Call for 2018 Conference Proposals

crowd clapping during a programASCLA is now accepting proposals for 2018 institutes, preconferences and programs for ALA’s 2018 midwinter and annual conferences.

Deadline to submit proposals for a 2018 institute or preconference is June 9, 2017 using this form

Deadline to submit proposals for a 2018 program is August 25, 2017.  Please see the submission site for instructions.  Please note, the link to the submission site will redirect to the ALA log-in page.  All submitters are required to have an ALA profile, but are not required to be ALA members. 

2018 Institute and Preconference Proposal Process

The ASCLA Conference Programming Committee (CPC) will review institute and preconference proposals and forward recommended proposals to the ASCLA Board for approval. Proposers will be notified shortly after annual conference of the status of their proposal.

This form is to be used by those who wish to organize:

  1. An institute at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, CO on Friday, February 9, 2018. An “Institute” is the Midwinter version of a Preconference. Institutes are usually a half day or a full day.
  2. A Preconference at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA likely on Friday, June 22, 2018. Preconferences are usually a half day or a full day.

Evaluation Criteria:
• Topic is timely and relevant to the membership
• Topic is not already, or has not been recently, addressed by another ASCLA program
• Expertise of speaker(s)
• Program objectives are clearly articulated
• Funding is secured if required
• Anticipated attendance
• The program may be prioritized if the section has not presented a program recently

The CPC is specifically looking for proposals that would appeal to librarians who serve people or youth who are incarcerated or in detention, state library staff, library consultants and independent librarians, library staff who serve people with disabilities and staff of library cooperatives and consortium or any of our interest group members found here:

Please complete this form and submit by June 9, 2017 to be considered.

Join Us – Online Public Forum on NLS Standards Revision

ada logoThe Working Team for the revision of the 2011 Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped invite you to make comments on the second, revised draft of the standards.

Three ways to comment:

  1. Using this Google form
  2. Join one of three online Public Forums

    1. April 27, 2017 at 9:00 AM PST/12:00 PM EST
      1. Login as a guest with your name with this access link
      2. Call-in number: 1-888-718-7314
      3. Participant Code: 92491678#
    2. May 11, 2017 at 10:30 AM at Western/Southern Conference in Santa Fe, NM
    3. June 6, 2017 at 2:15 PM at Midlands/Northern Conference in Ann Arbor, MI
  3. Email to the members of the Working Team
    1. Danielle Miller (, Director & Regional Librarian Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. Representing the Western Conference
    2. Will Reed (, OLBPD Manager, Cleveland Public Library/Ohio Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled. Representing the Midlands Conference
    3. Eura Szuwalski (, Project Director for the revision process. Goleta, California.

Continue reading “Join Us – Online Public Forum on NLS Standards Revision”

William “Will” R. Reed selected for ASCLA’s Cathleen Bourdon Service Award

Headshot_Will ReedWilliam “Will” R. Reed, Manager, Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, Cleveland Public Library, has been selected for the 2017 Cathleen Bourdon Service Award administered by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA).

“Will has proven to be a tireless advocate for information access and reading opportunities to individuals with print disabilities as noted with his work with the Library Services for People with Visual and Physical Disabilities Forum (LSPVPDF) as well as his role as a working team member to revise the Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and the Physically Handicapped”, said nominator Ruth J. Nussbaum. “I particularly appreciate his excellent working relationships with colleagues and his ability to form consensus”, Nussbaum added.

Colleagues specifically highlight Reed’s expertise, approachability and influence with the use of Adaptive Technology. Reed developed a model of service delivery for libraries serving people with print disabilities. This model is successfully used at the D.C. Public Library where it helped them to build their JAWS curriculum into a powerful force for Adaptive Technology training, employment and entrepreneurship.

Reed will be honored at the ASCLA Achievement Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 24, 2017 from 10-11:30am at the Hilton Chicago during ALA Annual Conference. Breakfast will be provided. All conference attendees are invited to attend the event. See additional event details.

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association, enhances the effectiveness of library service by advocating for and providing high quality networking, enrichment and educational opportunities for its diverse members, who represent state library agencies, libraries serving special populations, library cooperatives and library consultants.

Act now! Save IMLS!

we the peopleLast week The White House released the proposed budget that calls for eliminating the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), the only federal agency charged with providing support to the nation’s hundreds of thousands of libraries and museums. ALA and ASCLA need your help to ensure that IMLS is saved, because without libraries people will not have the access to resources and support they need to succeed in school, careers, their communities and their everyday lives.

