Candidates needed for the 2018 ASCLA Election

we're looking for volunteers

Please consider nominating an ASCLA member or yourself as a candidate for next year’s ASCLA elections. Service on the ASCLA board of directors is very rewarding and a great way to meet colleagues from around the country who share your interests within larger ALA. We are small and mighty and we have strong voice for those we represent.Send me the names of those you think are exemplary (and that includes yourself!) no later than September 5, 2017.

ASCLA is in need of outstanding individuals to run for the following offices:

  • President-Elect (this is a three year term consisting of president-elect year in 2018-19, presidential year 2019-20, and past-president in 2020-21)
  • ASCLA Division Councilor (three year term, 2018-2021)
  • Director-at-Large (two year term, 2018-2020)
  • Designated Director, Special Populations (two year term, 2018-2020)
  • Designated Director, Cooperatives and Networks (two year term, 2018-2020)
  • Designated Director, State Library Agencies (2018-20)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me Thank you so much in advance!

2018 Chair, ASCLA Nominating Committee

ALA-NNLM Health Literacy Month Collaboration

health literacy month

October is Health Literacy Month. The American Library Association (ALA) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) have created a Health Literacy Month toolkit for the Libraries Transform campaign.

Join Amanda J. Wilson (NNLM) and Jeff Julian (ALA) as they discuss NNLM’s mission to support health literacy efforts in libraries and explain how to use the key messages, data, and marketing materials to promote health literacy at your library.

Libraries Transform: Health Literacy Toolkit
Date: September 14, 2017
Time: 2:00PM – 3:00PM ET
1 Medical Library Association CE is offered for this session
Free Webinar – Register to receive the link to the recording following the session

Applications for ALA Emerging Leader Program due August 31

ALA emerging leader logoALA is accepting applications for the 2018 class of Emerging Leaders (EL). Details on the program criteria as well as a link to the application can be found on the Emerging Leaders Web page

ASCLA members should consider the opportunity and can encourage newer library worker colleagues who would benefit from an intense leadership development program to apply. The application deadline is August 31, 2017

The ALA EL program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity.

ALA divisions (including ASCLA), round tables, ethnic affiliates, state chapters or school library media affiliates will sponsor nearly two-thirds of the selected applicants. For more information, visit the Emerging Leaders Web page or contact the EL project manager at The ALA EL program is managed by the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR).

2017 Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the LOC Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Approved

wall of books of library standards and guidelines

After two years of work and dedication from many parties, the 2017 Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped was approved by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) board on Monday, June 26, 2017. With this approval, the Working Team Danielle Miller, Will Reed and the Project Director, Eura Szuwalski, will begin the final stage of taking the final version and producing a completed document that will be available for purchase through the ALA store this fall to network libraries through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).

Prior to presenting the final version to the board, the Project Director shared the second draft widely to all interested parties through ASCLA’s communication channels, and several network library and consumer group listservs. Comments were accepted online and at two separate regional conferences for NLS network library staff. Regional conferences where held on May 11, 2017 for the Western/Southern Conference in Santa Fe, NM and on June 6, 2017 for the Midlands/Northern Conference in Ann Arbor, MI.

Following both conferences and after collecting all online comments, the Working Team and Project Director made minor changes to the second draft and submitted the final draft to the Advisory Team. The version that came out of the concluding email communications with the Advisory Team became the final document, which was submitted to the ASCLA board for review prior to the ALA Annual 2017 Conference in Chicago.

At ALA Annual Conference, the Project Director presented the final version of the 2017 Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the ASLCA Board Meeting I on Saturday, June 24, 2017. There was a brief discussion about the changes made between the first and second drafts and the vote was tabled until the ASCLA board meeting II, to allow the board members time to fully review the document. During the Board Meeting II on Monday, June 26, 2017, there were further comments and questions. After concluding the discussion, the ASCLA board members put the approval of the 2017 Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to a vote. The revised document was approved with one member abstaining.

As of July 2017, the Working Team and Project Director are working with the ALA’s Production Services department to complete the copy editing and production process. The process started on August 7th with the approved document going to the ALA copy editor. The Working Team and Project Director are currently reviewing the copy editor’s queries and will return this information to ALA Production Services. After three additional proofs, each which will be approved by the Working Team and Project Director, the final edits and approval stage will begin. Production is currently slated for completion in early October 2017, which is on schedule with the original timeline as defined in the request for proposal from NLS.

In short, this two year process would not have been possible without the support of the ASCLA/RUSA team (including Susan Hornung, Melissa Tracy and Leighann Wood), Richard Smith (Network Division Chief for NLS), the Working and Advisory Teams (details listed below) and the many people who wrote in with comments, asked questions at conferences and emailed our team members. Additional updates will be provided as we near the end of the production process and when the document is available for purchase.

Working Team:
• Danielle 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
• Eura Szuwalski (, Project Director for the revision process. Goleta, California.

Advisory Team

  • 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

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 you value about Interface.

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.