ASCLA seeks proposals for online professional development offerings

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) invites interested instructors and presenters to submit proposals for online professional development courses and webinars.

Topics for online learning proposals might include but are not limited to assistive technology; the fundamentals of serving special populations, including those with autism & spectrum disorders, the deaf and hard of hearing, those with developmental disabilities, mental disabilities, mental illnesses, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, or vision disabilities; children or young adults with disabilities; managing volunteers with disabilities, what trustees need to know about accessibility; the fundamentals of prison/correction facilities librarianship; independent librarianship and consulting;  web accessibility tools; tips for creating accessible websites; and consortial approaches to ebooks

A complete list of criteria is available in the Online Course section of the ASCLA website. In summary, successful proposals will:

  • Include a description, main topic outline and an estimate of length of the proposed course, webinar or webinar series
  • Outline the audiences who will be interested in this topic, including job titles as appropriate
  • Address the direct competition for this course/topic that already exists in the online professional development marketplace.
  • Provide a description of the instructor/presenter and their relevant experience, e.g. education, job history, that illustrates their expertise in the proposed topic area.
  • Include a writing sample if the proposal is for an online course.

Proposals should be submitted via e-mail to as MSWord or PDF attachments. Presenters for accepted proposals will receive compensation for their time, and will also receive training for the software used to deliver the online learning experience. Questions can be directed to Liz Markel, ASCLA marketing specialist or Susan Hornung, ASCLA executive director at and, respectively.

ACTION ALERT: Call your representative, tell them to oppose Amendment #35 to the Continuing Resolution

This week, the House of Representatives will consider two amendments to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution that are critical to libraries – one that would eliminate all Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funding including Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding and another that would halt all funding for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders seeking libraries and bookstore records of U.S. citizens.

E-mail via Capwiz or call your representative at (202) 224-3121 today and tell him or her to oppose Amendment #35 to the Continuing Resolution!

Amendment #35, submitted by U.S. Rep. Scott Garret (R-NJ), seeks to zero out the Institute of Museum and Library Services, eliminating all federal funding specifically for libraries.

Message to Your Representative:

  • Libraries are essential to every community, and federal funding is critical for ensuring library resources and services remain available to their constituents.
  • LSTA supports all kinds of libraries including school, academic, and public libraries.
  • Public libraries are the primary source  of no-fee access to the Internet and are active in assisting the public with online  job searches, e-government services, and lifelong learning.

E-mail via Capwiz or call your representative at (202) 224-3121 today and tell him or her to support Conyers’ amendment to the Continuing Resolution!

This amendment, sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), would halt all funding for FISA orders seeking libraries and bookstore records of U.S. citizens.  Currently, this vote is scheduled for this Thursday, February 17.

Message to Your Representative:

  • Vote YES on the Conyers amendment to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution to halt funding for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders that would seek library and bookstore records of U.S. citizens;
  • The Conyers amendment seeks to protect individual privacy and personal reading records from inappropriate access by law enforcement;
  • Like previous reader privacy bills, this amendment has bipartisan support;
  • Law enforcement access to the reading habits of individuals should be held to a higher legal standard in order to protect civil liberties and the right to read and access information.

In the weeks to come, extending your advocacy efforts to your senators as well as continuing to reach out to your representatives will be vitally important to protecting the future of libraries. Questions as well as reports and feedback from your calls and e-mails are welcomed.  Please contact Kristin Murphy or Lynne Bradley at the ALA Office of Government Relations, Washington Office.

Write a love note to ASCLA–help us win $5,000!

ASCLA needs your help! We have an opportunity to win the $5,000 prize that GuideStar USA, Inc., the leading source of nonprofit information, and KIMBIA, a group that empowers nonprofits and other organizations to increase giving, are making available through their Winter 2011 GuideStar-KIMBIA Nonprofit Giveaway.

Anyone with firsthand knowledge about and who is not a paid employee of ASCLA—donors, volunteers, board members, recipients of our services—can write a review about ASCLA on GuideStar or The organization that receives the most number of reviews on and during this period will win a grand prize of $5,000.

