Meet the ASCLA Board of Directors: Kathleen Moeller-Peiffer, President-Elect/Vice President

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.

Kathi Moeller-Peiffer
Kathi Moeller-Peiffer

Kathleen Moeller-Peiffer

Deputy State Librarian for Lifelong Learning

New Jersey State Library

Kathi is also ASCLA’s President-Elect, and completed a different Q&A session back in the spring–you can read it here.

  • Why did you join ASCLA? I joined ASCLA as it was the best professional “fit” within ALA once I began my work at a state library.
  • How has ASCLA helped you in your career? ASCLA has helped me in my career by the ability to meet so many talented and interesting people from which I have learned so much, especially about leadership.
  • What are some of the ASCLA activities you’ve participated in (committee volunteering, etc.)? I’ve participated in the State Library Agency Section, the Membership Committee, the President’s Program Committee and as Secretary on the ASCLA Board.
  • What is the current hot topic in your area of library work? How can ASCLA/ALA help address this issue? Ebooks are a hot topic for everyone. ASCLA can help by the discussions we have at board meetings on this and a variety of issues.
  • Tell us about your current role at your library/institution, and maybe a little bit about your career path, too. I currently work with three project specialists with expertise in such areas as youth services, diversity and outreach to small business. I worked in public libraries for most of my career which was excellent preparation for State Library work.
  • Describe a particularly rewarding experience in your library career. My most rewarding experience in my library career was being part of the team that brought up staff and public Internet access at the Durham County Library in Durham North Carolina.
  • What are you currently reading or listening to? I just finished Jill McCorkle’s book Life after Life and am saving other favorite authors for my upcoming August vacation.
  • Give one fun fact about yourself. I trained for a sprint triathlon that I never got to participate in, but I will finish one in my lifetime!
  • Any hobbies? See “fun fact” above!
  • Who is your hero? My heroes are my children as I watch them each find their own path in the world.

Reach Kathi at kpeiffer -at- njstatelib (dot) org.

Video Interview with ASCLA President’s Program Speaker Michael Margolis: See It Now

Get psyched up for the ASCLA President’s Program with a video interview between Stacey Aldrich, ASCLA President, and Michael Margolis of @getstoried here.

Michael and Stacey give us some good food for thought in preparation for Michael’s appearance at the 2013 ASCLA President’s Program, “Storytelling Mojo: Creating the 21st Century Library Narrative.” Learn storytelling strategies specific to the unique opportunities and challenges faced by libraries today. For the last year, our presenter, Michael Margolis, CEO of Get Storied, has collaborated closely with both the California and Pennsylvania State Libraries around this issue. Come learn why it’s important to tell your story, how to do it right, and some simple ways to get storied.

Add the program to your conference schedule:

Register for the 2013 ALA Annual Conference:

Q&A: Kathleen Moeller-Peiffer, incoming ASCLA Vice President/President-Elect

Congratulations to Kathi Moeller-Peiffer of the New Jersey State Library on her election to the ASCLA Vice President/President-Elect position! We asked Kathi some questions about her relationship with ASCLA and what she does when she’s not preoccupied with important library work. Swing by the ASCLA/COSLA Reception at the ALA Annual Conference to meet Kathi and other ASCLA members.

ASCLA Vice President/President-Elect Kathi Moeller-Peiffer
ASCLA Vice President/President-Elect Kathi Moeller-Peiffer

Why do you love ASCLA?

I love being an ASCLA member primarily due to the diversity of its membership. I’ve met librarians who work as independent consultants, at state library agencies, with cooperatives and consortia and as the main source of library service to underserved populations, such as the blind and physically handicapped and incarcerated youth and adults. I learn a little something from all of them.

What do you think the best parts of ASCLA are that would appeal to new members?

As mentioned above, the diversity. Also, it is one of the smaller ALA divisions which means that you get to know people more quickly and easily and can often find yourself being offered a leadership role in the organization sooner than in one of the large divisions. Finally, the very talented and bright people of both ASCLA and the ALA ASCLA office are a great benefit of membership!

In your opinion, how are current economic challenges affecting both the professions represented by ASCLA and the association itself?

It is stressful, no doubt about it. All of the professions represented by ASCLA are taking fiscal cuts which then impacts the number of librarians who can join the association, leading to fiscal implications for us as well. ASCLA professionals continue to advocate, educate and lobby funding bodies to restore monies cut. ASCLA as an association has been handling its finances very intelligently and has been creating money-making opportunities with webinars, pre-conferences and library trips abroad in order to weather these difficult fiscal times.

What is a significant change or improvement that you would like to see made within ASCLA during the next 3-5 years?

I would like to see the membership grow to the point where we have financial stability and therefore more time being allotted to us from ALA Headquarters. Right now we have 25% of our Director’s and Marketing Manager’s time. With just a small increase to 30% they could both do so much more in terms of fund-raising idea implementation.

What about the ALA Annual Conference are you looking forward to the most?

I am very much looking forward to the many groups that I’ll be meeting with for the first time in my role as vice president/president elect and the new knowledge that I’ll be gaining of both ASCLA and ALA. And, of course, the ASCLA/COSLA awards reception!

