Message from ASCLA VP/President-Elect, Michael Golrick

Dear ASCLA Members,

I invite you to volunteer for one of ASCLA’s committees or interest groups – we are still seeking volunteers for this year (2016-2017) to fill out our committees.

If you are not yet a member of any of our committees, please join by sending a note to the ASCLA office, stating which committee(s) you’re interested in. They will assist me to appoint you to committees that you have an interest in or affinity for, or suggest some that you might be interested in.  I will be appointing the committees for 2016 through June 30, 2017.  Tell us about your experience and why you can be of help to these groups in your note.

If you are already a committee or interest group volunteer, thank you for your service: you are so much appreciated!  Because of your contributions, our division accomplishes much. ASCLA, through its volunteers, has provided:

  • Member expertise on accessibility and diversity for ALA committees and work groups, such as the Advocacy Coordinating Group and the Working Group on Digital Content and Libraries
  • Standards and guidelines, such as those for libraries serving the blind and physically handicapped and for state library agencies
  • Outstanding conference programming
  • A great member newsletter
  • Assistance vetting online learning opportunities of value to ASCLA members
  • Special recognition of people and library services such as awards for specialized library services for people with disabilities or the homebound.

This is just a small sampling of what our volunteers plan and take part in, and what makes ASCLA a terrific place for opportunities for service, your professional growth, and networking with colleagues.

Thank you again to all our current, past and future volunteers – you are truly what makes ASCLA such a wonderful awesome, and fun, place to be!

Best Wishes,

Michael Golrick
ASCLA Vice-President/President-Elect

[Deadline Extended] ASCLA’s Online Learning Proposals Submissions

Do you have an idea for a webinar or online course you would like to present? The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) invites subject matter experts and experienced librarians to submit a webinar proposal or online course proposal by Monday, November 7, 2016. Presentations will take place from December 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017 as a part of ASCLA’s outstanding online learning offerings. See the list of suggested “hot topics” below.

ASCLA welcomes proposals on topics that will assist our diverse membership in improved service delivery and job performance, as well as topics that reflect ASCLA’s expertise and are valuable for all types of libraries, librarians and library support staff across the profession, as well as our core member groups of state library agencies, library consultants, libraries serving people with disabilities, consumer health libraries, prison libraries and library cooperatives.

Proposal topics for courses and webinars may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • ADA updates for libraries
  • Assessing accessibility knowledge
  • Benchmarks and evaluation measures
  • Budgeting basics for the first time manager
  • Collaborative digitization
  • Correctional libraries and Adult programming
  • Correctional/prison librarianship 101: covering the basics of a successful prison/jail library
  • Data analysis and assessment
  • Dealing with learning disabilities
  • Designing effective surveys
  • Download training for patrons who use accessibility tools like screen readers
  • E-books and cooperatives
  • Emerging technologies for those with special needs, including apps and iPads
  • Evaluating and improving cooperative services
  • Evaluation content analysis
  • Future trends in library service
  • Grants: how to find grant funding and write your proposal
  • Group purchasing
  • Health literacy
  • How to be a consultant
  • How to be a futurist
  • How to deliver online training
  • How to hire a library consultant
  • Innovations in library service
  • Innovative services for an aging population
  • Law librarianship for correctional librarians
  • Library cooperatives: managing and improving services
  • Low-literacy adults
  • Marketing library services to special needs populations
  • Marketing on a shoestring budget
  • Navigating book selection sources
  • Nonprofit leadership
  • Outcomes-based education
  • Outreach skills training
  • Outreach to visually or physically handicapped populations
  • Partnering with community organizations
  • Recognizing great service in member libraries
  • Seeking grants for consultancy work
  • Serving library patrons with cognitive or mental impairments
  • Standards and guidelines to improve library services
  • Technology trends for special needs populations
  • Training staff to serve library users with disabilities, and raising awareness of this important population
  • Utilizing focus groups to prioritize services to the disabled
  • Working with refugees

Webinar presenters and online learning instructors are compensated for their work and will receive training and support for Adobe Connect, the webinar technology platform used by the division, and Moodle, the online tool used for courses. Review current online offerings for more information. More information about the submission process is here. Submit a webinar proposal or online course proposal by Monday, November 7, 2016.

The Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) is the premiere destination for ALA members to find information and build capacity to serve populations that are served by state library agencies, specialized libraries, library cooperatives and library consultants. ASCLA enhances the effectiveness of library service by advocating for and providing high quality networking, enrichment and educational opportunities for its diverse members.

Have questions about submissions or about ASCLA’s online learning programs? Jennifer Cross, Web Services Manager, ASCLA has the answers. Email her today.

ASCLA Prepares for New Website Redesign

You may have already noticed some changes to the ASCLA website. That’s because ALA’s website and microsites will be undergoing a redesign in the very near future. In order to prepare and be ready to jump right in to the new web design, ALA divisions are working on moving information, cleaning up broken links and pages, and consolidating and streamlining information when necessary. Some of your bookmarks may change in the process, so we ask for your patience as we clean up the website and are “under construction.” If you can’t find something, please feel free to contact our web manager, Jennifer Cross, for assistance.

ASCLA’s Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Interest Group (IGARD) Presents Poster Session at IFLA

The Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Interest Group (IGARD) of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) Division of the American Library Association (ALA) successfully presented a poster at the IFLA WLIC 2016 which was held in Columbus, Ohio from Aug. 13-19, 2016. The poster was entitled “Reconnecting Persons with Dementia to their Libraries: Using Library Materials to Improve the Quality of Life for People Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias”. Approximately 3,100 people from 137 countries visited the Congress.The IGARD poster was one of 203 posters displayed for three days (Aug. 15-17, 2016) within the Exhibition Hall. This location near the vendors ensured high visibility among attendees. During two, two-hour sessions on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16, Mary Beth Riedner and IGARD member Erik Johansen chatted about the poster with many interested parties. Over 125 printed handouts were distributed to those who wanted additional information. The poster can be found here:

[Online learning] Marketing and Advocacy, Serving People with Disabilities

Upcoming Online Learning

[eCourse]Improving Library Services to People with Disabilities” begins October 24. 1.2 CEUs are to be earned upon completion of this course.

Registration: $150 for ASCLA members; $195 for ALA members; $230 for non-ALA members; $120 for student members and retired members

It has been more than 25 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act that outlawed discrimination against people with disabilities in the United States.  Libraries have responded with a variety of initiatives.  All libraries have a plan for serving people with disabilities, whether it is installation of ramps or creation of special needs story times.  But improvements are always possible. More information here.

[Webinar]Marketing and Advocacy: Explaining Libraries to Elected Officials” is offered on November 10, 2-3pm CST.

Registration: ASCLA members: $40; ALA members: $50; ALA student & retired members: $25; Non-members: $65; Group rate: $99 single login, $38/person multiple logins. (min. 2 people)

Marketing and advocacy go hand-in-hand. Advocacy is telling your library’s story. Those who influence funding for libraries cannot make informed decisions if they do not understand the scope of your mission. Most librarians haven’t practiced the political skills needed to work with various community leaders. At times their interests may seem to conflict with your library. How do you advocate without lobbying? This session explores how to easily market your library to elected officials. No secret handshakes or big budgets needed. More information here.

Annual Fundraising Trip: Tulip Time 2017!



The Netherlands & Belgium Tulip Time River Cruise
April 3 – April 10, 2017

A cruise ship slowly meandering along the rivers and canals is just the right pace to explore the Netherlands and Belgium in comfort! Sitting on the deck of a ship under brilliant blue skies, you can take in the windmills, tulip farms, castles, and picturesque sights in the villages. Walk down the ramp and you have all the features of a once in a life-time vacation — restaurants, bars, windmills, biking, walking tours, museums, chocolate tastings, etc. Enjoy a 7-night river cruise through The Netherlands & Belgium in the spring, traveling round trip from Amsterdam. Travelers will arrive in Amsterdam on April 3 and explore the city. Depart the U.S. on April 2, 2017, arrive on an overnight flight on April 3, 2017 for this AMA Waterways trip of a lifetime! See a complete, detailed itinerary and more information here.

