Meet the ASCLA Board of Directors: Chris Corrigan, Designated Director of Special Populations

Throughout the coming weeks on this blogspace, we’ll be profiling members of the ASCLA Board of Directors, and it’s the perfect opportunity to learn a bit more about these amazing leaders! Does something in their replies pique your interest? Reach out to them via their contact info at the end of the post. A little networking goes a long way towards improving your personal and professional life.

Chris Corrigan
Chris Corrigan

Chris Corrigan

Digital Reference Librarian, Library of Congress, NLS/BPH

ASCLA Designated Director of Special Populations

  • Why did you join ASCLA? I joined ASCLA because it is an appropriate fit to connect with library professionals who work with diverse populations of patrons.  
  • How has ASCLA helped you in your career? Because of my familiarity with the Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, I was able to cite them while referencing my experience when applying for my new position.
  • What are some of the ASCLA activities you’ve participated in? ASCLA Board, Web Presence Committee, Universal Access Interest Group
  • What is the current hot topic in your area of library work? How can ASCLA/ALA help address this issue?  NLS is about to roll out a new iOS app for the BARD service. ASCLA could help by assisting in developing methodology for ascertaining patron feedback.
  • Tell us about your current role at your library/institution, and maybe a little bit about your career path, too. I just started as the new Digital Reference Librarian with NLS. Currently, my role is to help update our reference publications with relevant material of interest to people with disabilities, those who work with people with disabilities, their families, or anyone one else who has a general interest. In addition, I am continuing to manage, maintain and update NLS’ reference collection of material pertaining to people with disabilities.
    Prior to joining NLS, for four years (from January 2009 to May 2013) I was a Library Associate (LA) with the Adaptive Services Division of the DC Public Library (DCPL). This position was unique from other LA positions in the DCPL system because it was within an NLS network library. This allowed me to be creative and innovative in my work with patrons with disabilities. I created a curriculum for teaching basic computer skills with adaptive technology, maintaining two instructional websites for students to refer to, performed individualized reader’s advisory work with patrons confined to their homes and worked with professionals in the web accessibility and assistive technology field.
    I hope to continue on this career path by learning from the many mentors I have met and will meet in order to better serve my patrons and become a strong contributor to the field.
  • Describe a particularly rewarding experience in your library career. Using the curriculum I developed with Adaptive Services, I created series of small classes for visually impaired adults. These classes culminated in a graduation ceremony where the students invited their families to celebrate with them as they were recognized for their accomplishments. I was overjoyed to observe the pride they had for themselves in their accomplishment.  
  • What are you currently reading or listening to? I just checked out four books from the library and am trying to decide which to read: Jussi Alder-Olsen’s The Keeper of Lost CausesDavid Benioff’s City of ThievesUmberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum and Umberto Eco’s The Prague Cemetery.
  • Tell us one fun fact about yourself. I grew up playing, running and walking my dog in the same place Walt Whitman once nursed Union soldiers.
  • Any hobbies? Running.
  • Who is your hero? S. R. Ranganathan. I think it is important to remember that our’s is a service profession and we are there for the people we serve not ourselves. Whenever I forget this I look to Ranganathan’s 5 Rules of Library and Information Science:

            1. Books are for use

            2. Every reader his/her book

            3. Every book its reader

            4. Save time for the reader

            5. The library is a growing organism.

Reach Chris at corrigancj -at- yahoo (dot) com or 202-707-9286.

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