Nominations accepted until Dec. 15 for ASCLA award recognizing library service to blind and physically handicapped

ASCLA seeks nominees for its annual Francis Joseph Campbell Award, which recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped.

The award, which consists of a citation and a medal, is named for Sir Francis Joseph Campbell, the co-founder of the Royal National College for the Blind (United Kingdom). In the spirit of Campbell’s contributions to education for the blind and visually impaired, award winners are selected for their notable and important contributions to advancing the quality and availability of library services for the blind and physically handicapped communities. Contributions may take the form of an imaginative and constructive program in a particular library; a recognized contribution to the national library program for blind persons; creative participation in library associations or organizations that advance reading for the blind; a significant publication or writing in the field; imaginative contribution to library administration, reference, circulation, selection, acquisitions  or technical services; or any other activity of recognized importance.

In 2009, Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood won the Campbell award for his outstanding efforts as a  champion and advocate for the funding and support of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLSBPH) in its transition from analog to digital talking book technology. His background as an educator has contributed to his strong endorsement of full funding for this transition, and he was cited in particular for his diligent advocacy in this area, which underscores the ideal that all may read and ensures equal library access and services for all Americans with print disabilities.

Those interested in submitting a nomination should download the nomination form and submit it to Jill Lewis, award committee co-chair per the instructions on the form. The deadline for all submissions is Dec. 15, 2010. The winner will be announced in the spring of 2010, with the award to be presented at the ALA Annual Conference, June 24-29, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

Advance registration for ASCLA accessibility workshop, lower registration fees end Friday

Registration rates will go up after this Friday, Dec. 4, for “Breaking Down Barriers: Best Practices in Universal Design for Libraries,” a half-day workshop sponsored by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) and held in conjunction with the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Library directors, trustees, friends and leaders interested in low cost, high impact ways to make a library fully accessible should attend this event, which will cover information and communication accessibility, as well as physical accessibility. Attendees will learn how to incorporate accessible accommodations into strategic planning, as well as building renovation and expansion plans. They’ll also have a chance to present their library’s unique accessibility challenge and receive on-the-spot consultation from expert speakers.

This workshop, made possible through a partnership between ASCLA and the Institute for Human-Centered Design (ICHD) (formerly Adaptive Environments), will feature speakers from the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), the Perkins School’s Braille and Talking Book Library, The Carroll Center, the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)

“Breaking Down Barriers” will be held 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, at the ICHD, located at 200 Portland Street, Suite 1, in Boston. The MBTA’s North Station is only a few blocks away, providing easy access to the Green and Orange lines, as well as several commuter rail lines. Subway, commuter rail and other pertinent transit information and schedules are available at the MBTA website.

Register for this event now at Interested participants should note that the institute (event code ASC2) is a separate ticketed event; registration for the Midwinter Meeting is not required in order to attend this event. For institute-only registration using the online form, select “Institute and Ticketed Events Only” as the registration type, and proceed to select this event from the list. Advance registration is $155 for all attendees and ends Dec. 4. On-site registration costs $185 and is available from Dec. 5 to Jan. 8.

IHCD is an international non-profit organization, founded in Boston in 1978, committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities. IHCD’s work balances expertise in legally required accessibility with promotion of best practices in human-centered or universal design.

Great Stories CLUB now accepting applications

Connect troubled teens with the power of reading with a Great Stories CLUB reading and discussion series. The ALA Public Programs Office and YALSA are now accepting online applications through November 2 for the next round of Great Stories CLUB grants at Funding was provided for this program by Oprah’s Angel Network.

The Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books) is a book club program designed to reach underserved, troubled teen populations through books that are relevant to their lives. Feedback from libraries that have held past Great Stories CLUB reading and discussion series has been consistently positive:

• “Students had an overwhelmingly positive response to the program. For several of the students this was the first novel they had ever read in its entirety.” – Highland High School, Albuquerque, N.M. (partnered with Teenagers Encountering and Embracing New Solutions (T.E.E.N.S.), a Title I funded program that provides support to homeless adolescents)
• “The importance of being able to offer something that the resident can choose to participate in and keep after the program ends cannot be underestimated in a facility where residents don’t wear their own clothes, or choose when and what they eat.” – Platte Valley Youth Service Center Library, Greeley, Colo.
• “…working with the boys continues to be one of the most rewarding experiences of our careers. It is remarkable to listen to these young men share their insights, feelings and experiences as we discuss a book. We have watched them become active library users and we hope that they will continue to see the value and importance of libraries throughout their lives.” – Vernon Area Public Library, Lincolnshire, Ill. (partnered with Depke Juvenile Justice Complex)

All types of libraries (public, school, academic and special) located within or working in partnership with facilities serving troubled teens in the United States and its territories are eligible to apply for a Great Stories CLUB grant. Potential organizations for Great Stories CLUB partnership include juvenile justice facilities, drug rehabilitation centers, nonprofits serving teen parents, alternative high schools, agencies serving teenaged foster children, shelters serving homeless and runaway youth and other agencies. For tips on creating a partnership, visit

Following the application process, 265 libraries will be selected to develop a book discussion program for troubled teens based on the three theme-related titles and will be given copies of the books to share with participants. Participating libraries will also receive access to an online toolkit to support the program, including sample discussion questions, recommended titles for further reading and other resources. Small cash grants ($100-$200) will be awarded to up to 50 sites for the support of program-related expenses.

For more information on the Great Stories CLUB, including guidelines, book titles and descriptions, application instructions and feedback from past participants, visit