Cost: Stateroom prices start from $2,349. 20 meals are included (see itinerary). Nonrefundable deposits are due upon booking – $400 per person. Port charges are $168 per person. These are LAND ONLY prices, airfare is not included (once airfare is purchased, it’s not refundable unless refundable tickets were requested). For single people, room sharing is available; otherwise the Single Supplement applies. For more information on stateroom costs and deck plans, and to book a space on the river cruise, please contact Deb Gisby, 847-579-9898 at Frosch or email

Single Supplement for Cruise: 50% of twin price; AA+ & Suites 100% of twin price. Please see terms below for details.
Bedding: Please select bedding configuration at the time of booking. Option A: Two twin beds Option B: One large bed (larger than queen size).
Insurance: Insurance is extra, quoted separately to include all expenses including air.

Note: Add on pre-cruise options are available if you want to arrive early (traveling one day early is recommended always in case of flight issues). Accommodations can be arranged in this instance by contacting Deb Gisby, 847-579-9898 at Frosch or emailing

Reservations/Questions: please contact Deb Gisby, 847-579-9898 at Frosch or email deb.gisby@frosch.comDates, prices & itineraries are subject to change.

Terms & Conditions: All rates are per person for cruise only, based on double occupancy in a base category stateroom unless stated otherwise. Offers are combinable with AmaWaterways’ Past Passenger Privilege Program and Onboard Future Cruise Benefit Program. Offers are not combinable with any other promotions, limited to availability, capacity controlled and subject to change/termination without notice. Port charges, land programs, round trip airfare, and gratuities are additional. Other restrictions apply.

This fundraising trip is hosted by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, (ASCLA) a division of the American Library Association, (ALA). This adventure is open to the library community and their family and friends. There are no membership requirements in order to participate. So come along and travel the world with us!

Comments Invited for the First Draft of the 2011 Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

The Working Team for the revision of the 2011 Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped would like to accept comments on the first, revised draft of the standards. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, is the administrator for the free informational and recreational reading resources for residents of the United States who are unable to read or use standard print materials because of visual or physical impairment.

For those seeking a better understanding of the NLS service, the following promotional videos give a picture of the patrons: and

The first draft of the revised standards is here:

Comments on the first draft of the revised standards can be provided using the following form:

The 2011 version of the standards is here:

This revision is supported by a grant from the Library of Congress and administered by ASCLA.

Working Team

  • Eura Ryan Szuwalski, Project Director
  • Danielle H. Miller, Director & Regional Librarian, Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. Representing the Western Conference
  • Will Reed, OLBPD Manager, Cleveland Public Library/Ohio Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled. Representing the Midlands Conference
  • Advisory Team
  • Eura Ryan Szuwalski, Project Director
  • Adam Szczepaniak, New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center. Representing the Northern Conference
  • Dr. Nancy Pack, Director, Alabama Public Library Service. Representing Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA)
  • Kim Charlson, President, American Council of the Blind. Representing the American Council of the Blind
  • David Hyde, Chairperson, Library Services Committee Chairperson. Representing the National Federation of the Blind
  • Melanie Brunson, Director, Government Relations. Representing the Blinded Veterans Association
  • Ava M. Smith, Division Director, Talking Book Program, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Representing the Southern Conference

Call for nominations: ASCLA’s Achievement and Recognition awards

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Call for Nominations

ASCLA has opened the nomination period for its annual series of achievement and recognition awards. Members are encouraged to nominate their colleagues and peers to recognize exceptional library professionals that make a difference in improving the lives of the people they serve. The awards below will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 22-27, 2017.

