Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum

Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum

Tuesday, April 16, 9am-6pm ET
Bloomington | Indiana University

The US Play Coalition has teamed up with Let's Move in Libraries and LaundryCares Foundation to create the Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum for the 2024 National Conference on the Value of Play.  The inaugural forum will take place on opening day of the conference - Tuesday, April 16 from 9am-6pm in the Memorial Union at Indiana University in Bloomington, the new home of the US Play Coalition.

Register for the Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum

“Play is a vital part of lifelong learning, and public libraries are community-based lifelong learning institutions,” says Noah Lenstra, PhD, Director of Let’s Move in Libraries.

The Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum will feature exemplars, case studies, best practices, lessons learned and big ideas.  Learn how play is supported in public, school, and university libraries – and consider how to most effectively collaborate with librarians at local, state, and national levels to advance play goals. 

“Play is the purest form of learning, and public libraries help accelerate learning in all its forms. I’m excited to explore continued play opportunities for guests of all ages in America’s libraries, particularly as we think about the epidemic of loneliness and the profound academic recovery needs of our youth,” says Liz McChesney from LaundryCares Foundation.

Topics for the inaugural Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum:
(Our experts are detailed below, so keep scrolling!)

  • Play and Learn in Library Summer Programs 
  • Play in Public Libraries - Using Play to Drive Social, Emotional and Learning Results for Kids, Families and People of All Ages 
  • The Playful Library: Inspiring Curiosity and Discovery 
  • Shall We Play a Game? 16 Years of Play in University Libraries 
  • Visit The Lilly Library with our guide Andrew Rhoda, Curator of Puzzles
  • Playful Collaborations: Partnering with Libraries 

The forum is part of the 2024 National Conference on the Value of Play: THE FUTURE OF PLAY.  It is also a standalone daily option within the conference registration.

Registration fee for the Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum only is $159/person (includes conference keynote luncheon!).

 Register for the Libraries, Learning & PLAY Forum


Meet the Experts


Elizabeth McChesney (Moderator) – Early Literacy and Community Partnerships Director for the LaundryCares Foundation


James Allen – Statewide School Library Lead and a Digital Learning Coach for the Kentucky Department of Education in the Office of Education Technology


Carissa Christner – Youth Services Librarian for the Madison Public Library (Madison, WI)


Brodrick Clarke – Vice President of Programs and Systems Quality for the National Summer Learning Association


Joanna Fabicon – Senior Librarian of Children's Services Department, Los Angeles Public Library and Lecturer at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies


Daniel W. Hatcher – Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation


Yolanda Hood – First Year Experience Librarian and Instruction Coordinator at University of Massachusetts Lowell


Chris McEachron – Manager of Visitor Engagement at the Kentucky Science Center


Maria Papanastassiou – Youth Services Supervisor at the Skokie Public Library (Skokie, IL)


Bryan Wunar – President and CEO of Discovery World in Milwaukee, Wisconsin