Self-paced Online Courses and Recorded Webinars

These self-paced courses about early childhood and literacy are convenient, FREE, high-quality learning opportunities for librarians and other practitioners. Scroll down for webinar recordings!

  • Storytime 101: Storytime for Beginners is a 5-hour self-paced tutorial developed by the Idaho Commission for Libraries. This interactive course covers basic skills such as preparing for storytime, reading books out loud, using props and music, and engaging adults and children. It is free for anyone to take, but you must have (or create) a Niche Academy account before taking the course.
  • Centering Community VOICE  guides you through a value-focused, outcomes-based process for developing, delivering, and assessing outreach programs for children (ages 0-8) and families from underserved groups. This course offers a basic certificate (10 hours) and an advanced certificate (30 hours). A free WebJunction account is required in order to take the course.
  • Supercharged Storytimes prepares you to boost the early literacy skills of the children who attend your storytimes! This self-paced course is built on research about how young children learn, and covers foundational early literacy concepts including oral language, phonological awareness, print awareness/concepts, letter knowledge, vocabulary, and background knowledge. A free WebJunction account is required in order to take this course.
  • Child Development Learning Modules is a collection of 24 brief videos on topics in early childhood development including attachment, literacy and numeracy, emotions and temperament, racial awareness, and more. Each module is 20-25 minutes long and may be mixed and matched for a learning experience unique to your interests. A service of The Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington.
  • Fostering Readers is designed to help you plan and implement fun, research-based literacy programs for K-3rd grade students who are learning to read. Fostering Readers is more a set of program plans and a research review than a course, but the materials can help library staff increase their knowledge and understanding of the reading process and best practices in supporting children who are learning to read. Fostering Readers was created by OregonASK and Washington County Cooperative Library Services and supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

These free webinar recordings on early literacy and library programming are helpful for library workers new to children's services, and those who are looking for new ideas in programming for young children:

  • Early Literacy and Speech Development in Storytime will help you develop skills to foster speech development in storytime. Learn techniques from Megan Palasik, a Speech Language Pathologist, and Kelly Halleen, a Children’s Librarian working in Medina County, Ohio. Review the latest research concerning speech delays, communication milestones, and learn about successful community partnerships. This is a session recorded at the 2023 Kentucky Youth & Children (KYAC) Conference.
  • Every Child Ready to Read: Five Practices in Storytime will help you enhance your storytimes in ways that encourage learning in children and empowerment in adults. Erin Ingram and Kerry O’Brien Rhoad from the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library share a variety of exemplary books and example activities that you can use immediately. This is a session recorded at the 2023 Kentucky Youth & Children (KYAC) Conference. 
  • Reading for Our Lives: A Conversation about Early Talk and Early Literacy with Maya Smart uses the analogy of a road trip to describe the “road to reading” for parents of young children. Early talk can jumpstart the journey, and library workers can provide "roadside assistance." Free registration is required to view the recording.
  • ABCs of Reading Development, hosted by the Massachusetts Library System, covers the Simple View of Reading and development of listening, speaking, phonological awareness, reading, and writing skills in early childhood. It also considers leveled text through the lens of the experiences of emergent and struggling readers.
  • Learning to Read at School, Loving to Read at the Library, hosted by the Colorado State Library, introduces the science of reading and discusses how public librarians and teachers have complimentary roles in the reading lives of kids.
  • Virtual Storytime: Successes and Challenges presented by four Ohio youth services professionals who used trial and error to conquer the challenge of providing virtual storytime programs to their communities. This webinar provides tips and tricks for creating online storytimes with ease. Hosted by the Ohio Library Council, run time 1 hr. 40 min.
  • Getting Started with Virtual Storytimes with Renee Grassi from Dakota County Library (MN) includes book selection and copyright, technology and social media tools, strategies for accessibility and inclusion, early literacy activities, and ideas for promotion. Run time 1 hr. 45 min. Free registration on the WebJunction website is required to view this recording.
  • Virtual Storytimes for Preschoolers: How to Encourage Wellness, Movement & Creativity, hosted by the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) with presenter Katie Clausen, explores ways to create wellness activities digitally for children 0-6. Run time 57 min.
  • Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library and Summer Reading/Fall Events, hosted by the Ohio Library Council in spring 2021, introduces the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, Ohio's statewide implementation of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, and how public libraries are incorporating the program into their programming.
  • Best Storytime Practices webinar series presented by Story Be Told’s Jenifer Strauss in 2018-2019 for the Library of Michigan. Topics include Act It Out and Play; In a Galaxy Far, Far Away; Touch the Brightest Star; Storytime Is Your Time to Shine!; Full Body Storytime: and Put the Book Down and Engage! Scroll down the Library of Michigan webinars page to "Youth Services" to see all the links. Handouts for these webinars are also available. 
  • Storytime 101: Rethinking the Basics with presenter Brooke Newberry, hosted by YSS Powerhouse, a service of the Wisconsin Library Association.
  • Let's Talk About Race in Storytimes with presenter Jessica Anne Bratt, hosted by the Washington State Library.
  • Successful Programming for Babies and Toddlers presented by Kendra Jones and Brooke Newberry, hosted by Infopeople, the LSTA-funded training arm of the California State Library.
  • Block Play: Building a Foundation of Early Learning in the Library presented by Pamela Martin-DĂ­az and Marra Honeywell, hosted by the Indiana State Library.
  • Building Early Literacy Skills with Babies presented by Stephanie Prato, hosted by the Central New York Library Resources Council.
  • Engaging Toddlers in Active Early Learning presented by Stephanie Prato, hosted by the Central New York Library Resources Council.
  • Infusing Preschool Early Literacy with STEAM, Music, and Movement presented by Stephanie Prato, hosted by the Central New York Library Resources Council.


The Library of Michigan webinars are brought to you by the Library of Michigan, supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Other free webinars are available from various providers including Infopeople, Get Ready to Read, and Early Childhood Investigations, among others. Contact ORTR for referrals to other webinar providers.

Ohio Library Council                    State Library of Ohio