Contribute to the discussion: Consortium Management Interest Group meeting at ALA Annual Conference

If you are interested in sharing an update on your library consortium at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference–whether it is a new direction, a new service or a new approach to providing services, or even to demonstrate the challenges you are facing–please contact Sheryl Knab, chair of the ASCLA Consortium Management Interest Group and executive director of the Western New York Library Resources Council, at Sheryl will be providing an update on the NY 3Rs and their I2NY project–an investigation into the proposed New York State Information Infrastructure initiative.

The Consortium Management Interest Group will be meeting Sunday, June 30, 2013 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm in the Hilton Chicago, Grand Tradition room, 720 South Michigan Ave–add the discussion to your schedule. Presentations should be no more than 10-12 minutes long. A projector will be available for those who wish to use PowerPoint slides; you’ll need to bring your own computer for your presentation. (If you plan to bring a Mac laptop, you’ll need to bring your own dongle to connect to the projector.)

Contact Sheryl ASAP if you’d like to make a presentation.

Collaborative Digitization: Call for Presentations

ASCLA’s ICAN (Interlibrary Cooperation and Networking) Collaborative Digitization Interest Group is soliciting proposals for presentations at its meeting at the ALA Annual Conference in ChicagoSaturday, June 29, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Add the meeting to your conference schedule (ALA Connect login required).

Presentation topics should be of interest to librarians, archivists, curators, and developers working across a diverse array of consortia, libraries, archives, museums, and cultural heritage institutions.

We especially welcome overviews or demonstrations of ongoing or completed collaborative digitization projects. Other possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Governance and sustainability models
  • Partner / participant agreements
  • Digitization standards: multimedia resources, text, still images
  • Advice for new collaborative digitization projects
  • Non-traditional digitization projects
  • Centralized or decentralized services
  • Staffing
  • Budgets, costs, and charges

Presentations should be approximately 12-15 minutes in length. We will allow time for questions and answers. Speakers are encouraged to lead discussions.

To submit a proposal for presentation, please email a brief description of your proposed topic to Rhonda Marker, chair of the Collaborative Digitization Interest Group, by May 17, 2013. Send submissions to to

“Ports in a Storm” Preconference: A new, community-focused approach to library disaster planning

When disaster strikes, where can the members of your community go for assistance?

What does your community need in the wake of a hurricane, an earthquake or terrorist attack?

How can you prepare your library to provide the answers to both of these highly relevant questions?

On Friday, June 28, the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) will host a revolutionary workshop ALA Annual Conference Chicago logothat takes a completely new approach to disaster planning: it focuses on how your library can serve as an ad hoc Disaster Response Center, providing information, services and respite to those in need after any kind of disaster.

The valuable content of this preconference, “Ports in a Storm: Your Library as a Disaster Recovery Center”is even more relevant in light of the recent emergency events in Boston and in West, Texas. The event connects librarians with the emergency planning community, first responders, public health workers and community-based and faith-based groups with disaster-related responsibilities, and discusses the roles libraries and information professionals can play in supporting future disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

The New Jersey State Library–the developers of this preconference content–recently ran this event in New Jersey and received rave reviews from FEMA representatives:
“You librarians really get it. We couldn’t have done it better ourselves.”

Register for the event now (event code ASC2).

At “Ports in a Storm”, library directors and branch managers will learn how to position their staff and facility to serve as an unofficial disaster recovery center after an incident, and hear about collaborative projects between librarians and community partners tasked with disaster-related responsibilities. Reference staff will especially be interested in learning about free health information tools and resources developed by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) to assist the public after a disaster. Check out these photos collected by the New Jersey State Library to see how people flocked to libraries following Hurricane Sandy.

Speakers at this event have firsthand experience providing these services after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and New York in late October 2012, and expert knowledge of the subject:

  • Thomas W. Galante, president and CEO of Queens Library, Queens County, NY
  • Michele Stricker, associate director, Library Development Bureau, New Jersey State Library
  • Lori Foley, vice president of emergency programs at Heritage Preservation
  • Dan Wilson, associate director for collections and library services at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Library.

You–and your community–can’t afford to miss this event.

Register now.

Additional event details:
Ports in a Storm: Your Library as a Disaster Recovery Center
Friday, June 28, 8am-12pm
McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago, IL
Registration Rates: $179, ASCLA member. $209, ALA member. $249, non-member. $159, ALA Retired and Student members.
You must register in advance, however you can register for this event without registering for the entire ALA Annual Conference–simply selected “Preconferences and Ticketed Events Only” as your registration type.