To write a review, please click on:


We are incredibly fortunate to have passionate and committed members. If every supporter would take the time to write a review, ASCLA could be a contender for the GuideStar-KIMBIA Nonprofit Giveaway and could do great things with the prize money. Any one of the following things on our wish list could be funded by this gift:

  • Fund an online advocacy toolkit, public rallies, educational online events about doing advocacy right, etc.
  • Create a buyer’s guide with a review database that gives the seal of approval from ASCLA for accessibility products.
  • Hire a famous or well-known presenter/instructor for an online course/webinar, preconference, or institute on a hot topic of interest to ASCLA members.
  • Start a new membership drive with give-aways for new members (discounts on conference registration, free night at a conference hotel, money towards a flight, etc.).
  • Start a traveling ambassador program: have volunteers in the regions visit library schools, state libraries, library co-ops and other potential ASCLA members to recruit into ASCLA.
  • Create a total package for ILEX: hire someone to help develop an online version of the consulting institute, additional educational courses/preconferences for library consultants, or a business plan to reach out and recruit library consultants.
  • Hire a consultant to plan and implement ASCLA online courses.

(If you have any ideas about how to use the prize money to benefit members and carry out our mission, send them to ASCLA Executive Director Susan Hornung,, and we’ll add them to the list)

There is no charge for writing a review, but you are limited to posting only one review per organization.

The giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EDT February 28, 2011, so please don’t waste any time: help spread the word about ASCLA by writing a review and forwarding this message to anyone else who can write a great review of ASCLA.

Three ASCLA preconferences offer learning on leadership, consulting and digital collections

Upcoming preconferences hosted by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans include topics like leadership skills, preservation planning for digital collections and how to become a successful library consultant.

The preconference topics highlight areas of expertise of ASCLA’s members, and are open to all interested participants. All three events provide an excellent opportunity for participants to acquire new information and skills they’ll be able to apply immediately in their day-to-day work. Each session also offers the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the country engaged in similar professional challenges and successes. All events will be held at one of the conference hotels.

This year’s ASCLA preconferences are:

  • Assembling a Consulting Toolkit: What You Need to Know to Become a Successful Library Consultant
    Friday, June 24, 2011, 9:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.

    The wildly successful, sell-out workshop is back for a final time! Seasoned consultants Nancy Bolt, Sara Laughlin and Beth Bingham will present an overview of the consultant’s role and guide you through a self-assessment to uncover your consulting potential. Participants will work together to identify consulting opportunities and how to align them with their experience and skills. Takeaways include marketing tips, pricing your services and business management strategies. Event Code: ASC3.
    Advance Registration (through May 13, 2011): ASCLA member, $240;
    ALA member, $275; non-member, $295; student and retired members, $175.
  • Leadership Skills: Leading Your Library to Excellence
    Friday, June 24, 2011, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    This workshop will teach you all the things about leadership they never covered in library school. Attendees will identify leadership roles and strengths and then learn to apply them; explore what it takes to be a good supervisor and how to cultivate those qualities; review communication styles, the power of words and the importance of listening; learn how to deal with change and create a motivating environment; and how to build the credibility and respect needed to succeed as a leader. Event Code: ASC1.
    Advance Registration
    (through May 13, 2011)
    : ASCLA member, $195;
    ALA member, $225; non-member, $295; student and retired members, $165.
  • Forever is a Long Time: Preservation Planning for Digital Collections
    Friday, June 24, 2011, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    After more than a decade of acquiring and creating digital collections, libraries are now exploring options for assuring long term access to these digital resources. This preconference will introduce participants to digital preservation standards and best practices, digital preservation planning, how risk assessment can be used in planning, and case studies of implementable solutions. Faculty will include three leaders in digital preservation planning: Tom Clareson of LYRASIS, Katherine Skinner of Educopia Institute and Liz Bishoff of The Bishoff Group. Event Code: ASC2.
    Advance Registration
    (through May 13, 2011)
    : ASCLA member, $175;
    ALA member, $220; non-member, $295; student and retired members, $165.

Interested participants have the option to register for just an ASCLA preconference, or for both a preconference and the Annual Conference. For preconference-only registration using the online form (login required), select “SO-Preconference and Ticketed Events Only” as the registration type and proceed to select this event from the list of ticketed events. Conference registrants can add this event to their registration, and will find it under the list of ticketed events and preconferences in the online form. Event codes are listed above in the event descriptions for those using the printed registration form for fax or mail. Advance registration rates are available through May 13, and prices will increase after that date. Registration for all ASCLA preconferences will close Sunday, Jun. 19.

