Kathleen Peiffer offers a fond farewell to ASCLA membership


Dear ASCLA members:

At the end of Annual Conference I concluded my three year term as president elect/ president/past president. I want to thank everyone in the association, as well as the ASCLA office staff, for their support, friendship and willingness to serve the association in so many ways.

Our association continues to grow; however, I hope that we never get so large that members feel “lost”. There is still plenty of work to be done to keep our division “small but mighty”!

Please offer the new ASCLA president, Michael Golrick, your time and talent. We will all be richer for it.

Kathleen Peiffer
State Librarian
New Mexico State Library
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Public Hearing in Orlando for the Revision of the Standards for Libraries Serving People who are Blind or Handicapped, 2011

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) will hold a public hearing at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando on Sunday, June 26, 2016, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM, in the Orange County Convention Center, Room W105A for the revision of the 2011 Standards for Libraries Serving People who are Blind or Physically Handicapped. The 2011 Standards may be viewed here: http://www.ala.org/ascla/sites/ala.org.ascla/files/content/asclaissues/LCNIS2011Introduction.pdf.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, is the administrator for the free informational and recreational reading resources for residents of the United States who are unable to read or use standard print materials because of visual or physical impairment.

The Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which was last revised in 2011, is the standing document that guides network libraries and staff around the country who provide direct service to eligible individuals and institutions.

Additional information about NLS and the patrons that are served can be found in these promotional videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udZ6NO5_x-Q and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIKG2HxnYMk. A working paper of the current progress of the Working Team can be found here: Working Paper Download.

Comments from the general public are invited and can also be sent to the Working Team here:


The revision of the standards is supported by a grant from the Library of Congress. The ASCLA President appoints the members of the Working Team and the Advisory Committee, with input from NLS. Library members of both are usually ASCLA members that represent the four regional conferences of network libraries. In addition to network librarians, ASCLA asks the presidents of specific consumer groups to select representative to the committee. Finally, the president of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) is asked for a representative to the committee. The Working Team will receive assistance from a Project Advisory Committee of consumers and librarians that will advise the Team, review draft documents, and serve as a sounding board for the concerns of the groups they represent.

The working and advisory team members are:

Working Team

Eura Ryan Szuwalski, Project Director

Goleta, CA 93117

Danielle H. 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


Advisory Team

Eura Ryan Szuwalski, Project Director

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



ASCLA 2016 Election Results: Smithee is New ASCLA President-Elect

Congratulations to our new board members! We look forward to a terrific year working with each and every one. Thanks also goes to all who stood for election – it’s very much appreciated!

President-Elect: Jeannette Smithee

Secretary: Wendy Knapp

Director-at-Large: Carson Block

Designated Director, Special Populations: Patrice Johnson

Designated Director, Cooperatives and Networks: Sheryl Knab

Designated Director, State Library Agencies: Mary Soucie

Susan Hornung

ASCLA Executive Director

Purchase a 2016 Library Calendar from ASCLA Now!

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, (ASCLA) announces their newest fundraiser, a 2016 full size calendar, which highlights the spectacular Chicago Libraries, as well as the mission ASCLA proudly serves. ASCLA, may be the smallest division of the American Library Association, but certainly the mightiest and leader in innovation, committed to enriching services, resources and providing information to those who work with people with disabilities and special needs.

Amy Stieve, Chicago’s very own, volunteered her photographic and design services. Photo shoots took place at some of the most beautiful libraries in Chicago, such as the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, Chicago Public Library-Harold Washington Library Center, Newberry Library, and American Library Association Library. After taking hundreds of photos, only a select few were specially chosen for ASCLA’s very first fundraising calendar. Calendar cost is $25.19 for ALA members, $27.99 for Non-members and 100% of the proceeds go directly to ASCLA. Whether you are “kicking off” your holiday shopping or making that last minute purchase, this purchase is for a great cause. There is a limited amount, so those interested should make their purchase today. You can help support ASCLA’s mission by purchasing calendars here.

