Message from Executive Director, Susan Hornung

Dear ASCLA Members:

I look forward to seeing those of you who will be in Atlanta for the Midwinter Conference this year. As many of you know, this is my last conference as ALA staff since I’ll be retiring at the end of April 2017. It has been a wonderful 7½ years getting to know ASCLA members and working to carry out the mission. I am leaving ASCLA in a stronger place – everyone has stepped up to the plate over the last few years and membership has increased and the association has strengthened. You and the association mission are why people want to join. I have felt that ASCLA is the heart and soul of ALA – it has truly been a pleasure and a privilege to serve you.

I hope those of you who will be in Atlanta for Midwinter will take time to visit with us at the ASCLA Happy Hour on ASCLA/COSLA Happy Hour, Friday, January 20, 2017, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Omni Hotels and Resort’s Latitudes Lounge at 100 CNN Center. This is a great opportunity to network, mingle, meet up with old acquaintances (and find some new ones!) and have a little bit of fun. ASCLA’s leaders and volunteers will be available to talk about ASCLA, so be sure to bring a friend or anyone interested in learning more about or joining ASCLA. One of ASCLA’s strengths is that our small size allows us to network and connect with each other better than some of the bigger divisions, and with more fun! All members and visitors are welcome and encouraged to come.

Please try to attend the public hearing for revisions of the standards for libraries serving people who are blind and physically handicapped. Your comments and feedback are needed. The hearing will take place Monday, January 23, 2017, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, Room: Georgia World Congress Center, B214. More information can be found here:

If you’re interested in volunteering for ASCLA, you might also want to attend the ASCLA All-Committee meeting held on Saturday, January 21, 2017, 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM, Room: Georgia World Congress Center, A410. Many of our committees and interest groups will be meeting and this is a great way to learn more about ASCLA’s work. All are encouraged and welcome to come to these meetings.

Last but not least, the ASCLA board will meet twice in Boston; please feel free to join us as our honored guests. The board meetings will be held:

Board of Directors Meeting I (ASCLA)
Saturday, January 21 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Room: Georgia World Congress Center, B316

Board of Directors Meeting II (ASCLA)
Monday, January 23 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Room: Georgia World Congress Center, B316

Again, I want to thank every ASCLA member and volunteer for their dedication, loyalty and for just being such wonderful people! You are all a joy to work with! I’m going to miss you!

susan hornung headshot in library

Susan Hornung
Executive Director, ASCLA

Reminder – Give us your feedback on the Standards for Libraries Serving People who are Blind or Physically Handicapped!

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 would like to remind everyone that they are still accepting comments on the first, revised draft of the standards. 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.

For those seeking a better understanding of the NLS service, the following promotional videos give a picture of the patrons: and

The first draft of the revised standards is here:

Comments on the first draft of the revised standards can be provided using the following form:

The 2011 version of the standards is here:

This revision is supported by a grant from the Library of Congress and administered by ASCLA.

Working Team

  • Eura Ryan Szuwalski, Project Director
  • 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

Signature ASCLA Events in Atlanta

Greetings ASCLA Members, Colleagues and Friends,  

You might want to attend the following events if you will be in Atlanta:

Friday, January 20 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM Room: Omni Hotels and Resort’s Latitudes Lounge at 100 CNN Center. Bring a friend – everyone is invited. Cash Bar.

Board of Directors Meeting I
Saturday, January 21 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Room: Georgia World Congress Center, B316

ASCLA Leadership Session
Saturday, January 21 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Room: Georgia World Congress Center, B316

All Committee & Finance and Planning Meeting 
Saturday, January 21 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM Room: Georgia World Congress Center, A410

Public Hearing for the Revision of the Standards for Libraries Serving People Who are Blind or Physically Handicapped
Monday, January 23 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Room: Georgia World Congress Center, B214

Board of Directors Meeting II
Monday, January 23 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Room: Georgia World Congress Center, B316

You also might be interested in the following ALA meeting: At 2017 Midwinter Meeting, talk to ALA about accessibility for people with disabilities

I hope to see you all in Atlanta!

Best Wishes,
Susan Hornung
ASCLA/RUSA Executive Director

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year. 

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday season and a happy New Year!

ASCLA staff (from left to right) Melissa, Jennifer and Susan

Call for nominations: ASCLA’s Achievement and Recognition awards

seeking excellence image

Call for Nominations

ASCLA has opened the nomination period for its annual series of achievement and recognition awards. Members are encouraged to nominate their colleagues and peers to recognize exceptional library professionals that make a difference in improving the lives of the people they serve. The awards below will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 22-27, 2017.

Nominations and supporting materials must be submitted by February 10, 2017. Click on the links below to find the nomination form and submission instructions.

ASCLA/Keystone Library Automation System (KLAS) National Organization on Disability (NOD) Award
Awarded to a library organization that has provided services for people with disabilities. The award recognizes an innovative and well-organized project which successfully developed or expanded services for people with disabilities. The award can be for a specific service(s) program or for a library that has made their total services more accessible through changing physical and/or attitudinal barriers. $1,000* and a citation. Sponsored by Keystone Systems, Inc.

Francis Joseph Campbell Award
Awarded to a person or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped. This contribution 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 activity of recognized importance. A medal and a citation.

ASCLA Exceptional Service Award
To recognize exceptional service to patients, to the home bound, to people of all ages who live in group homes or residences, and to inmates, as well as to recognize professional leadership, effective interpretation of programs, pioneering activity, and significant research of experimental projects. A citation.

ASCLA Leadership & Professional Achievement Award
This prestigious award is presented to one or more ASCLA members (personal or organizational) exemplifying leadership and achievement in one or more of the following areas: consulting, library cooperation, networking, statewide services and programs and state library development. A citation.

