CLEL Conference Experiences

At this year's CLEL Conference, there was the opportunity for attendees to apply for funding in order to attend. This funding was generously provided by the Colorado Library Consortium, and we asked that recipients of that funding provide a brief blog post to share their experiences at this year's conference. Below are those stories. Enjoy!


So, the CLEL conference took place yesterday. If you weren't able to attend this year, put it on your list for next year. I left inspired and full of new ideas to better serve our youngest members.

I've thought it before and yesterday reminded me--early literacy folks are some of the most passionate people out there. We care a lot about what we do and we're always looking for new and better ways to do it. My to-do list grew quite a bit longer as I gathered tips and ideas from my colleagues.

Sometimes, it's the small ideas that inspire you. Today, I printed a song to hang over the changing table in our family restroom--thanks to a suggestion made during Beth Crist's presentation, Moving from Parent Involvement to Parent Engagement and Empowerment.

Sometimes, the ideas are much bigger. The keynote at the conference was given by Dr. Gloria Miller, a professor at the University of Denver. Dr. Miller talked about how we can create shared conversations to welcome and serve our patrons who are new to this country. I left her speech thinking about we can better orient people walking into our libraries for the very first time.

The sessions at the CLEL conference helped me find solutions to library challenges I already knew about and they also got me thinking about new issues and ideas. Now, I've just got to tackle this to-do list!

---L. S.


I always enjoy going to conferences and getting ideas from other people. I get great ideas and go back planning to use them, and then library life happens and I continue doing the same old things. Not this time! I attended the Terrific Twos: How to Run a Toddler Story Time at the recent CLEL conference. My first thought was that we don’t have that many toddlers that come to the library. Then I realized that I have been doing a preschool story time at the local daycare; why not go to the toddler class too?

So, toddler story time was born. I started by making a “magic” twinkle star. Then I used the sample plan that we were given and planned a story time. The first songs and fingerplay were new to the kids, so they mostly just sat and watched. Then I read Bark, George. The kids soon were so engaged in the story because of all of the animal sounds that they were kneeling at my feet. We continued with a nursery rhyme, a Laurie Berkner song, and a fingerplay. Our time got cut short by their lunch, but I look forward to going back again. Their teacher did not think they would sit and listen or participate and was pleasantly surprised that they did.

Kristen did a great job sharing her experience and gave us many book, song, rhyme and fingerplay ideas. She made it very easy to come back and begin my toddler story time. She showed us how to break things up to keep their attention and if all else fails get out the magic twinkle star and start singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

---S. P.

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