Part 1 - ULC Webinar Series: Brain Development and Language Acquisition: Supporting Parents to Talk, Sing and Read with their Infants and Toddlers

May 31st, 2017 | 9 - 10 am PT | 10 - 11 am MT | 11 am -12 pm CT | 12 - 1 pm ET


ULC will host a two-part webinar series focusing on early brain development and brain science:

  • Brain Development and Language Acquisition: Supporting Parents to Talk, Sing and Read with their Infants and Toddlers 
  • Using MITM to Support Executive Function Skills: Training Library Staff and Community Partners 

Join in and learn from research experts and hear from ULC members that are providing programming and staff training to support early brain development.

The first of the series on May 31, Brain Development and Language Acquisition: Supporting Parents to Talk, Sing and Read with their Infants and Toddlers, will discuss interactive talk between parents and children ages birth-3 that drives language acquisition, vocabulary development, and kindergarten readiness. Members will hear from San Mateo County Libraries, a ULC 2016 Top Innovator for its Talk Read Sing initiative that integrates “talk pedometer” technology to help parents boost interactive talk to build babies’ brains. Their discussion will include details behind parent motivation, lessons learned, and guidance for other libraries considering how to expand their own reach and impact. Also presenting is the LENA Research Foundation who will discuss their work around brain and early language development as well as the landscape of birth-to-three initiatives.

Then on June 7, Marin County Free Library and Las Vegas-Clark County Library District will present their experience, Using MITM to Support Executive Function Skills: Training Library Staff and Community Partners. With support from IMLS, museums and libraries across the country are receiving training that augments and amplifies approaches to early learning programming by understanding what happens in children's brains from 0-5. Based on learnings fromEllen Galinsky's seminal book, Mind in the Making, (MITM) there is now a companion curriculum delivered through the Bezos Family Foundation an approach that informs library staff and community partners about the importance of growing young learners’ executive functions. MCFL will discuss the specifics of the training and how they involved all library staff and LVCCLD will share how a library-led community coalition, Raising Las Vegas, is cross-training on MITM with other local and state agencies and promoting a community development agenda that starts with child development.

Registration Fees

Members: $250 for the webinar package (May 31/June 7) recording included

Non-Members: $400 for the webinar package (May 31/June 7) recording included                 

*A landline (audio) and an internet connection (visual) are both needed for real-time event participation.

Members and non-members may purchase the package recording for $250/$400.

Presenter Bios

Anne-Marie DespainAnne-Marie Despain is Director of San Mateo County Libraries where she oversees twelve community libraries, Bookmobile, Lookmobile and the eLibrary. Throughout her 30 year career of public library service, she has championed risk-taking, open access, and the expanded role of libraries in public life, both as community spaces and providers of research-based programs. She is closing the digital divide by providing 1Gbps bandwidth, maker equipment; laptop/hotspot lending services and high-tech programming. Today, the Libraries are one of the largest providers of free internet in San Mateo County. She actively collaborates with governmental agencies, museums, foundations, researchers and nonprofits to create programs beyond walls, including mobile and outdoor spaces, services in subsidized housing and programs to address communitywide literacy disparities. She received her Master of Library Science from Emporia State University and her Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Utah.

Steve Hannon

Dr. Stephen Hannon is the President of LENA Research Foundation and leads the organization’s efforts to improve child outcomes through caregiver-directed initiatives that integrate LENA’s “talk pedometer” technologies. An expert in optical remote sensing and statistical signal processing, his career includes playing various strategic roles with laser radar touchstone Coherent Technologies, Inc. Steve earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT. 

Garret Kuramoto

Garrett Kuramoto is a Library Manager at San Mateo County Libraries, where he manages the Portola Valley and Woodside Libraries. In addition, he oversees certain county-wide projects such as the Talk Read Sing program. Garrett received his MLIS from Simmons College in Boston, and has previously worked in children's, adult, and technical services divisions in San Francisco, Sunnyvale, and Huntington Beach.




Sara Jones

Sara Jones is the Director of County Library Services for the Marin County Free Library system. She joined Marin County in July of 2014.  Her focus has been in making the library a critical resource to improve student achievement in underserved communities in Marin County. Currently she is collaborating on a project to deploy education and immersive learning environments using virtual reality (VR) and Virtual Augmented Reality (VAR) in public libraries, which was featured in the Innovation Pavilion at ALA midwinter in Atlanta. Sara has 25 years’ experience administering libraries, including the Carson City Library where she brought innovation and a focus on education and the library’s role in student achievement. She was Nevada’s State Librarian and Administrator of the Nevada State Library and Archives from 2001-2007, serving on several regional and national committees. Sara was named the Nevada Library Association’s Librarian of the Year in 2012. 

Danielle Patrick Milam

Danielle Patrick Milam is a community developer and organization innovator.  As Director of Development and Planning for the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District and chief staff liaison to the Library Foundation she is responsible for development, strategic planning and government relations activities.  From 2000 through 2008 she served as Sr. Vice President of Programs and Development at the Urban Libraries Council, and developed conferences, audio conferences, research publications, the ULC Executive Leadership Institute, the Librarians for America’s Neighborhood initiative, and the “ULC Foresight 2020” futures project.   Prior to that, she secured $3.8 million in grants from corporate and foundation donors for the San Antonio Public Library Foundation; raised $2.3 million for a bilingual early childhood development non-profit, AVANCE; led a 30-member coalition to establish the first Texas State Natural Area, Government Canyon; and worked on special projects for the City Manager’s Office in San Antonio, TX.