Upcoming Webinar: Strategic Planning for Your Online Library Branch, May 10

An online library branch is an innovative way to provide enhanced 24-7 library services to your community.

Online library branches are also one way that many libraries are responding to rapidly advancing technologies, dynamic communications and shrinking budgets. Strategic planning is a crucial step libraries must take to ensure their online branch meets the business and technical requirements for the organization, while also addressing the needs of their multiple audiences. Seasoned strategic planners Cynthia Colmenares, CEO, Jack Frost Design and Beth Larkins, Account Manager, Jack Frost Design, will prepare you to take the first, most effective planning steps to meet these needs.

Our upcoming webinar, “Strategic Planning for Your Online Library Branch”, will be held Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 1:00-2:30 p.m. Central (Chicago) Time using Blackboard Collaborate. Registered participants will receive a link to the recorded session to rewatch at their convenience.


Individual registration fees start at $40 for ASCLA members. Groups wishing to participate in this session can register for a single login ($99), or pay just $38 per person for multiple logins (minimum 2 participants from the same library, library system or network. State libraries who are members of ASCLA receive significant savings, paying just $69 for a single login or $29 per person for multiple logins.

Register online now for these and other webinars.
Registration will remain open until close-of-business on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Group registration information is available at the ASCLA online learning page.
Questions about registration? Contact the ALA registration team at registration@ala.org or (800) 545-2433, option 5.
To add ASCLA to your ALA membership, contact membership@ala.org.

Webinar registration ends today! “Programming for Detained and Incarcerated Youth”

Today (Tuesday) is the last day to sign up for Thursday’s ASCLA webinar, “Libraries for Detained and Incarcerated Youth 101: Programming for Detained and Incarcerated Youth”.

The webinar will be held Thursday, April 26, 2012, 12-1:30 p.m. CT. We will be recording the webinar, so if you can’t attend at this specific time, register and we’ll send you a link afterwards to rewatch it.


ABOUT THIS WEBINAR: Library environments for detained, pending placement, or incarcerated youth are different than the typical public or school library and library professionals serving them often find themselves in situations that are completely different than anything for which they are prepared. As part of a series of webinars focusing on the needs of these youth, this session will look at programming for detained and incarcerated youth. This session will be recorded and will be available to paid registrants to rewatch at their convenience!

Individual registration starts at $40 for ASCLA members.
We do offer group registration rates: $99 for a single login, and $38/person for multiple logins.
More information is at the ASCLA online learning page.

QUESTIONS? Contact the ALA Registration team at registration@ala.org or (800) 545-2433, option 5.

**Interested in library services to incarcerated youth and adults?**
ASCLA welcomes participation in its two interest groups:

ASCLA Library Services for Youth in Custody Interest Group
ASCLA Library Services to the Incarcerated and Detained Interest Group

As a member of these groups, you can engage with peers on a variety of activities and issues related to these areas of library service. Simply log into ALA Connect, access each group using the hyperlinks above, and click “Join” on the right side of the page to get on board!

Registration for ASCLA’s online course “Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities” closes Thursday, April 19

Registration is open through close-of-business on Thursday, April 19, for “Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities”, an online course offered by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) that prepares your library and library staff to provide effective services to all users of the library.

Providing library services to people with disabilities is a role filled by all levels of library staff. From the part-time aide checking out library materials to the library director determining policies, staff skills and attitudes are crucial for a satisfactory library experience. 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. The course will begin Monday, April 23 and finish on Friday, May 18. Two live online sessions using the FlashChat feature of Moodle, the online course management system, will take place on Thursday, May 3 and Thursday, May 17, from 3-4 pm CENTRAL/Chicago Time. Students complete the remainder of the weekly coursework at their own pace.

Interested participants can register online now, register via fax or mail, or learn more about the course at the ASCLA website. Registration fees start at $130 for ASCLA members. Discounted group registration rates for two or more registrants from the same library, library system or network are available—download the group registration form. Contact ALA’s Membership and Customer Service Team with any questions about registration for this course at registration@ala.org or (800) 545-2433, option 5.

“Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities” is taught by Kate Todd, who has worked as a children’s librarian for The New York Public Library and as emerging technologies librarian for Manhattanville College. At Manhattanville College, she taught “Technology for Special Education” in the graduate school of education. She has also taught several online courses for the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC), including “Children with Disabilities in the Library”—this new ASCLA course is the general staff counterpart to that course.

ASCLA award for innovative universal access project shared by ‘Books for Dessert’ program and ‘Digital Access Project’

Read the official ALA press release.

