Meet the ASCLA Board of Directors: Liz Bishoff, Division Councilor

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.

Liz Bishoff
Liz Bishoff

Liz Bishoff

Consultant, The Bishoff Group

ASCLA Division Councilor, 2012-2015

  • Why did you join ASCLA? I was the chair of an unaffiliated organization of people who managed statewide and regional digital collaboratives, we saw ASCLA and ICAN (former Interlibrary Cooperation And Networking Section of ASCLA) as a natural home for us.
  • How has ASCLA helped you in your career? As with other ALA organizations, it provides a means of networking with people who have common interests.  As a consultant I can share interests and challenges and opportunities with other consultants
  • What are some of the ASCLA activities you’ve participated in (committee volunteering, etc.)? ASCLA board, preconference presenter, task forces, Councilor, leadership sessions
  • Describe a particularly rewarding experience in your library career. Too many rewarding experiences–it’s been a fantastic career–the development of the digital environment has offered exciting opportunities to work with other cultural heritage organizations as well as all types of libraries
  • Who is your hero? My mom is my hero–she refused to fit into the mold of the 50’s mom.

Reach Liz at liz (dot) bishoff -at- gmail (dot) com, or catch her in person at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia where she’ll be presenting at the ASCLA Midwinter Institute “Assembling a Consulting Toolkit: What You Need to Know to be a Successful Library Consultant.

ASCLA Awards: Nomination deadline extended to Jan. 31, 2013

The Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) has extended the nomination deadline to Jan. 31, 2013 for its 2013 awards which recognize projects focused on library services to people with disabilities; the advancement of library services for the blind and physically handicapped; exceptional achievement in extension and outreach services; exemplary leadership and achievement in consulting, state library services and library cooperatives; and service to ASCLA.

Each of these five prestigious awards–the Leadership and Professional Achievement Award, the Exceptional Service Award, the Cathleen Bourdon Service Award, the ASCLA/KLAS/NOD Award and the Francis Joseph Campbell Award–highlights the areas of work represented by ASCLA, a division of ALA. Most of these awards do not require ASCLA membership in order for a nominee to be considered. Click on the award names below to access the award’s webpage for more information about each award.

The ASCLA/KLAS/NOD Award is sponsored by ASCLA, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) and Keystone Systems, Inc. This $1,000 award and citation are given to a library organization that has provided services for people with disabilities. The award recognizes an innovative and well-organized project that 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 its total services more accessible through changing physical and/or attitudinal barriers. Download the award nomination form(PDF).

The Francis Joseph Campbell Award honors a person or institution for outstanding and significant contributions in the field of library services to the blind with a medal and a citation. Contributions include but are not limited to: 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; or imaginative contribution to library administration, reference, circulation, selection, acquisitions or technical services; or any activity of recognized importance. The award is sponsored by Keystone Systems, Inc. and the Southern Conference of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress.  Download the award nomination form(PDF).

The Exceptional Service Award recognizes exceptional service to patients, to persons who are homebound, 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 or experimental projects. The recipient receives a citation. Download the award nomination form (PDF).

The Leadership and Professional Achievement Award is a citation presented to one or more ASCLAmembers (personal or organizational) exemplifying leadership and achievement in the following areas: consulting, library cooperation, networking, statewide services and programs and state library development. Download the award nomination form (PDF).

The Cathleen Bourdon Service Award is a citation presented to an ASCLA personal member for exceptional service and sustained leadership to the division. This includes participation in activities that have enhanced the stature, reputation and overall strength of ASCLA and have also cultivated the division’s relationship with other appropriate organizations, institutions or governmental agencies. Download the award nomination form (PDF).

Those interested in submitting a nomination may download the appropriate award nomination form(s) from theawards section of the ASCLAwebsiteor request the form(s) from Liz Markel, ASCLA marketing and programs manager, via e-mail at Nominations for all awards must be received by Jan. 31, 2013. Submission information can be found on each nomination form.

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. Not an ASCLA member, but interested in forming new interest groups, receiving discounted registration rates on ASCLA preconferences and online courses, and other important membership benefits? Join, renew or add ASCLA to your ALA membership at

Signatures Needed: Petition for new interest group “Serving Those with Alzheimer’s & Related Dementias”

This post is on behalf of Karen Maki, deputy director at Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, Ill. and Mary Beth Riedner, university librarian (retired), Roosevelt University, Chicago, Ill. If you have questions about this new interest group petition, please contact Karen ( or Mary Beth (

Please consider signing the e-petition for a new ASCLA Interest Group: “Serving Those with Alzheimer’s & Related
Dementias”. Signers must be current ASCLA members who agree to participate in the group. The e-petition can be found at (ALA login required).

