Save the Date for Virtual CLELCON24: Thursday October 3rd – Friday October 4th!

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy is committed to training and staff development.  During our annual conference we provide workshops, keynote speakers and networking to anyone who is involved or wants to be involved with early literacy.  What began in 2008 as a small annual meeting has turned into a full day conference that attracts hundreds of attendees, including many from out of state, and is recognized nationwide as a premier early literacy professional development opportunity.

From the beginning, CLEL has been committed to accessibility. Membership is free and conference costs are kept to a minimum to encourage and allow broad participation for library staff, students, volunteers, and trustees in libraries in Colorado and beyond.

In 2020 the Conference Committee continued to provide low-cost, high quality professional development while pivoting to a virtual environment. The first virtual CLELCON drew speakers and participants from across the country. CLEL also introduced the Leadership Institute to the conference in 2020. In 2022, the leadership Institute was reimagined as a learning track, with pertinent sessions available on both days of the conference.

Visit the #CLELCON23 page for updates on last year’s virtual conference.


Every year CLEL recognizes the outstanding work and impact of individuals and local organizations that support and enhance early literacy in Colorado libraries. CLEL solicits nominations and the Steering Committee votes, based on the merits highlighted in the nomination letters. Winners are announced at the annual conference.

Congratulations to our 2023 Award Winners!


The CLEL Rising Star Award is given 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.

Karina Baker, Garfield County Public Libraries

CLEL HERO AWARD (Individual)

The CLEL 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.

Kimberly Powers, Englewood Public Library


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

(not awarded in 2023)

Previous Conference Information

Links to presenter content from this year and previous years can be found at the links below.​

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