Call for Proposals: ASCLA programs, preconferences and institutes for 2014

ASCLA is now accepting proposals for:

  • Institutes for the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia
  • Preconferences for the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas
  • Programs for the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas

Institutes and preconferences are ticketed events held on the Friday of the conference. Programs are held throughout the Annual Conference and are included as a part of conference registration.

You can access the online program proposal form here:

You can also download a PDF of the form in preparation for submitting the online form. Only online submissions will be accepted!

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, May 15 Saturday, June 1!

We have a limited number of slots available for each type of event, so put your best foot forward when submitting a proposal.

Who can propose a program, institute or preconference? Any current ASCLA member can propose one of these events, however we strongly encourage support and sponsorship from one of our interest groups! If you’re not an interest group member, consider joining one and using the group as a springboard for your conference event ideas. Check out the list of our interest groups, contact information for interest group leaders and instructions on how to join.

What sorts of topics are of interest? The best topics represent ASCLA’s core member areas–state library agencies, special populations librarians, independent librarians and library consultants, and resource-sharing librarians at networks and cooperatives–but are also of interest to librarians throughout the profession from all types of libraries. Keep in mind that topics should still be relevant in January and June 2014 when they are finally presented! You can browse our interest group list here for inspiration.

If my event is accepted and approved by ASCLA, what will I be responsible for? You will be responsible for recruiting and serving as a liaison to the event speakers, as well as being on-site the day of the event to help coordinate event details. You will work with the ASCLA office to set up the event details with ALA Conference Services. The ASCLA office will promote your event, and will give you the tools to help spread the word.

I’m not an ASCLA member, but I’d like to get involved with program planning. The best way to do this is to join ASCLA, and then join one of our many interest groups.

Anything else I should know? If you’re going to go through the trouble of planning an in-person event, we want to maximize the reach of that information! Consider offering a webinar or other online learning opportunity in conjunction with the in-person event that will enhance the learning experience! So for example, you might offer a webinar in early May as a teaser for the content that will be covered at your conference program in June. In late July, you might host a follow-up discussion using a tool like ALA Connect, Google Hangout or Blackboard Collaborate that brings program attendees together to continue the conversation about what you’ve discussed at the previous two events.

Questions about the program planning process? Please contact Liz Markel, ASCLA marketing & programs manager at

We look forward to receiving your proposals!

Online Course: Sign up today for “Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities”

The next session of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies’ (ASCLA) valuable online course “Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities” will take place April 22 – May 19

This course includes two live online chat sessions, scheduled for Thursday, May 2, 3-4 pm Central Time and Thursday, May 16, 3-4 pm Central Time.

Registration will end at close-of-business on Thursday, April 18.

During this course, participants will identify library users with disabilities at their library and the resources and assistive technologies available to assist them; examine changes in attitudes, laws and technologies that have impacted people with disabilities; and will be able to recommend changes in personal and organizational behaviors to improve services for people with disabilities at their library. This course is truly designed for all library staff, including support staff, general professional staff, age-level or subject specialists, managers and administrators.

Act now, and register for this course.

Registration rates for this course start at $150 for division members; this rate includes the $20 fee for continuing education units (CEUs). Group rates are available–check the ASCLA online learning page for more details.

Here’s what some of our previous course participants had to say:

  • Several of our staff enrolled as a group, and used the course as a launching pad to have further discussion across the library. We all agree that there is much for us to do. It created momentum for us around the library about many issues of accessibility.  
  • We implemented a team to begin looking at all aspects of how our library assists people with disabilities. We have already begun making recommendations for improvement to our department heads.
  • We have already begun to look at programs and services in light of what we’ve learned and will be setting up a process that will prioritize new work to implement enhancements and improvements. Several recommendations have already been made in the areas of staff development and training, modifications to web pages and program statements and adoption of new technologies.
  • I feel I have a much more open mind about my programming and I definitely keep accessibility issues in mind when I plan now. The most valuable thing I learned in this course is to not be afraid to offer help and services to someone different to me.
  • The most valuable thing I learned was how to use “Person First Language.” Sharing ideas and having an open forum really helped my understanding of the public library’s goal of making things functional for everyone through technology, words and programming. I shared the information I learned from the course with the children’s staff at our annual meeting; as a library system we plan on doing more Sensory Storytime programs.

Are you part of a state library or a large public or university library network? We can arrange for a private offering of many of these courses for groups of 20 or more participants. Contact our web manager, Andrea Hill, at for more information. Group discounts for two or more participants from the same library are also available; links to rates and registration forms are included below.

