ALSC Online Courses

ALSC Webinars You Don’t Want to Miss!

Working at the reference desk has become very unpredictable. Stories of unusual, stressful, or unprecedented events are much more frequent. Over this past year, challenges to materials in the collection have grown exponentially. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom reported a 38% increase in the number of titles challenged in 2022 from the previous year. Often the children’s collection is the target of these demands for censorship. Addressing the challenges can be difficult and stressful. It is even harder in a library without collection development policies and procedures. More than ever before, libraries need to have collection development policies, have procedures in place, and have staff trained to address challenges. The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee and the ALSC Managing Children’s Services Committee have prepared a two-part webinar to support librarians to effectively and less stressfully address book challenges. 

On September 11, the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee will present “Understanding and Embracing Collection Development Policies and Procedures” from 2 to 3 pm CST. The presenters will lead you through how to draft development policies and review current ones. This will be followed by a second hour-long webinar presented by the Managing Children’s Services Committee on September 18 at 2 pm CST. “Training Frontline Staff to Deal With Book Challenges Effectively” will give attendees training tips and discuss ways to prepare frontline staff to handle challenges as they arise. Both webinars are free of charge to ALSC members. 

In addition to these upcoming webinars, your ALSC membership also gives you access to the recordings of ALSC webinars on the eLearning site. This summer the Managing Children’s Services Committee collaborated with Brandi Sanchez, librarian and leadership coach at SoulFire Collective, and April Roy, director of employee success at the Kansas City Public Library, to present a two-part webinar, “ Trauma-Informed Supervision for Library Leaders.” Both parts of the webinar were filled with information, supportive ideas, and usable methods for leading staff affected by trauma and stressful conditions. The webinar included a downloadable workbook and several information-filled handouts. ALSC members may purchase this webinar at a discounted price.

For free ALSC members can access “Giving Storytime a Tune-Up: Embedding Music Activities to Support Texts and Engage Participants.” Katelyn Martinez-Rodriguez, youth services librarian in Washington County, Minnesota, presented the importance of music to children and its ties to language and cognitive development. This engaging presentation includes many book and music examples and as easy suggestions for incorporating them into your storytimes.

Welcoming Spaces: Creating Welcoming Environments for Immigrant and Refugee Communities” was presented by the seven-member Project Voice committee. The free, hour-long webinar focuses on Project VOICE, a program targeting young children and their families in underserved communities. This webinar will be followed by a free, upcoming, asynchronous online course that will include more information on the concepts in the webinar and will contain activities to help you implement programs and outreach services.

Many more ALSC-sponsored webinars are available in eLearning. Look through the list and take advantage of this valuable benefit of membership. Keep checking this ALSC blog to find more information on these topics and updates on more not-to-be-missed webinars. 

This post addresses the core competencies:

II Reference and User Services – 1. Creates and maintains a physical and digital library environment that provides the best possible access to materials and resources for all children and their caregivers.
VII. Professionalism and Professional Development – 2. Stays informed of current trends, emerging technologies, issues, and research in librarianship, child development, early and family literacy, education, and allied fields.

Today’s blog post was written by Christy Kepler, Head of Youth Services at the Oswego Public Library District in Illinois, on behalf of the ALSC Managing Children’s Services Committee. She can be reached at

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