From the President

Jeannette Smithee head shot and title

Change and transition are recurrent themes for ASCLA in the coming year. As I begin a term as ASCLA President, the Board is addressing several transitions. The first, immediate priority is the search for and welcoming of an Executive Director to be shared with the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) division. A search committee, with representatives from the ASCLA and RUSA boards and from ALA, has been reviewing resumes and hopes to complete the interview process by the end of the summer. The ASCLA and RUSA boards are also taking the opportunity to look at ways to coordinate and simplify procedures for an easier transition for our shared Executive Director and staff.

Another major change is the forthcoming merger with the Federal and Armed Services Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT). This past year FAFLRT voted to begin the merger with ASCLA. During 2017-2018, representatives from the two boards will work through a timeline with a goal to complete the transition by September 1, 2018. A Task Force will be revising ASCLA’s bylaws for approval by the membership in the spring 2018 election. We will incorporate FAFLRT’s mission and members in all aspects of the Division, including Board representation and new Interest Groups. We look forward to welcoming new members and sharing the strengths of members with new areas of interest.

ASCLA staff has been working on a new rebranded website. This upgrade is prompted by ALA’s current process of creating a new, modern website. The new site, should be available later this summer. Watch for more news about the features and content for and by ASCLA members.

In June, ASCLA’s editor for Interface completed her term and has moved on to a new position. We thank Christina Wray for guiding Interface for the past three years. We will be gathering member comments before advertising for a new editor. Because the editor position is open at a time when there is transition in ASCLA staff, at a time when there is a major update and rebranding of the ASCLA website, and a time when ASCLA is making it easy for members to add content to ASCLA’s new rebranded website, we are taking time to examine the future of Interface. I invite members to provide feedback and comments on what they value about Interface after 7/17/17.

The heart and energy of ASCLA remains the conversations, ideas, and projects generated by our many Committees and Interest Groups. The Board heard about several projects and proposals at the Annual Conference in Chicago. We look forward to hearing from more of you. We urge ASCLA Interest Groups to share ideas with ASCLA and other ALA members. The new ASCLA web site will make it easy to submit news for publication on and on social media. Members and Interest Groups also have opportunities to share expertise by proposing online learning offerings or 2018 Conference programs. There is time to submit program ideas for 2018, through ALA’s new Conference Program submission site. Submissions are due by August 25, 2017.

The next year will go quickly and I look forward to sharing it with ASCLA members, the ASCLA Board of Directors, the FAFLRT Board of Directors, and especially with the ASCLA / RUSA staff.

Jeannette Smithee
ASCLA President 2017-2018

ATTN Travelers: Join ASCLA in Ireland 2018

Dunmore-Head-and-Blasket-IslandsPack your bags for this seven night, grand literary and history tour of Ireland, May 10-17, 2018 with the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association.

This seven night’s themed tour of Ireland focuses on the highlights of this diverse and majestic country. From the capital city of Dublin, home of many famous libraries and writers, to the countryside of the Southwest, this is Ireland at its most intriguing and fascinating. History, world famous writers, music and epic scenery will be taken in each day to delight and wonder the visitor to this ancient and wildly beautiful country. Trip includes accommodations in four cities, transportation between cities, seven meals, a tour of Wicklow Moutnains and James Joyce’s Tower, tour of the Rock of Cashel, boat trip to the Blasket Islands, tour of Kerry’s Writers Museum and much more!

See the interactive itinerary or view in PDF format*. Additional details:

  • Cost*: $2250 per person for double occupancy (single supplement +$500).
  • Airfare and travel insurance not included, but can be provided upon request.
  • Gratuities not included.
  • $500 per person non-refundable deposit due at time of booking (but not before August 2017).
  • There is a maximum of 10 of single supplement fares available, please inquire at time of booking. Room sharing is available and encouraged, but not guaranteed; otherwise the single supplement applies.
  • Trips are open to the public; membership to ALA and/or ASCLA is not required.

Terms and Conditions*: Although unlikely we reserve the right to alter the itinerary or change hotels if required. Once deposit its taken it is not refundable. Participants must be in good health and able to walk long distances in order to participate in the itinerary. Booking this itinerary means you comply and agree you are in good physical condition to participate as if not you may not be able to be accommodated during the trip for portions of the itinerary.

Reservations/Questions: please contact Deb Gisby, 847-579-9898 at Frosch or email

*subject to change

ASCLA offers an international fundraising trip annually open to its members and general public. Previous trips include: Scotland, The Netherlands and Belgium, French and Italian Riviera, Madrid and Italy. Mark your calendars – we will be traveling to Greece in the spring of 2019.

ASCLA is the premier destination for 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.

Join Us! Achievement & Recognition Award Ceremony

2017 achievement and recognition awards ceremony Saturday, June 24 at the Hilton Chicago

*Ceremony images can be found on the Annual Conference Facebook Album.

