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About CLEL

Our Mission

All children deserve the joy of reading and the skills in life that literacy brings. Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy is passionately committed to strengthening children’s literacy through library services and community advocacy.

Our History

In January 2008, staff from more than a dozen Colorado public libraries and the Colorado State Library joined together and began working to develop a comprehensive approach to delivering and supporting early literacy services statewide.

Our Goals

  • Educate and train library staff in providing early literacy storytimes for children and caregivers.
  • Increase awareness of the importance of early literacy to all communities in Colorado.
  • Cooperate with other state and national agencies involved with early literacy.
  • Promote the role of libraries in providing early literacy experiences.

Our Projects

The Training Committee launched this website in the fall of 2008 to bring together information about Colorado library early literacy programs and services and to provide tools and resources for library staff. In September 2009 we redesigned the website to include a blog, and extended our web presence to Facebook and Twitter.

In the fall of 2009, CLEL was awarded an LSTA grant to create videos and a website to share rhymes, songs, and early literacy tips with parents, caregivers and librarians. The result is! We will be expanding the site with more videos as funding allows.

Training and Presentations

CLEL members are frequent trainers for Colorado State Library Youth Services workshops, and regularly provide workshops and presentations at library and early childhood conferences.

IMLS Grant

Two members of our Steering Committee serve as advisors to a generous Institute of Museum and Library Services grant awarded to the University of Denver's Library and Information Sciences program. The purpose of the grant is to develop learning service projects and curriculum for a fellowship of graduate students who will graduate as Early Childhood Librarians!

CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards

CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards is an annual recognition of five high-quality picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children.

Our Organization

Membership in CLEL is open to anyone involved with children, libraries, or early childhood education who supports our mission statement. Our activities are directed by a Steering Committee appointed from general membership. The Steering Committee currently serves as an advisory group to the Colorado State Library. There are seven standing committees: Advocacy, Training, Communications, Annual Meeting, Grants/Fundraising, Special Projects, and Membership, which work to carry out the goals of the organization. CLEL members may serve on any of the standing committees. Our bylaws can be viewed here. Minutes from steering committee meeting are here.



Links to Publications: About Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy

Join Us!

CLEL is working hard to strengthen children's literacy through library services and community advocacy. Your membership will connect you to a network of Colorado library staff who are committed to making a difference in their communities, and who can help you make a difference in yours. If you'd like to join CLEL, please fill out our Membership Form.

Annual Conference

An annual conference of the full CLEL membership is held yearly, usually in the fall.  This used to be an annual meeting, but turned into a conference in 2013 as we grew and wanted to provide more resources for our membership.

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