This Interest Group would focus on creating, disseminating and implementing guidelines for library services to people with Alzheimer’s and related
dementias. The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) has already established such guidelines and they can readily be adapted for use in the United States.

Every library is currently being affected by this growing population in their communities.  Already one in eight Americans aged 65 and over has Alzheimer’s according to the Alzheimer’s Association and this number will grow as the Baby Boomer generation ages.  There are many related dementias in addition to Alzheimer’s and those often affect people in their 40’s and 50’s. American librarians need to recognize and prepare for the growing number of people with dementia who can still greatly benefit from library resources, especially in the early and mid stages of their disease.

During the first year, this interest group would meet virtually to review and revise the IFLA Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dementia.  Interested libraries could begin pilot projects to reach out to this community of users who should not be forgotten.  Proposals can be developed for upcoming ALA conferences.

Thank you for seriously considering participating in this Interest Group and signing the e-petition.

Library Consultants: An invitation to get involved with ASCLA

Attention consultants and independent librarians! Carol Desch, chair of the ASCLA Library Consultants Interest Group, invites you to join ASCLA’s Library Consultants Interest Group, and to participate in this group’s many activities, including programs and social events at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. If you have any questions about the information below, contact Carol at


Dear Colleague:

On behalf of the ASCLA Library Consultants Interest Group (LCIG), I would like to extend a personal invitation to you to join us. Whether you are a practicing library consultant, an occasional consultant, just beginning your career as a consultant, or thinking about whether consulting is for you, we hope you will consider joining the ALA Connect community for the ASCLA Library Consultants Interest Group.

You can join the group by logging into ALA Connect, accessing the group page, then clicking “join” on the right side of the page. You do not need to be a member of ASCLA for the first year of your interest group membership, however we encourage you to join this amazing community of ALA members at your earliest convenience. Join ASCLA now.

JOIN US if you are interested in sharing information and expertise with and learning from other library consultants. Join us if you are interested in learning about and addressing issues of concern to library consultants.  For example, under the leadership of longtime expert consultant Nancy Bolt, the LCIG developed a Library Consultant Code of Ethics which is now being considered for adoption by ALA.

JOIN US if you would like to be kept informed about, or participate in planning ASCLA activities and programs of interest to library consultants such as these events occurring at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim:

  • ASCLA/COSLA Networking Party and Awards Reception, Saturday, June 23, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
    A great opportunity to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones! Build your consulting network at this free reception attended by many of the movers and shakers in the library world.
  • Program: “Consultants Give Back”, Sunday, June 24, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
    CGB is happening throughout conference, but this Sunday time slot is the open “office hour” time set aside for consultants who want a designated time and place to meet. See the list of participating consultants. Are you a consultant interested in providing services as a part of this event at a future ALA conference? Please contact Nancy Bolt ( for more information.
  • Program: “Essential Facilitation: Practical Tools for Guiding Groups”, Monday, June 25, 10:30 a.m.- 12 noon
    The featured speaker, Patty McManus from Interaction Associates, will speak on “Decision Making Without Pain: Tips and Tools for Leading Groups to Success.” She writes: “Everyone knows the agony of endless efforts to reach decisions in groups. Join LCIG and Interaction Associates to learn some practical tools for leaders and consultants. In this session, we’ll cover: Setting up decision making for success; Choosing a decision-making process that fits the situation; Structuring group discussions that make progress; Finally, hear how a state library and a library consultant have implemented this material for greater effectiveness in their groups. Sharing the podium with McManus will be Ann Joslin, Director of the Idaho Commission for Libraries and Nancy Bolt, President of Nancy Bolt & Associates. Both Ms Joslin and Ms Bolt have had extensive Interaction Associates training and use it in their daily work.


In addition to becoming a member of LCIG on ALAConnect you are also invited to assist us in shaping the future of the Library Consultants Interest Group by participating as a full member of the LCIG leadership team. Members of the LCIG Leadership Team must be ASCLA members.

There are also multiple opportunities to initiate and work on special projects.  For example, volunteers are needed to moderate discussion forums at ALA Midwinter, to assist with conference programs, to post information and questions on the ALAConnect site and much more.

If you are interested in participating on the Leadership Team, have an idea for a special project or are interested in volunteering, please contact incoming 2012-2013 LCIG Chairperson Jeannette Smithee at

I hope to see you on ALAConnect…and in Anaheim!  Questions?  Don’t hesitate to contact me or one of the other members of the LCIG Leadership Team.