Please join ASCLA and FAFLRT for the joint 2017 Achievement and Recognition Awards Ceremony (add event to your conference schedule). The event will take place on Saturday, June 24 from 10-11:30am at the Hilton Chicago (720 S. Michigan, Room: Wiliford C) during ALA’s Annual Conference. Complimentary breakfast will be served and there will be time after the ceremony to network.

The following individuals will be recognized for their excellence:

Headshot_Elizabeth Curry
Dr. Elizabeth Curry, Dean, University of North Florida Thomas G. Carpenter Library

Dr. Elizabeth Curry was selected for the ASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award. Curry is often described by her peers as a creative problem solver who successfully facilitates process-oriented solutions, Curry is frequently sought out for strategic planning efforts, leadership training and complex project planning. Read more…



Headshot_Will Reed
William “Will” R. Reed, Manager, Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, Cleveland Public Library

William “Will” R. Reed was selected for the Cathleen Bourdon Service Award. Reed  has proven to be a tireless advocate for information access and reading opportunites to individuals with print disabilities as noted with his work with the Library Services for People with Visual and Physical Disabilities Form. Read more…




Vicky L Crone, Licensing and Procurement Librarian at the national Agricultural Library, is the winner of the 2017 FAFLRT Distinguished Service Award for outstanding and sustained contributions to FAFLRT and for her many years of outstanding leadership and support, which has resulted in the provision of excellent service and programs for federal and armed forces librarians.

Headshot_Anne Harrison_FAFLRT member
Anne Harrison, FEDLINK Network Program Specialist at the Library of Congress

Anne Harrison is being awarded the 2017 FAFLRT Achievement Award that recognizes an individual for achievement in the promotion of library and information service and the information profession in the Federal community. She is awarded for her sustained and superior service to the federal and armed forces libraries community.



Headshot_Heather Kiger FAFLRT member
Heather Kiger, Intern, Yosemite Research Library, National Park Service

Heather Kiger is being awarded the 2017 FAFLRT Rising Star Award. Ms. Kiger graduated with her MLIS from San Jose State’s School of Information and Library Science in August 2016. Ms. Kiger was hired to work on a $30,000 plus grant project and made inroads in the monumental task of converting the Yosemite Research Library’s circulating collection from the Dewey Decimal Classification to the Library of Congress Classification in a systematic, logical and sustainable manner.


Call for 2018 Conference Proposals

Annual Conference 2018 logo for New Orleans

crowd clapping during a programALA is now accepting program proposals for the 2018 annual conference. Please refer to the following for additional information:

Deadline to submit proposals for a 2018 program is August 25, 2017. When submitting, please choose ASCLA as the division you’re proposing your program to. The link to the submission site will redirect to the ALA log-in page.  All submitters are required to have an ALA profile, but are not required to be ALA members. See the submission site for additional instructions and how to submit.  

Please contact the committee with any questions.

ASCLA/FAFLRT Merger Voted to Move Forward

two puzzle pieces going together to signify mergerThe Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) voted to proceed with merging with the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) division of ALA in the spring 2017 election.

“Our [FAFLRT] diminishing membership has made it difficult for us to ensure representation on affiliated groups and have robust programs and services for federal and armed forces librarians”, said Karl Debus-Lopez, FAFLRT President. “This merger with ASCLA will provide our members with more networking and educational opportunities, access to more financial resources and a dedicated staff provided by ALA; The missions of FAFLRT and ASCLA are closely aligned and there will be the opportunity to create interest group(s) that reflect the needs of federal and armed forces librarians”.

“With such compatible missions and some overlapping membership, the merger makes sense”, said Michael Golrick, ASCLA President. “We’re very excited and confident that we will bring together the strengths of both memberships and let our voices be heard for specialized libraries”.

The merger will allow for a bigger and guaranteed voice in ALA policy setting and an increased presence within ALA, greater ability to advocate for needs of specialized libraries and agencies and staff assistance to allow more programming and career development activities through online learning as well as ability for more robust offering of programming at ALA’s conferences with the assistance of staff. Once finalized, the merger will result in the addition of up to ~300 new members to ASCLA’s current ~800 members.

FAFLRT promotes library and information service and the library and information profession in the federal and armed forces communities; Encourages appropriate utilization of federal and armed forces library and information resources and facilities; and provides an environment for the stimulation of research and development relating to the planning, development, and operation of federal and armed forces libraries. FAFLRT is a supportive network for professional growth and advancement and a focal point for discussion of key information management and technology issues of federal and armed forces libraries.

ASCLA is the premier destination for 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.

2017 Election Results!

Thank you to all those who volunteered for roles within ASCLA leadership. We have the results for the 2017 election!

Congratulations to our new board members:

  • Vice-President/President-Elect: Adam Szczepaniak, Jr.
  • Director-at-Large: Lily Sacharow
  • Director-at-Large: Erin Boyington
  • Designated Director, Special Populations: Carrie Scott Banks
  • Designated Director, Library Consultants: Amy Jane Paget

Again, thank you to all that volunteered and congratulations to the winner!