When you’re not spending your time at the library or at conferences, what do you like to do? Any hobbies?

Well, I do enjoy spending time with my husband’s and my three Labrador Retrievers. (That is not to say they couldn’t benefit from some time with the Dog Whisperer!) I also enjoy traveling, especially abroad. Over the past few years I’ve been to Hawaii, the Isle of Rhodes in Greece and Dubrovnik, Croatia and will be visiting Puerto Rico this fall.

Read any good books lately?

I’ve just started reading Karen White’s book After the Rain, which I’ll follow with her other recent books Sea Change and The Time Between. She is a tremendously gifted writer. Once I’ve started one of her books I simply cannot put it down.

If you had a superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

I have never, ever been asked this question before…good job stumping me! I believe that I would want the ability to time travel, both into the past and the future. I would not use it to change anything, but simply to observe what is happening and learn more about myself and others.

NEWS: Innovation at your library: ASCLA workshops, programming and events at the ALA Annual Conference

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a small and mighty division of ALA, will offer innovative and insightful preconferences, programs and events at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference; this year’s topics include disaster response, leadership development, effective decision-making, accessibility, services to older adults, arts programs for incarcerated youth and service evaluation.

Participants in ASCLA’s preconferences will find themselves at the forefront of library trends, advocacy and self-empowerment. “Ports in a Storm: Your Library as Disaster Recovery Center” will revitalize the role libraries play in their community following a disaster and show you how to build partnerships and access resources to achieve this goal. Librarians can cultivate loyalty from employees and library users as they develop their servant leadership persona with the help of professional library trainer Linda Bruno at the “Servant Leadership in Your Library” preconference. “Discovery to Delivery: Rethinking Resource Sharing” will bring together resource sharing librarians from public and academic libraries to discuss innovations in discovery, trends in physical and virtual delivery, e-books and ILL finances. Review pricing and event details and register for these preconferences at the ASCLA website.

At the ASCLA’s President’s Program, ”Storytelling Mojo: Creating the 21st Century Library Narrative,” speaker Michael Margolis, CEO of Get Storied, will revolutionize your approach to promoting, communicating about and advocating for your library. The program will focus on how we can think strategically about how we communicate within and outside of our libraries more effectively. Through this engaging and interactive session, Margolis will provide simple ways to help design and deliver powerful messages. The ASCLA President’s Program will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at McCormick Place Convention Center. Get program details and add the program to your schedule.

ASCLA’s conference programs will also offer a multitude of valuable, cutting edge ideas to transform libraries, librarian careers and the way we think about library services:

  • School and youth services librarians won’t want to miss “Arts + School Libraries Inside,” where we’ll discuss how school libraries serving incarcerated youth can create partnerships with arts organizations and non-profits and collaboration with art teachers. We’ll also cover collection development, programming and professional development.
  • Hear from the Institute of Museum and Library Services Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation how to improve the quality of program evaluation at “Do Those Evaluation Statistics Mean Anything?” Topics for discussion include strategies for improving the capacity of libraries to use evaluation by creating a network linking those producing evaluation with those who use the information to make better decisions.

  • Learn how to make decisions more nimbly and confidently with speaker Joan Frye Williams at “Beyond Brainstorming: Making More Effective Decisions.” Williams will present new strategies for decision-making that address modern pressures of time, finances and transparency, as well as the increased pace of change in our professional environments.

  • Help your library serve all people, regardless of abilities, with the tools and tips presented at “Easy and Affordable Accessibility.” Libraries of all sizes will benefit from hearing the lists of go-to resources, easy-to-use adaptive equipment and ways to make your library environment more user-friendly to everyone that will be shared at this session.

  • Interested in new programming ideas for serving older adults? Add “Boomers to Seniors: Library Models for Serving and Engaging Older Adults” to your schedule.The program will highlight two complementary IMLS-funded model programs targeting Baby Boomers–adults born between 1946 and 1964–in a variety of settings inside and outside the library.

Conference participants are also invited to celebrate ASCLA’s 2013 award winners and network with the vibrant membership community at the ASCLA/COSLA Reception, 5:45 – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 29. Register for the ALA Annual Conference now to participate in conference programming and events. Conference registration is not required in order to register for preconferences–select “Ticketed Events and Preconferences Only” as your registration type.

ASCLA, a small, mighty and growing 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. Learn more about ASCLA and how to join this innovative division.

ASCLA hosts prison library tour at 2013 ALA Annual Conference

Going to ALA Annual 2013 in Chicago? Want to find out more about the world of juvenile corrections & juvenile correctional librarianship in general? Are you already working in the field, and interested in seeing how another juvenile correctional facility library operates?  ASCLA and Library Services for Youth in Custody (LSYC) are co-sponsoring and hosting a Juvenile Detention Facility Tour at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and its library on Monday, July 1st, from 8:45am-12:30pm.

The Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and its library, operated by Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative School, are located on the west side of Chicago. Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center is one of the largest youth detention centers in the country. The school and library are operated by Chicago Public Schools and the library is staffed by a full-time, certified school library media specialist. Megan Cusick, Nancy B. Jefferson school librarian, and Camden Tadhg, logistics team chair of LSYC, will be running the tour.


“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!

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