ASCLA, is a diverse organization of librarians and support staff who work in academic and public libraries, state agencies/libraries, special libraries such as prison libraries and libraries serving people with disabilities, and library cooperatives, as well as those who are consultants and self-employed. Not an ASCLA member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, ASCLA preconferences and other ASCLA events? Join, renew or add ASCLA to your ALA membership at www.ala.org/membership.

Ready to Submit a Proposal for an ASCLA Webinar or Online Course?

Call for online learning proposals: Submit by Sept. 18, 2015 for ASCLA online courses, webinars

Access the online webinar submission form here.

Download a PDF of the webinar form to help you prepare your submission.

Access the online course submission form here.

Download a PDF of the online course form to help you prepare your submission.

ASCLA invites subject matter experts and experienced librarians with knowledge to share to submit proposals for ASCLA webinars and online courses to be presented between October 2015 and August 2016 as a part of ASCLA’s outstanding online learning offerings. See the list of suggested hot topics below.

ASCLA welcomes proposals on topics that will assist our diverse membership in improved service delivery and job performance, as well as topics that reflect ASCLA’s expertise and are valuable for all types of libraries, librarians and library support staff across the profession.

Proposals will be accepted through September 18, 2015 Webinars approved for presentation will be offered between Oct. 22, 2015 and August 31, 2016. Approved online courses will launch in November 2015 through August 2016.

What are we currently offering as webinars and online courses? Check them out at the ASCLA website. More information about the submission process and ASCLA’s online learning offerings is at the ASCLA website under the Online Learning section.

Webinar presenters and online learning instructors are compensated for their work (($150 to be split among webinar presenters; a development fee and per student rate for online courses) and will receive training and support for Adobe Connect, the webinar technology platform used by the division, and Moodle, the online tool used for courses.

Successful online learning proposals will:


  • Show plans for content and presentation strategies that will fill the allotted time: 60-75 minutes for webinars, and 4-6 weeks for courses;
  • Identify clear learning outcomes for participants;
  • Clearly illustrate the qualifications of the presenter(s)/instructor(s) with respect to the proposed topic;
  • IMPORTANT: 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. Proposals that are unique from other available online learning offerings are also highly valued.


Proposal topics for courses and webinars may include, but are not limited to the following:

    • ADA updates for libraries
    • Correctional libraries and Adult programming
    • Assessing accessibility knowledge
    • Benchmarks and evaluation measures
    • Budgeting how-to’s for the first time manage
    • Collaborative digitization
    • Correctional/prison librarianship 101: covering the basics of a good prison/jail library
    • Data analysis and assessment
    • Dealing with learning disabilities
    • Designing effective surveys
    • Download training for patrons who use accessibility tools like screen readers
    • E-books and cooperatives
    • Emerging technologies for those with special needs, including apps and ipads
    • Evaluating and improving cooperative services
    • Evaluation content analysis
    • Future trends in library service
    • Grants: how to find grant funding and write your proposal
    • Group purchasing
    • Health literacy
    • How to be a consultant
    • How to be a futurist
    • How to deliver online training
    • How to hire a library consultant
    • Innovations in library service
    • Innovative services for an aging population
    • Law librarianship for correctional librarians
    • Library cooperatives: managing and improving services
    • Low-literacy adults
    • Marketing library services to special needs populations
    • Marketing on a shoestring budget
    • Navigating book selection sources
    • Nonprofit leadership
    • Outcomes-based education
    • Outreach skills training
    • Outreach to visually or physically handicapped populations
    • Partnering with community organizations
    • Recognizing great service in member libraries
    • Seeking grants for consultancy work
    • Serving library patrons with cognitive or mental impairments
    • Standards and guidelines to improve library services to people with disabilities or people who are incarcerated
    • Technology trends for special needs populations
    • Training staff to serve library users with disabilities, and raising awareness of this important population
    • Utilizing focus groups to prioritize services to the disabled
    • Working with refugees.