Nominations and supporting materials must be submitted by February 10, 2017. Click on the links below to find the nomination form and submission instructions.

ASCLA/Keystone Library Automation System (KLAS) National Organization on Disability (NOD) Award
Awarded to a library organization that has provided services for people with disabilities. The award recognizes an innovative and well-organized project which successfully developed or expanded services for people with disabilities. The award can be for a specific service(s) program or for a library that has made their total services more accessible through changing physical and/or attitudinal barriers. $1,000* and a citation. Sponsored by Keystone Systems, Inc.

Francis Joseph Campbell Award
Awarded to a person or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped. This contribution may take the form of an imaginative and constructive program in a particular library; a recognized contribution to the national library program for blind persons; creative participation in library associations or organizations that advance reading for the blind; a significant publication or writing in the field; imaginative contribution to library administration, reference, circulation, selection, acquisitions, or technical services; or any activity of recognized importance. A medal and a citation.

ASCLA Exceptional Service Award
To recognize exceptional service to patients, to the home bound, to people of all ages who live in group homes or residences, and to inmates, as well as to recognize professional leadership, effective interpretation of programs, pioneering activity, and significant research of experimental projects. A citation.

ASCLA Leadership & Professional Achievement Award
This prestigious award is presented to one or more ASCLA members (personal or organizational) exemplifying leadership and achievement in one or more of the following areas: consulting, library cooperation, networking, statewide services and programs and state library development. A citation.

Cathleen Bourdon Service Award
This award is presented to an ASCLA personal member for outstanding service and leadership to the division. The award recognizes sustained leadership and exceptional service through participation in activities which have enhanced the stature, reputation, and overall strength of ASCLA; and representation of ASCLA to other appropriate organizations, institutions, or governmental agencies. A citation.

ASCLA, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is a diverse organization of librarians and support staff who work in academic and public libraries, state agencies, specialized libraries and cooperatives, as well as those who are self-employed. Our division’s work centers on member-driven interest groups that represent the diversity and important work of our engaged and active members. Find out more about ASCLA at

ASCLA webinar on Serving Library Patrons with Autism Spectrum Disorder

On Tuesday, August 9, 11AM CT, the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) will be hosting a webinar on serving library patrons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a companion to the Project PALS (Panhandle Autism Library Services) online trainings.

The webinar will be taught by Dr. Amelia Anderson, an expert of educating library professionals on serving patrons with ASD, online communication of people with ASD and students with ASD in academia.

Concluding the webinar, participants will better understand the characteristics and behaviors of a person with ASD in the library; make adjustments and recommendations to their own institution on how to be more inclusive and welcoming; and to provide ASD patrons opportunities for engagement in the library.

Librarians and library staff in public, school, academic and/or special libraries will benefit from this course, which supports ASCLA’s mission for libraries serving special populations, including users with disabilities. More information on this course can be found here.

Registration costs are: ASCLA members: $40; ALA members: $50; ALA student & retired members: $25; Non-members: $65; Group rate: $99 single login, $38/person multiple logins. (min. 2 people). Register here.

ASCLA offering eCourse on Captioning Instructional Videos

Beginning Monday, August 1, 2016, the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) will offer a four-week course on creating and synchronizing captions for library instructional videos for patrons who are deaf or hearing impaired.

Watch the promo video here:


Retired librarian and longtime universal access advocate, Kate Todd, will introduce participants to some free tools to use for composing useful and meaningful captions, script preparation and video creation. Participants will be able to discuss usefulness and importance of providing this type of access to instructional videos to patrons who are deaf or hearing impaired.

Librarians and library staff in public, school, academic and/or special libraries will benefit from this course, which supports ASCLA’s mission for libraries serving special populations, including users with disabilities. More information on this course can be found here.

Registration costs are $130 for ASCLA members; $175 for ALA members; $210 for non-ALA members; $100 for student members and retired members. You can register here.