Here’s how you can help right now:

  • Use the sample messages in this form to contact the offices of your members of Congress.
  • Sign up via this web page to receive updates on the #SaveIMLS effort.
  • Start planning how you and other library advocates will participate in National Library Legislative Day on May 2 in Washington D.C.
  • Can’t make it to D.C.? Register for Virtual Library Legislative Day! We’ll send you a reminder to take action, along with a link to the live webcast of our keynote and issue briefing on the morning of May 1st. We’ll also send you the talking points, give you access to email templates, and other resources to help you take action.
  • Join and track the conversations #SaveIMLS, #LibrariesRespond.
  • Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to do take these actions, too!

Don’t know much about IMLS?  Here’s a quick overview: through IMLS, every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories receive funding to support their state’s libraries and museums. In FY14 the total funding IMLS distributed to states and territories was $154,800,000. In addition, IMLS offers competitive grant opportunities that individual libraries and museums can apply for.  In FY14 they awarded 594 grants (from 1,299 applications) totaling more than $54,700,000. Visit the IMLS site to see how much funding your state receives from them.

Timing is key, make our priorities clear to Congress!

ASCLA’s 2017 Nominees

Vote on keyboardASCLA is very happy to announce the candidates standing for office for the division and sections in 2017. Thanks very much to those willing to volunteer their time, energy and skills for ASCLA – the smallest but mightiest division of ALA! The 2017 elections opened on March 13, 2017 and will close on April 5, 2017. Results will be announced on April 12, 2017. Read all the election details here.

Tracy Rochow Byerly          MO
Adam Szczepaniak, Jr.        NJ

Lily Sacharow                      NY
Erin Boyington                    CO
Brenda Hough                     KS (if voting for Hough, please write-in her name)

Designated Director, Special Populations
Carrie Scott Banks              NY

Designated Director, Library Consultants
Amy Jane Paget                   IN

Biographies may be found here.

Sign up for National Library Legislative Day 2017.

2017 National Library Legislative Day Logo
Registration for National Library Legislative Day 2017 is open! To find information about the event, to register, or to book a room in the hotel block, please visit

As with previous years, National Library Legislative Day 2017 will be held at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, DC. Briefing day will take place on May 1st, and includes informational sessions about each of the most important legislation issues libraries are facing, as well as advocacy training with experts from the Campaign Workshop. On May 2nd, each state delegation will go to their meetings on the Hill with their elected officials.
Featured issues include:

  • Library funding
  • Privacy and surveillance reform
  • Copyright modernization
  • Access to government information
  • Affordable broadband access
  • Net neutrality protection

Registration this year is $50 and includes entry into a reception held on Capitol Hill, along with a folder full of briefing materials, talking points, and other resources.

To learn more about the event, check out our blog post on District Dispatch.

As always, please feel free to reach out to Lisa Lindle at if you have any questions!

ASCLA and FAFLRT Merger: Open Forum Set

two puzzle pieces going together to signify mergerUpdate: the recording of the 2/14 open forum can be viewed here.

Dear FAFLRT and ASCLA Members,

As you may be aware, last year ASCLA and FAFLRT began holding conversations about merging our two units. The discussions have been very productive, fostering a cordial environment, encouraging collaboration.

FAFLRT is moving the process further by having their members vote on the merger during the 2017 ALA Elections.

Before the referendum occurs, we want to hold an open forum for members of both organizations to learn about our two groups. This forum will be online, via Adobe Connect, and will feature the presidents of both ALA units. They will provide information about both organizations, give a synopsis of the current situation, outline what a merged unit would look like, and discuss future steps.

Most important is that this will offer an opportunity for you, members of both units, to ask questions and offer feedback.

Here are the details for the forum:

Date: Tuesday, February 14.
Time: 3:00pm EST/2:00pm CST/ 1:00 MST/ 12:00pm PST
PowerPoint Presentation: FAFLRT and ASCLA Proposed Merger_2-13-17. 
Link to log join:

If you want to join the forum via phone, call:
Participant Code: 91920045#

Also, we want to give people a chance to ask questions anonymously. You may do so by using the Google form linked here: We will attempt to answer as many questions as possible during the time allotted.

The merger proposal from ASCLA can be found here: Proposal for Merger of FAFLRT and ASCLA_2-13-17. We encourage members of both units to read through it and also learn about both organizations through their web sites:


Thanks so much for your membership to both organizations. We’re looking forward to speaking with you on the 14th!


Karl Debus-Lopez
FAFLRT President

Michael Golrick
ASCLA President