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:

  • The Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington provides a series of 23 brief Learning Modules on topics in early childhood development, from attachment, to literacy and numeracy, to emotions and temperament, to racial awareness. Each module is 20-25 minutes long and may be mixed and matched for a learning experience unique to your interests. Browse the learning modules and many other early childhood development resources here:
  • The New York Public Library offers Raising the Bar: Integrating Early Childhood Development into Librarian Professional Development, as a free online early literacy training combining youth librarianship expertise with child development research and best practices in early childhood education. The training was co-created with the City University of New York's Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, funded by IMLS, and advised by a national group of experts including, Saroj Ghoting and Susan Neumann. Start learning and teaching today at
  • Washington County (OR) Cooperative Library Services and OregonASK provide the Fostering Readers resources, 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. Find the IMLS-funded Fostering Readers materials here:

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:

  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Every Child Ready to Read webinars presented by Sue McCleaf Nespeca in 2016-2017 for the Library of Michigan. Ten webinars cover topics from ECRR basics to mixed-age storytimes to family engagement, and more. Scroll down the Library of Michigan webinars page to "Every Child Ready to Read" to see all the links.
  • 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-Díaz 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 the Texas State Library, among others. Contact ORTR for referrals to other webinar providers.

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