Concurrent Program Session

Eric Carle Meets Rachel Carson: 21st Century Environmental Literacy

Saturday, April 9, 2016, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Colorado Convention Center, Room 301-303

Presenters will examine the need for outdoor education, explain how exposure to nature through play leads to exploration and discovery, engaging both the physical and mental abilities of children, and link the role of the library as a community institution to the environmental movement. Learn how to bring the outdoors inside, regardless of your location, as well as move library programming outside, further redefining library spaces and enhancing community engagement and partnerships.

At the end of this session, participants will:

1: Become knowledgeable about the significance and importance of outdoor learning relative to child development and literacy. 2: Learn how to organize a nature program indoors and/or outdoors. 3: Understand the role of the community library in the development of environmental literacy for the 21st century skill development and success.

The session organizer(s) identified this session as appropriate for:
Level 1: People with no previous knowledge of the topic.

This session will have: Medium interaction: single speaker/panel with questions or audience participation throughout

Track: Collaborate

Tags: Serving Youth, Collaboration, Partnerships, Special Needs Populations, Transforming Libraries, Youth Services


Erin Francoeur, Director
Shasta Public Libraries, Redding, CA

Erin Francoeur, Director of Shasta Public Libraries, oversees operations of three libraries in Shasta County, Northern California. Francoeur is formerly Director of Finney County Public Library in Garden City, Kansas, where she was responsible for the development, fundraising, construction and implementation of the 10,000 sq foot Nature Explore Center outdoor addition to the library. Francoeur has a background in early childhood development, which she has put to use during her 7 years of library management.

Christie Chandler-Stahl,
Freelance Writer and Educator, Evanston, IL, , IL

Christie Chandler-Stahl worked in youth services at the Evanston Public Library, and most recently as Director of Branch Services at the Gold Leed Certified Rakow Branch of Gail Borden Public Library. There she oversaw the implementation of a native species butterfly garden, developed environmental programs such as butterfly and STEAM camps, sheep shearing and frog calls. Currently she is working as a freelance educator and writer and pursuing licensure to work in a school library.

Tracy LaStella, Coordinator for Youth Services
Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY

Tracy LaStella, Coordinator for Youth Services at Middle Country Public Library and a 2015 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, manages the department serving patrons from birth through 12th grade, coordinates grant development for youth services, and oversees the Nature Explorium, an outdoor learning environment adjacent to the library. She also organizes the MSpring Jubilee, a season opening event for the Nature Explorium, and various other collaborative events, programs, and services.

Sheila McNair, Youth Services Guide
Anythink Commerce City, Commerce City, CO

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 26, 2016, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 25, 2016. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours.

The PLA 2016 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.


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There is no formal dress code at the PLA Conference. What’s most important is to dress for comfort.

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Mobile App

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PLA Office

The PLA Office is located in A Mezzanine in the Colorado Convention Center. You can access the A Mezzanine from any of the lobbies using Elevator A, across from registration, and press the MZ button to get to the Mezzanine. You can also access A Mezzanine from Exhibit Hall A using Stairwell 30. The office phone numbers are 303-228-8450 and 303-228-8451. Onsite office hours are Monday, April 4–Friday, April 8, 8:00 AM–5:00 PM; Saturday, April 9, 8:00 AM–1:00 PM.

Registration & Housing

Onsite registration hours are Tuesday, April 5, 7:30 AM–5:00 PM; Wednesday, April 6, 7:30 AM–6:30 PM; Thursday, April 7, 7:30 AM–5:30 PM; Friday, April 8, 7:30 AM–4:00 PM; and Saturday, April 9, 8:00–10:00 AM. Conference registration and housing is managed by Experient. Call or e-mail your questions, 800-424-5249 (U.S. and Canada), 847-996-5829 (all other countries), or Experient representatives are available Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM Eastern. PLA Conference is a professional event. It is not open to the public.


Contact Corcoran Expositions, Mary Michalik at 312-265-9650,; or Matt McLaughlin at 312-265-9655,

Thank you PLA Conference Sponsors!


Most conference events—including all preconferences and concurrent program sessions—will take place in the Colorado Convention Center (CCC), 700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202. Additional events will be held at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, 650 15th Street, Denver, CO 80202, and other venues as indicated.

Other Questions

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