Annual Conference


Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy is committed to training and staff development.  We have a yearly conference to fill this need.  We provide workshops, keynotes and networking to anyone who is involved or wants to be involved with early literacy.  Past conferences have had information about brain research, working with the bilingual community, sensory storytimes and much more.  We encourage you to join us each year for an educational day!


The two-day CLEL conference for 2020 will be held virtually! We will host our first-ever *leadership program and our wonderful workshop sessions on an online platform in October. 

Each year CLEL hosts a conference focused on serving children birth-6 and their families, and it’s the only annual conference of its kind in the country! And this year will mark two firsts for this conference: it will be virtual, and it will include a Leadership Institute!

October 8th - Leadership Institute*

  • This event is geared for staff that are already in leadership positions, as well as those who wish to lead from where they are, and those who are looking to move up into official leadership positions. The Leadership Institute will feature ALSC president Kirby McCurtis as its keynote speaker, plus thought-provoking breakout sessions and some important calls to action.

October 9th - Main Conference​

  • The main conference will be on October 9, with Library Journal Mover and Shaker Janet Damon as the keynote speaker and plentiful breakout sessions on a wide variety of topics.


Both days are excellent opportunities to network with colleagues from across the state and country, snag some great ideas to try, learn something new and deepen your knowledge, and have some fun!

*Not in a specific library leadership role? Wondering if the New Leadership Institute day is for you? We are providing breakout sessions that include topics like meeting community needs, conversations about equity and civility in the workplace, accessible virtual storytimes, and programs and services in Spanish. We hope to provide inspiring conversations to have with others in your organization. Please look at the full schedule for more details!

View the full schedule for both days here.

We will be recording sessions. They will be available for viewing for up to a year.

We will also be providing CART Live Event Captioning for all sessions!

Registration is now open; register for the Leadership Institute and/or the Conference online. Registration deadline has been extended to October 5th.

The fee to attend the Leadership Institute is $20; the main Conference is $25; and the fee to attend both days is $45.

Oh, and if you’re not already a CLEL member, please join this unique organization–it’s FREE!


ALSC President Kirby McCurtis

Library Journal Mover and Shaker Janet Damon

Register here.

We hope you're planning to join us for one or both days. Whether you are attending or not, you can participate by nominating someone for a CLEL 2020 Award.

Nominating couldn't be easier. Think of a colleague or corporate partner who does great work. Read the award descriptions to see which is the best fit. Email us and tell us why your colleague is great. That's it!

Please write a few short paragraphs describing your nominee’s work in early literacy and submit it to by Friday, September 18th.

There are 3 award categories:

CLEL HERO AWARD (Individual)

The Hero Award is a career achievement award for outstanding generosity to Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy and/or the support of early literacy in the state of Colorado.


The Early Literacy Rising Star award will go to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional work in early literacy. This person may be newer to the field and a rising star who inspires others to do outstanding early literacy work.


For outstanding commitment to the promotion of early literacy throughout the state of Colorado and consistent support of Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy.

Previous Conference Information


Our 2019 conference took place Friday, October 4, at the Arvada Center. Links to presenter content from this year and previous years can be found at the links below.

2019 Conference Materials

2018 Conference Materials

2017 Conference Materials

2016 Conference Materials

2015 Conference Materials


2014 Conference Materials 


2013 Conference Materials


2012 Conference Materials