Questions about submissions or about ASCLA’s online learning programs should be sent to Andrea Hill, ASCLA web manager and primary online learning contact at ahill@ala.org.


Act Right Now! Register for “The ADA In Your Library” Preconference

Dear Members,

Do you ever have questions or concerns about ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) issues in your library, such as:

  • What are some best practices for approaching and handling service animals in your library?
  • Who and what does the ADA cover?
  • What is the appropriate terminology to use with library users with disabilities?
  • What’s the best way to communicate with library users who are blind or have hearing disabilities?

All these questions and more will be answered at ASCLA’s preconference: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) In Your Library. Experts from the training staff of the Pacific ADA Center have tailored this preconference training program for the specialized needs that all libraries face. Staff at any level working in academic, public, and special libraries will all benefit from attending this preconference. Don’t hesitate to sign up now: Register here.

Date: Friday, June 26 2015, Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Location: Moscone Convention Center, 2012 West

Cost: Members $275, Non Members $299, If you are a member of ASCLA, use special code ASCLA2015 to receive the price of $225.

For more information, go here.

I hope to see you at the Preconference!

Susan Hornung

Executive Director, ASCLA/RUSA



Calling All Futurists and Scenario Planners!

At the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, ASCLA will be sponsoring a valuable preconference for all librarians!

Who hasn’t experienced the need for a window into the future to help inform in areas such as resource development and fund raising activities, community engagement, strategic planning and advocacy efforts? This preconference, sponsored by ASCLA Future of Libraries Interest Group and ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries, will help all creative thinkers. Experts trained in the nationally recognized Foresight program at the University of Houston, will go through the steps for activities that you can do to develop scenarios for your organization. You’ll also learn some of the techniques of trend-spotting. Please register for this timely and essential preconference here; for all ASCLA preconferences go here). More about this preconference:

Looking to the Future: Strategic Foresight and Scenario Planning Go beyond trend spotting and learn how professional futurists leverage strategic foresight tools and approaches to look and see the big picture of where we are headed. Join our presenters, two consultants trained in Foresight by the University of Houston, as they lead hands-on activities where you will learn tools and techniques you can leverage for creating future scenarios at your own organization. This preconference will have maximum value for those interested in strategic planning, scenario planning, trend-spotting, futurism and anticipating significant changes that lie ahead. Co-Sponsored by the American Library Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries and the Future of Libraries Interest Group.  Register here.


  • Jamie Hollier, MLS., Consultant
  • Jen Chang, MLS., JD., Consultant.

Date: Friday, June 26 2015, Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Location: TBD

Call for ASCLA 2016 Program and Preconference/Institute Proposals

Dear ASCLA Members,

It’s that time of year again – conference program proposal time!

ASCLA is calling for program and preconference/institute proposals for 2016 (Midwinter 2016, January 8-12, will be in Boston, MA. and Annual Conference 2016, June 23-28, will be in Orlando, FL). The deadline to receive online proposals for 2016 is May 8, 2015. Once collected, the ASCLA office will send the proposals to the ASCLA Conference Programming Committee to oversee, organize and recommend for approval to the ASCLA board at the Annual Conference in San Francisco, 2015.

The online proposal form is here: https://www.conferenceabstracts.com/cfp2/login.asp?EventKey=CTTMUHUN. Please click on this link and then click on Click here to begin a new Proposal.”

We are counting on you to propose some sterling programming at our 2016 conferences so be sure to spread the word!

Best Wishes,

Susan Hornung

shornung at ala.org


ASCLA Jewelry Sale, Midwinter 2015

Dear ASCLA Members,

If you will be at the Midwinter conference in Chicago, please consider stopping by the Hyatt Regency-Convention Center for a jewelry sale to benefit ASCLA. Nancy Bolt will have some gorgeous and unique items for sale – see the flyer here.

Hope to see you there!

