the presenters

Cen Campbell is a children’s librarian at the Santa Clara County Library District and the Mountain View Public Library, and a children’s digital services consultant 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 attended the California State Library’s Eureka Leadership Institute in 2008 and now serves on the ALSC Children & Technology committee.

Elaine Meyers worked for over thirty years in public library administration and program coordination. Her primary responsibilities included youth services, programming, community partnerships, evaluation, staff development and training. Elaine is currently consulting with national organizations, state libraries, and a variety of public libraries and non-profits. She is a member of the Aurora Free Library Library Board and volunteer grant writer for the Aurora Free Library and Hazard Library in Cayuga County NY.

Eva Mitnick is Coordinator of Children’s Services at the Los Angeles Public Library, where she has worked since 1987. She has served on several CLA and ALA committees and is also an adjunct professor at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, teaching courses on library services to children. During 2011 and 2012, the Los Angeles Public Library conducted the first formal review of the implementation of ECRR2 in a project spearheaded by Mitnick.

Little eLit Goes Pro(fessional Development)

I will be presenting my very first webinar on January 16th, 2013 with Karen Nemeth. Register. It’ll be a life changing experience full of wit, intelligent discourse and resources that will pump *clap* you up!

Using Libraries & Librarians for FREE Resources to Support Diversity in ECE programs – Found Treasure!  

Do you find yourself searching for great resources to enrich your multicultural or multilingual program? It is a challenge for preschool administrators to find the right materials for the languages and cultures they serve. The solution may be more accessible and affordable than you think: Partner with your local library.  There are so many ways this kind of partnership can help both parties because librarians need to connect with families in your community to provide appropriate activities for ALL of the parents and children. Librarians have the skills and special tools to help your staff discover and use materials and resources they might never have considered before. This just might be the perfect match!

This webinar will help you plan a set of action steps and resources you can use to build partnerships between your preschool programs and your community libraries so you and the teachers in your program can better meet the needs of young dual language learners and their families. Developing strong partnerships with libraries will enrich your program’s resources for all of the children without breaking the bank. These partnerships work because the key stakeholders have found ways to share expertise and resources to make maximum use of limited funding and to help each other close the gaps in services for this important and growing segment of our population.

All sessions are 1.5 hours long, and include a brief announcement from our sponsor.

2:oo PM – 3:30 PM Eastern Time.