This year’s ASCLA/KLAS/NOD Award, an annual honor presented by the Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), will be presented to two organizations that produced noteworthy services and programming for library users with disabilities: the Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library for its “Books for Dessert” Program, and the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library and the Boston Public Library Digital Access Project.

The award is supported by ASCLA, home to accessibility issues and advocacy within ALA, Keystone Library Automation Systems (KLAS) and the National Organization for Disabilities (NOD), with the $1000 prize donated by KLAS. The award recognizes an institution for an innovative and well-organized project that successfully developed or expanded services for people with disabilities and has made its total services more accessible through changing physical and/or attitudinal barriers. Faced with an overwhelming number of outstanding award applications for 2012, the committee chose two recipients for this year’s honor. Each winner will receive a citation and split the award money, receiving $500 each.

The Port Washington Public Library’s “Books for Dessert” program makes the riches of the public library accessible to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by sharing the joy of reading in a relaxed, social and supportive environment. Launched as a pilot program in 2003 with initial funding support from New York State, “Books for Dessert” has expanded from one group with eight participants to three groups, two evening and one morning, with about 50 participants. Program participants range in age from their early-20s to mid-60s. The club gathers once a week between September and June to read aloud from books like “The Pearl” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” learn vocabulary and enjoy refreshments and good conversation. At the completion of the book, a video of the same title may be shown. The group compares the book and the video, stimulating discussion and reinforcing comprehension of the material. In addition to these educational benefits, library usage has increased among registered Book Club members, as well as their friends, housemates and the agency staff driving club members to the meetings.

The “Books for Dessert” program receives support from community partners, including Community Mainstreaming Associates, Inc. and the Association for the Help of Retarded Children (AHRC), an advisory board of parents, library staff, experts in the field and certified special education teachers to bring a reading and discussion experience to adults with ID/DD. High school students also support the teachers during each session by answering questions and helping participants follow along in the book while someone else is reading. The Advisory Board has created a manual that will allow other libraries to replicate this program—more information is available by accessing “Books for Dessert” at www.pwpl.org.

“The Port Washington Public Library’s ‘Books for Dessert’ program has championed the idea that literacy for individuals over the age of 21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities is important and achievable,” said ASCLA President Norma Blake. “’Books for Dessert’ is an outstanding example of local public library innovation and ingenuity, and the library is to be commended not only for developing this highly successful program, but also for developing a program guide to help other public libraries across the nation to replicate the program in their local communities.”

The “Digital Access Project” is a collaborative activity of the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library (BTBL) and the Boston Public Library, with additional involvement from the Internet Archive of San Francisco. Through this joint initiative, patrons of the BTBL who are unable to read traditional printed text can quickly access print books available in the huge collection of the Boston Public Library within 24 hours. Access is made possible by the digital scanning of the print text in the scanning lab of the Internet Archive at the Boston Public Library, where a six-person staff uses semi-automated equipment to scan the requested book, page by page.

The file is subsequently converted into a copyright-protected DAISY (Digital Audio Information System) file that can only be accessed by eligible users of the NLSBPH (National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped) program network using a special digital key and authorized compatible digital players like the Victor Stream, the BookSense and the Bookport Plus. Within hours, the Internet Archive sends a Web link to Boston Public Library and it is forwarded back to Perkins indicating where the protected DAISY version of the book can be downloaded. Perkins staff download the book files from the provided link, and the Library then forwards the .zip file to the patron. The patron can then listen to it on their adaptive technology utilizing text-to-speech synthetic voice technology. In most cases, this process of converting a print book to an accessible DAISY file moves so efficiently that patrons receive access to the requested book within 24 hours.

“Using existing resources, the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library and the Boston Public Library, along with the Internet Archive, are successfully demonstrating both the power of collaboration and the power of technology in making print library collections accessible to people with disabilities,” said Tom Blake, digital projects manager at the Boston Public Library.

“The technology used in this innovative project not only removes barriers to print access for patrons with disabilities, it delivers the final accessible product with great speed! This type of information integration is pivotal to our fast-paced society where ready access to information is vital for success in a 21st century world,” states Kim Charlson, director of the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library.

This year’s awards will be presented at the ASCLA/COSLA Networking Party and Awards Reception, which will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 23, 2012 at one of the ALA Annual Conference hotels in Anaheim, Calif. All conference attendees are invited to this event, which will celebrate this year’s ASCLA award winners and also feature peer-to-peer networking activities. More information will be available at www.ala.org/asclain late spring.