Best Wishes
Susan Hornung
Executive Director, ASCLA/RUSA
shornung at ala.org

ASCLA Seeks Editor for Online Membership Journal: Interface

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) seeks an editor for its quarterly online membership journal InterfaceInterface serves as a critically-important source of information and communication, reaching ASCLA’s 800 members each quarter and sharing news and best practices in ASCLA’s areas of interest with the larger library and user community.  Guided by ASCLA editorial policy, the editor is responsible for the content, format, and timely publication of Interface.

Applicants should have a strong overall knowledge of the association and its goals and have an interest in and knowledge of issues relevant to ASCLA members.  Applicants must have written and published articles and/or have demonstrated editorial experience.  Preferred applicants will have experience or familiarity with the technical and editorial issues associated with electronic and Web publishing.

Compensation of up to $1,000 annually will be provided to the Interface editor to cover travel to ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting.   The editor also receives complimentary registration for both conferences and VIP early registration for hotels.

The two-year appointment as Interface editor will begin upon appointment and end at the conclusion of the Annual Conference in 2016.  The term is renewable upon approval of the ASCLA Board. 

The deadline for application is July 10, 2014. It is anticipated a candidate will be selected by mid-August.  

Applicants should email a resume and cover letter summarizing their editorial philosophy, two to four samples of written work or editorial activities, and contact information for two professional references to Susan Hornung, ASCLA Executive Director: shornung@ala.org.

A division of the American Library Association, ASCLA enhances the effectiveness of library service by providing networking, enrichment and educational opportunities for its diverse members, who represent state library agencies, libraries serving special populations, consortia, and consultants. ASCLA is a division of the American Library Association. For more information, visit www.ala.org/ascla.

Job Description: ASCLA Interface Editor


Reports to Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) Board 
Term 2-year appointment, from the end of ALA 2014 Annual Conference through 2016 Annual Conference. The Editor is appointed by the ASCLA Board; the term is renewable upon approval of the Board. The Editor must be a member of ASCLA. 
Summary of Position
  • Interface is the official newsletter of the ASCLA. It supports effective communication by reporting official acts and activities of the units of ASCLA, disseminating substantive articles and special focus issues on latest developments in the fields of interest to ASCLA members, and serving as a communication channel to the broader library and user community.
  • Guided by the editorial policy approved by the ASCLA Board, the editor is responsible for the content, format, and timely publication of Interface and prepares an annual plan indicating topics to be addressed in quarterly issues.
  • The Publications Committee serves in an advisory capacity to the editor and develops guidelines to assist the editor.


Specific Responsibilities
  • Establish the annual schedule in consultation with the ASCLA Executive Director and share content deadlines with the ASCLA President and members of the Board, committee chairs, and interest group leaders.
  • Establish a theme for each quarterly issue of Interface, based on regular communication with ASCLA members, section leaders, Board, committees, and staff, breaking news, and activities of interest.
  • Invite articles related to the theme, through personal invitation to a few key authors and through general announcement using the ASCLA listservs and others as appropriate.
  • Gather articles for quarterly publication.
  • Collect signed copyright release forms from each author.
  • Work closely with the ASCLA office to incorporate articles submitted by staff.
  • Edit articles for content, style, and correct grammatical usage, consulting with other experts as needed. The ASCLA Publications Committee serves as an unofficial editorial board, and section leaders and ASCLA Board members are always willing to provide advice and counsel in their areas of expertise.
  • Prepare each issue for posting to the ASCLA website and submit files via e-mail to the ASCLA office.
  • Attend ASCLA Board meetings at ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meetings as non-voting ex-officio member, and attend as many interest group and committee meetings, programs, and other ASCLA-related events as possible.
  • Periodically survey members to determine their satisfaction with Interface and elicit ideas for improvement.
  • Occasionally handle requests for republication and resolve problems.


Honoraria ASCLA contributes $1,000 per year to help offset the conference expenses of the Interface editor. In addition the Interface editor receives complimentary registration for both conferences and VIP early registration for hotels.