ASCLA Seeking Consultant for Online Learning Program: RFP

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association, seeks a consultant for soup-to-nuts development and launch of a comprehensive package of online learning opportunities hosted by ASCLA.

The desired outcome of the project is to develop the framework (including policies, procedures, and templates) to support a long term online continuing education program for ASCLA. The consultant will also advise ASCLA and the ASCLA Online Learning Committee in soliciting presenters and using the framework and templates to launch online offerings in 2012. The estimated project completion date is no later than April 1, 2012.

The consultant will work with the ASCLA staff and the ASCLA Online Learning Committee (AOLC) to develop the framework to support a long-term online continuing education program for ASCLA. The project includes conducting a needs assessment of ALA members’ online learning learning needs specifically pertaining to accessibility issues; developing a framework with procedures for ASCLA to solicit proposals for online learning events; working with the AOLC on a process to review and approve proposals, and identifying key partners and/or creating partnerships.

Applicants may submit their proposal in one of two ways:

  • By e-mail to ASCLA Executive Director Susan Hornung at with subject line “RFP/ASCLA” no later than 5:00 PM CT on Monday, October 31, 2011.
  • By mail—submit five complete copies no later than Monday, October 31, 2011, to American Library Association, ATTN: Susan Hornung/ASCLA RFP, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611

Proposals not received by the date and time specified may not be considered and will be returned to the sender marked “LATE RESPONSE.” Questions about the proposal should be directed to ASCLA Executive Director Susan Hornung at or (800) 545-2433, x4395.

Desired consultant attributes include but are not limited to successful project management experience; a proven track record with developing online educational events; strong organizational and problem-solving skills; and excellent communication skills, especially written. More information is available in the downloadable RFP.

ASCLA members establish “new” Library Consultant Interest Group

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) welcomes the Library Consultant Interest Group to its list of active member interest groups.

ASCLA also invites independent librarians, library consultants, state library consultants of all types, regional library consultants and any librarians or library staff who help others learn and solve problems to join.

The Library Consultant Interest Group replaces the former Independent Librarians Exchange (ILEX) special interest section of ASCLA. Membership is open to all ALA members; ASCLA membership is required for those interested in leadership positions within the group. The group supports professional development by providing programs, information exchange and networking opportunities of interest to independent librarians, library consultants and others who want to push the boundaries of librarianship.

Several group activities are planned for 2012, including:

  • An open hearing and discussion at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas about a draft ASCLA Library Consultants Code of Ethics.
  • Two exciting 2012 ALA annual conference programs:
    • “Essential Facilitation: Practical Tools for Guiding Groups” with Interaction Associates, Inc.
    • “Consultants Give Back” where consultants can contribute an hour of free consulting to librarians seeking advice or seek consulting help from the consultants who volunteer their time.
  • Building a collection of helpful resources, tools and discussions for Library Consultant Interest Group members on ALA Connect.
  • Supporting ASCLA development of online learning opportunities re: topics of interest to library consultants (building on the success of ASCLA/ILEX consultant preconferences).

Join the group now by visiting the ASCLA Library Consultants Interest Group ALA Connect page and clicking on the “Join” button. ALA login is required in order to access the interest group page. Use this handy ALA Connect tip sheet (PDF) if you are having difficulty connecting. More information about all of ASCLA’s interest groups is available here. Interested in joining ASCLA? Learn more about member benefits and how to join at the ASCLA website.

ASCLA seeks proposals for webinars to be held in 2012

ASCLA seeks proposals for webinar presentations for its 2012 series of professional development webinars that will be held throughout the year, from January 2012 through August 2012.

ASCLA webinars are an opportunity for librarians to infuse their year with professional development they can conveniently—and affordably—pursue from the comfort of their home or office. The series, previously known as the Virtual Convergence, will offer webinars throughout the year that are open to all interested librarians, library staff and library supporters.

Successful proposals will:

  • Show plans for presentations that are 60-75 minutes in length.
  • Show how the presentation addresses a topic either of interest to ASCLA members, or represents an area of ASCLA’s expertise that benefits other types of librarians. This may include but is not limited to: financial management; strategic planning; accessibility, grant writing; services to special populations including the blind, deaf and hard of hearing and the incarcerated; state library agencies, library cooperatives, and library consulting.

Proposals may be submitted online here:

The deadline for proposals HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO close of business on Monday, October 31, 2011 NOVEMBER 21, 2011. Presenters for accepted proposals will receive compensation for their time and will also receive training for the webinar software. Questions about ASCLA or the webinars can be directed to Liz Markel, ASCLA marketing specialist or Susan Hornung, ASCLA executive director at and, respectively.

More information about the webinar schedule, registration rates and other details will be posted on the ASCLA blog and ASCLA website soon.

New ASCLA online course examines effective services for library users with disabilities

Registration is now open for “Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities”, a new online course offered by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA).

Register online now!

Providing library services to differently-abled library users is a role filled by all levels of library staff. From the part-time aide checking out library materials to the library director determining policies, staff skills and attitudes are crucial for a satisfactory library experience.

During this four-week course, participants will:

  • Identify differently-abled library users who face both visible and invisible challenges when it comes to accessign the library.
  • Review the evolution of attitudes, laws and practices affecting services to people with disabilities.
  • Learn about appropriate etiquette, alternative communication techniques and people-first language that support successful services to special populations
  • Discover assistive technology already available at your library.
  • Discuss the rules for applying policies and procedures of your library.
  • Ultimately set one personal goal for improving services, and identify one organizational change that can be implemented to improve services at your library for people with disabilities.

The course will begin Monday, Oct. 17 and finish on Friday, Nov. 11. One live online session using the FlashChat feature of Moodle, the online course management system, will take place Thursday, Oct. 27 from 1:00-2:00p.m. Central Time. The remainder of the course is asynchronous—students login throughout the week to complete assignments from the instructor. Online and faxed registration will close on Thursday, Oct. 13 or when the class reaches maximum capacity.

Interested participants can register online now, register via fax or mail, or learn more about the course at the ASCLA website. Registration fees start at $130 for ASCLA members. Discounted group registration rates for two or more registrants from the same library, library system or network are available—download the group registration form. Contact ALA’s Membership and Customer Service Team with any questions about registration for this course at or (800) 545-2433, option 5.

“Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities” is taught by Kate Todd, who has worked as a children’s librarian for The New York Public Library and as emerging technologies librarian for Manhattanville College. At Manhattanville College, she taught “Technology for Special Education” in the graduate school of education. She has also taught several online courses for  the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC), including “Children with Disabilities in the Library”—this new ASCLA course is the general staff counterpart to that course.

“Improving Library Services “ is presented by ASCLA, the home within ALA for librarians serving special populations. Among ASCLA’s many interest groups are the Library Services to People with Visual or Physical Disabilities that Prevent Them from Reading Standard Print Interest Group; the Library Services to the Incarcerated and Detained Interest Group; and the Universal Access Interest Group. Learn more about ASCLA’s interest groups. ASCLA’s membership is one of the most diverse within ALA, and also serves librarians and staff from state agencies, specialized libraries and multi-type cooperatives, and independent librarians and library consultants. Not an ASCLA member, but interested in discounted registration rates on ASCLA professional development offerings? Join, renew or add ASCLA to your ALA membership at