Hennepin County Library Outreach Services recognized by ASCLA for exceptional service

Hennepin County (Minn.) Library Outreach Services is the 2011 winner of the ASCLA Exceptional Service Award, an annual honor presented by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA).

The award recognizes exceptional service to patients in a medical facility, to persons who are homebound, to inmates, to older adults and adults with a physical or mental disability who live in group homes or residences, and also recognizes professional leadership, effective interpretation of programs, pioneering activity and significant research.

For 20 years, Hennepin County Library Outreach Services has provided innovative and outstanding service to Hennepin County residents who are unable to visit and use the library due to age, illness, disability or incarceration. By providing Deposit collections and At Home Service to seniors, staff in Outreach Services is helping implement the county’s initiative on aging. Its innovative programming promotes positive change in juvenile and adult offenders. Specifically, these programs include the “Freedom Ticket” newsletter, which helps inmates re-enter the community; the Read to Me Program, which helps incarcerated parents record and send books to their children to help them stay connected; and the One Read Program, which brings women inmates, corrections staff and librarians together to share the book experience.

“The scope of the services the unit staff provides, the diversity of the people they reach and the positive impact they have on their clients is impressive,” said ASCLA President Diana Reese. “The fact that they have maintained this high level of performance for such a long period of time is truly remarkable. We are thrilled to honor the library with this year’s ASCLA Exceptional Service Award to help bring attention to their outstanding accomplishments.”

Reese will officially present the award to the library at the ASCLA/COSLA Reception from 8-10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, 8-10 p.m. at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.  This event, open to all ALA Conference attendees, will be held at an ALA Conference hotel.  The exact room location will be announced in late spring.

Elizabeth Ridler named ASCLA Cathleen Bourdon Service Award recipient

Elizabeth Ann Ridler, neighborhood library supervisor at the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library and longtime member of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), is the 2011 recipient of the ASCLA Cathleen Bourdon Service Award.  ASCLA is a division of the American Library Association.

This award, named in honor of former ASCLA Executive Director Cathleen Bourdon, is presented to an ASCLA personal member for exceptional service and sustained leadership to the division. This includes participation in activities which have enhanced the stature, reputation and overall strength of ASCLA, as well as cultivated the division’s relationship with other appropriate organizations, institutions or governmental agencies.

As an ALA councilor since 2004, Ridler has worked tirelessly to enhance the stature, reputation and overall strength of ASCLA.  She has worked closely with ALA’s Accessibility Assembly (formerly the ADA Assembly) on ADA issues, providing steadfast and eloquent representation of the division’s concerns and priorities. She has been a guardian of the ADA, showing leadership, dedication and skill on both ALA Council and in other governance roles to ensure that its provisions continue to be applied and endorsed as ALA policy.

“Elizabeth Ridler has been at the forefront of librarians in addressing the critical issue of equity of access that is so central to the core of our work in ASCLA,” said Diana Reese, ASCLA president. “Elizabeth is a strong advocate for ASCLA and for ALA members with access issues as well as for the general populace.”

Ridler has distinguished herself as a leader on issues of equity of access at the national, state and local levels. In addition to her service to ASCLA, she has also provided noteworthy contributions to ASCLA’s Libraries Serving Special Populations Section (LSSPS), advocating for their important issues at every possible opportunity.  Her pioneering efforts with the ASCLA LSSPS Century Scholarship Committee have enabled ASCLA LSSPS to offer an excellent program of financial assistance to persons with disabilities pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science.

Ridler’s specific leadership service includes ALA Councilor at Large (2004-2013); ASCLA Legislative Committee (2008-2012); ALA Resolutions Committee (2006-2010);  ASCLA Ad Hoc Task Force on Mentoring, chair (2002-2004); ASCLA Century Scholarship Jury, chair (2000-2004); ADA Assembly (1995-1999); and ASCLA Standards Committee Subcommittee to Develop Guidelines for Library Services for People with Mental Retardation (1995-1999). She has also served as president (1999-2009) for the New York Library Association’s Round Table on Library Services to Special Populations. She holds an MLIS from the University of Western Ontario, an MA from the University of Alberta, a BS in Education from the University of Toronto and a BA from Trent University.

