Social Emotional Learning in the Library

A free PLA on-demand webinar series


Image of multi-colored wooden blocks with faces showing different emotions drawn on each block face in black ink.

Libraries respond to the needs of our communities, and communities all over the world have experienced an elevated level of trauma and stress over the past few years. As we continue to serve the public in these challenging times, library workers must adapt, pivoting to incorporate Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into the work we do with families every day. In many cases, we are already using SEL in our work. This free on-demand webinar series covers key SEL concepts and how to integrate them into library programs and activities. Book lists and other resources are provided, and each session includes a calming mindfulness exercise for attendees.

PLA members make it possible for us to provide continuing education opportunities like this webinar series at no cost. We thank our members for their continuous dedication to the advancement of the public library field and our association.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand series of four webinars, participants will be able to:

  • Know the fundamentals of SEL and their applications in libraries;
  • Understand the research of SEL and how to relay its personal applications and benefits to funders, supervisors, and community stakeholders; 
  • Appreciate the cultural origins of the discussed practices and how SEL provides a respectful way to connect to these practices;
  • Know how to incorporate mindfulness techniques into their existing programming; and
  • Implement at least one SEL program at their library.

Who Should Attend

This free on-demand webinar series is intended for librarians and other library workers who work with children, teens, parents, or families; programming librarians; administrators and supervisors; and anyone who wants to improve their own emotional wellness.


Webinar #1
Fundamentals of Social Emotional Learning

This webinar gives attendees the vocabulary to talk about SEL—with supervisors, administrators, funders, parents, colleagues, and community partners—and hone their skills for guiding patrons. Attendees learn about the research and science behind this evidence-based approach to caring for their communities’ mental health and wellness.

Dr. Zachary Stier is the director of children's services at Ericson Public Library in Boone, Iowa, where he has revolutionized services for children and families through the expansion of early literacy programming, the redesign of space to emphasize play, and family engagement initiatives. He serves on numerous state and national boards, including co-chairing PLA’s Committee on Family Engagement, and was recently selected to be part of the Fred Rogers Institute program, The Educators Neighborhood.

Webinar #2
Practical Applications of Social Emotional Learning in the Library

This webinar moves beyond the fundamentals of SEL to provide attendees with practical applications for incorporating it into library programming. Presenters introduce programs like Yoga Storytime, Nourishing Literacy, and mindfulness activities, which teach participants how to manage emotions and self-soothe.

Becky Shaknovich is an administrative librarian with the Free Library of Philadelphia (PA), supervising the West Philadelphia Libraries. The majority of her career has been in managing library services to children. As an administrator, Becky strives to advocate for families, both patron and staff. She is passionate about yoga and mindfulness, and sharing these key skills with children and their families. Becky is a co-chair of PLA’s Committee on Family Engagement.

Lisa Mulvenna is head of children’s and teen services at Clinton-Macomb Public Library in Clinton Township, MI. She has over 20 years of presenting highly energetic story time and early literacy programming. As a manager, Lisa now works with staff to develop new services, programs, and outreach for ages 0-18 and their families. She was the recipient of the 2012 Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth, given by the Michigan Library Association.

Webinar #3
Happy and Calm: Kids Yoga in the Library with Author Bari Koral

In this webinar, recording artist and picture book author Bari Koral discusses opportunities, benefits, and strategies for introducing yoga into library programming for kids.

Bari Koral is a children’s recording artist, internationally acclaimed kids yogi, mindfulness expert, and picture book author.

Webinar #4
Recharge and Refresh with Wellness Educator Shayna Marmar

This webinar completes the Social Emotional Learning series and focuses on personal applications and benefits of SEL. Attendees take away strategies and techniques for improving their own emotional wellness.

Shayna Marmar is a longtime educator in unconventional learning spaces. She is consultant and founder of Honeyhive Classroom; and the co-founder of Nourishing Literacy, the Free Library of Philadelphia's youth-centered, culinary-based wellness program. Additionally, Shayna is a reiki practitioner, is studying to become a certified 200-hour yoga teacher, and is in the process of completing Rutgers' Social-Emotional Learning for Direct Instruction certification program.

Important Registration Information

An ALA eLearning account is required to register for this free on-demand webinar series. Don’t have an account? Create one for free by going to the “Log in” menu located at the top right corner of your screen. No membership is required to create the account.


This on-demand webinar series is closed captioned in English (United States).

If you have a physical or communication need that may affect your participation in this on-demand webinar series, please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752) prior to registering so we can attempt to provide appropriate accommodations.

Tech Requirements

To play these on-demand webinars you should use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Edge. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.


This webinar series is presented by the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

PLA members make it possible for us to provide continuing education opportunities like this webinar series at no cost. We thank our members for their continuous dedication to the advancement of the public library field and our association.

If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).

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