Cathleen Bourdon Service Award
This award is presented to an ASCLA personal member for outstanding service and leadership to the division. The award recognizes sustained leadership and exceptional service through participation in activities which have enhanced the stature, reputation, and overall strength of ASCLA; and representation of ASCLA to other appropriate organizations, institutions, or governmental agencies. A citation.

ASCLA, a 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. Find out more about ASCLA at

Midwinter 2017: Kitchen Conversation about Accessibility for People with Disabilities

Dear ASCLA Members,

If you will be in Atlanta at Midwinter 2017, please try to attend this series of conversations on accessibility for people with physical, mobility, visual, auditory or cognitive disabilities. All conference attendees are encouraged to take part, whether or not they use accessible services. More information here.

 You all have a very happy holiday and new year!

Susan Hornung

Executive Director, ASCLA/RUSA


Call for Volunteers

Interested in meeting new people? Volunteer for an ASCLA committee! They’re still one of the best ways to get involved at the national level and make an impact, while having lots of fun. You can participate even if you can’t attend conferences; ALA’s online community, ALA Connect, Adobe Connect virtual meeting software, and other tools offered by the division make virtual participation easy and engaging.

Below is a list of committees with current openings for members and chairs. As you can see, there are lots of ways to share your talents, influence major decisions for the association and make a difference in the library profession. I encourage you to review the list and find a place where you fit.

  • Awards Committee
  • Nominating Committee
  • Online Learning Committee
  • President’s Committee
  • Publications Committee

If you are interested in serving on one of the committees listed above, send a message to with the name(s) of the committees you’re interested in. Members are needed to join these committees now until July 31, 2017 for one year terms and now until July 31, 2018 for two year terms. We look forward to hearing from you!

Seeking Beta Testers – AccessAbility Academy module

Greetings ASCLA Members,

We’ve been pleased with the response to the first ASCLA AccessAbility Academy module, Positive Interactions: Making the Library a Welcoming and Empowering Place for People with Disabilities You’ll be happy to know that ASCLA is now developing a second module focused on libraries and meeting the needs of people with mental illness.

Right now, we’re seeking a small group of “beta testers” who would be interested in attending and providing feedback during a free, preview version of a webinar for the module. The webinar is scheduled for December 2, 2016 from 11 AM (Central Time Zone) until 12:30 PM.

We will be limiting this beta tester group to 20 people. If you are interested in attending and sharing feedback during this session, please email Brenda Hough at and let her know.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best Wishes,

Susan Hornung
Executive Director, ASCLA/RUSA

American Library Association
50 East Huron
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (800) 545-2433 x4395
Direct:  (312) 280-4395
Fax: (312) 280-5273

[Deadline Extended 12/2] ASCLA’s Online Learning Proposals Submissions

Do you have an idea for a webinar or online course you would like to present? The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) invites subject matter experts and experienced librarians to submit a webinar proposal or online course proposal by Friday, December 2, 2016. Presentations will take place from December 2016 and August 31, 2017 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, as well as our core member groups of state library agencies, library consultants, libraries serving people with disabilities, consumer health libraries, prison libraries and library cooperatives.

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

  • ADA updates for libraries
  • Assessing accessibility knowledge
  • Benchmarks and evaluation measures
  • Budgeting basics for the first time manager
  • Collaborative digitization
  • Correctional libraries and Adult programming
  • Correctional/prison librarianship 101: covering the basics of a successful 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
  • 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

Webinar presenters and online learning instructors are compensated for their work 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. Review current online offerings for more information. More information about the submission process is here. Submit a webinar proposal or online course proposal by Friday, December 2, 2016.

The Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) is the premiere destination for ALA members to find information and build capacity to serve populations that are served by state library agencies, specialized libraries, library cooperatives and library consultants. ASCLA enhances the effectiveness of library service by advocating for and providing high quality networking, enrichment and educational opportunities for its diverse members.

Have questions about submissions or about ASCLA’s online learning programs? Jennifer Cross, Web Services Manager, ASCLA has the answers. Email her today.

Brianna Furcron Selected as ASCLA’s 2017 Emerging Leader

headshot_brianna-furcronBrianna Furcron, Digital Arizona Library Special Collections Librarian, at Arizona State University, Archives and Public Records (division of the Secretary of State) , has been selected as the 2017 Emerging Leader for the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA).

The American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders program is a leadership development program that enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. The Emerging Leader experience begins with a daylong session during the ALA Midwinter Meeting, followed by six months of project engagement through online learning and networking environments. The program culminates with a poster session presentation to display the results of the project planning work of each group at the ALA Annual Conference.

As the ASCLA Emerging Leader, Brianna will partner with other emerging leaders on the project of her choosing. She will also work with ASCLA leadership in a variety of other roles throughout the year. Brianna will kick off her tenure as the 2017 ASCLA Emerging Leader at the upcoming 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, GA.

Brianna received her Masters of Information Resources and Library Science, with an emphasis on Information Literacy and research Methodology from the University of Arizona in 2011. Brianna received her Bachelors of Arts, Humanities (Magna Cum Laude) from Northern Arizona University in 2005.

Brianna believes there are three traits of effective leadership: Vision, Communication and Judgement. Successful leadership begins with vision. A compelling vision has the power to inspire, clarify and focus the work of individuals and organizations. Communication – Great leaders take the time and are disciplined in sharing strategies and talking directly with the population whom they serve. Without the right values, judgment can easily be trumped by perverse incentives that encourage poor ethical choices.

The Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) is the premiere destination for ALA members to find information and build capacity to serve populations that are served by state library agencies, specialized libraries, library cooperatives and library consultants. ASCLA enhances the effectiveness of library service by advocating for and providing high quality networking, enrichment and educational opportunities for its diverse members.