Register now!

Deadline Extended! Deposits for ASCLA trip to Southern France due May 1

The deadline for reservations for the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) trip to southern France in October 2013 has been extended to May 1! There’s no better way to put your tax refund to use than to join us for this awesome adventure!

Destinations for this Mediterranean adventure include Nice, Cannes and Monaco.

This is the fourth fundraising trip hosted by ASCLA, a division of ALA. Previous adventures include Paris, Ireland and the upcoming trip to Italy in April 2013, which is sold out. This adventure is open to the library community; there are no membership requirements in order to participate. Previous travelers have brought spouses, siblings and friends along.

The trip will run Oct. 5-13, 2013. Travelers will arrive in Nice on Oct. 6, then transfer to Les-Baux-de-Provence. From Les Baux, the trip will explore the Luberon Valley, full of vineyards, lavender fields, olive groves and charming towns like L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Gordes; Arles and the St. Paul de Mausole; Avignon and the Palace of the Popes; and St. Remy. On Oct. 10, the group will depart for Cannes, visiting St. Tropez en route. From Cannes, travelers will visit Antibes, Juan les Pins, Vence and Eze. They’ll also tour the Monaco Library, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, the neo-Romanesque cathedral where Princess Grace and Prince Rainier are entombed; and Jardins St. Martin. Download a complete trip itinerary.

Those interested in making a reservation should contact Michael Stillwell at Lyceum Tours ( or ASCLAExecutive Director Susan Hornung ( for information. The cost of the trip is $2869 plus airfare. A deposit in the amount of $500 is due by March 31 to reserve your space, with the balance due by July 15.

About Us. 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. Not an ASCLA member, but interested in forming new interest groups, receiving discounted registration rates on ASCLA preconferences and online courses, and other important membership benefits? Join, renew or add ASCLA to your ALA membership at

Library Consultants: Sign up by April 30 to participate in Consultants Give Back event at ALA Annual Conference

The ASCLA Library Consultants Interest Group (LCIG) will again be sponsoring Consultants Give Back (CGB) at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. We are currently seeking library consultants to participate in this event. This year’s sign-up process will be slightly different from previous years: we will now be using a website,, developed by Lori Ayre.

Using will be very helpful because:

  • You enter the information yourself on the website
  • You can include a photo of yourself
  • You write your own profile in any way you want
  • You can change it at anytime
  • Once you indicate you will be participating, your name will be listed as a CGB participant for 2013
  • You can indicate in your contacts need to make an appointment or if you are available at special times

CGB in Chicago will take place on Sunday afternoon from 1 – 5:30 pm, location TBA in May.  However, you can make appointments with contacts at other times as is convenient for both of you.

Publicity for the event begins May 1, so please sign up at the website by April 30! This includes registering yourself at, entering your information and indicate your availability for the Consultants Give Back event in Chicago. Only those consultants who will be available at CGB in Chicago will be listed on the website for now. (LCIG is also hoping to have a CGB at the next PLA Conference and next year at ALA in Las Vegas.)

Participation in CGB and registration at the website is free to all consultants, however you must register for the ALA Annual Conference in order to participate. Register for the ALA Annual Conference here.

While registration for is free, there are costs associated with maintaining the database–voluntary contributions are welcome to help offset these costs.

If you have questions about CGB, please email Nancy Bolt at

If you have questions about or trouble with the website, contact Lori Ayre at

Do you know about the ASCLA Library Consultants Interest Group? Consider joining ASCLA and participating in this cutting-edge, entrepreneurial group.


We’re sharing the message below on behalf of ALA’s Office for Library Advocacy and Washington Office.

Please share it by sending a link to this blog post, retweeting it from our Twitter feed at @ala_ascla, or resharing from our Facebook page.


We issued an alert yesterday about the LSTA “Dear Colleague” letter that is now making rounds in the House of Representatives. We’d like library supporters to ask their Reps to sign on to this letter (Rep. Raul Grijalva is the lead signature). The deadline for signatures is April 10.

We even set up our nifty new calling tool from Mobile Commons so people can be connected directly to the DC office of their Rep.

Thanks to all of you who have already shared this alert with your lists. This is a great pre-Leg Day ask that you can follow up with at your meetings in May. Be sure to let me [Ted] know if you have any questions.

Ted Wegner
Grassroots Coordinator
American Library Association
Washington Office-Office of Government Relations
1615 New Hampshire Avenue N.W., 1st Floor
Washington, DC 20009-2520
Phone: 202-628-8410
Fax: 202-628-8419