ASCLA President Diana Reese will officially present the award to Ms. Ridler at the ASCLA/COSLA Reception from 8 – 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26 at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.  This event, open to all ALA Conference attendees, will be held at an ALA Conference hotel.  The exact room location will be announced in late spring.

Queens Library’s innovative programming for homebound wins ASCLA/KLAS/NOD award

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) has selected the Queens Library Mail-A-Book Program with Interactive Programming for the homebound as the winner of the 2011 ASCLA/KLAS/NOD award, sponsored by Keystone Systems.

The ASCLA/Keystone Library Automation Systems/National Organization for Disabilities Award presents $1,000 and a citation to an innovative and well-organized project that successfully developed or expanded services for people with disabilities. The award can be for a specific service, program or for a library that has made its total services more accessible through changing physical and/or attitudinal barriers. This year’s recipient used funds from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to fulfill a longtime wish to expand library services to 750 homebound and disabled library customers and 35 assisted care facilities. However, the program, which was profiled in the July 2010 issue of AARP’s magazine “Modern Maturity” and also featured in the December 2, 2009 “Queens Gazette,” goes beyond book delivery to offer a wide range of interactive programming for the homebound.  With a relatively small investment in a new teleconferencing console and toll-free phone number, library staff offered phone access for homebound customers to dozens of live programs, including concerts and guest speakers.

The library initiated its interactive program offerings in response to survey results showing homebound customers feel isolated, bored and starved for peer relationships. Library staff also offer weekly phone chats, where homebound patrons can meet others and foster new friendships as well as participate in bingo, book clubs and special programs.  For example, the Metropolitan Museum of Art presented a multi-part lecture series where print reproductions of artworks were sent to registered participants in advance. The library also arranged a special luncheon for the weekly chat participants at a local restaurant where 12 of the regulars were able to attend, traveling by disability transport in wheelchairs and with walkers and accompanied by family members and home health aides.

Thanks to the hard work of Program Manager Madlyn Schneider, Queens Library at Queens Village, and Senior Librarian Willie Simmons, the live interactive services have proven to be an important and significant expansion to the Mail A Book library services for the homebound and persons with disabilities. From the initial plan for a pilot of six interactive phone-in programs with five people on each call in 2009, the program quickly expanded to 60 live programs in 2009 and 83 live programs in 2010. The program continues to expand its offerings of multi-lingual library materials in Chinese, French, Spanish, Russian and Hindi to serve the diverse community of Queens, but still seeks the resources to do extended outreach to the homebound in non-English speaking communities.

“Using an abundance of creativity and imagination, the caring staff of the Queens Library Mail-A-Book program used low-cost, interactive technology to enrich the lives of persons with disabilities in their community,” said Diana Reese, ASCLA president. “They put their hearts into leaping over physical and attitudinal barriers and making the total services of the Queens Library more accessible and reached homebound customers with a host of engaging library offerings that brought regular social interaction and lifelong learning opportunities from the Queens Library into their living rooms. The nominator described program outcomes as having the ‘quality of a near-miracle.’ With this award, ASCLA, Keystone Systems, Inc. (KLAS) and the National Organization on Disability (NOD) recognize and congratulate the staff of the Queens Library for their pioneering role in offering innovative library services that deliver miraculous outcomes for their homebound populations.”

ASCLA President Diana Reese will officially present the award to the Queens Library at the ASCLA/COSLA Reception on from 8 – 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26 at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.  This event, open to all ALA Conference attendees, will be held at an ALA Conference hotel.  The exact room location will be announced in late spring.

Recordings of Open Forums for Revised Standards for Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Now Available

The 2005 Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped guidelines are currently being reviewed and revised by ASCLA thanks to a grant from the Library of Congress. A project director, a working team, and an advisory team have been appointed to develop a revised set of standards and guidelines to be adopted by the ASCLA Board and published in the autumn of 2011. Recordings of previous Open Forums are available online at: for the following dates:

January 10, 2011, during the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association in San Diego,

and January 26, 2011.