Meet the ASCLA Board of Directors: Lori Guenthner, Designated Director of Special Populations

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.

Lori Guenthner
Youth Services Coordinator, Maryland State Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
ASCLA Designated Director of Special Populations

Lori Guenthner
Lori Guenthner
  • Why did you join ASCLA? I joined ASCLA because its members are like me: librarians, library agencies and staff serving populations with special needs.
  • How has ASCLA helped you in your career? ASCLA has given me leadership opportunities – serving on the board and chairing the membership promotion committee.
  • What are some of the ASCLA activities you’ve participated in? I’ve participated in ASCLA LSSP (Libraries Serving Special Populations) Library Services to People with Visual or Physical Disabilities that Prevent Them from Reading Standard Print Interest Group. I am a member of the Maryland e-Content Advisory Committee so I like discussing accessible technology. I’ve also submitted webinar ideas.
  • Are there any hot topics in your area of library work? How can ASCLA help? A current hot topic in my area of library work is inclusion in children’s programming. I’d like to see ASCLA partner with ALSC or YALSA to offer webinars/conference programming on inclusion.
  • Tell us about your current role at your library, and a little bit about your career path, too. I work with children and young adults, from birth to age 21. I present story times and organize the summer reading program (and a lot of other things). I started in the public libraries as a generalist. I’m not sure where my career path will lead, but I love working with people.
  • Describe a rewarding experience in your library career. The most rewarding experience for me is getting a phone call or email from a young person excited about the National Library Service program.
  • What are you currently reading and/or listening to? I just started reading The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison and I hope it’s better than Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
  • One fun fact about me: I went to college to be a journalist.
  • Any hobbies? Running.
  • Who is your hero? My hero is my dad. He’s the one who would get me ready for school each morning.

Reach Lori at lguenth -at- 

ASCLA Online Learning: Personalities in the workplace, emotional intelligence and services to people with disabilities

Summertime is learning time! Get signed up for a webinar or online course with ASCLA today and reap the benefits of online professional development: affordable, convenient and valuable.

More information about all of our upcoming online learning offerings, including scheduling, pricing and group discounts, is available at the ASCLA online learning page:

Questions about the registration process should be sent to

Questions about course content or schedules should be sent to Web Manager Andrea Hill at

==Upcoming ASCLA Webinars==

We are offering two series of webinars presented by Linda Bruno, an outstanding trainer who just presented our Servant Leadership workshop in Chicago with rave reviews!

When you register for either of these series, you are registering for three separate webinar sessions on the dates and times listed below. Register for both series–a total of six webinars–and save 15%! All webinar sessions will be recorded, and links to the recordings will be sent to paid registrants so you’ll be able to catch up if you miss a session.

>>>WEBINAR SERIES 1: Understanding Personalities in the Workplace, Aug. 14, 21, and 28, 2:00-3:00 PM

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why did they DO that?” attend this informative and fun workshop series and find out! Participants will learn and begin to master an understanding of their own personality style; the characteristics of each of the 4 personality styles; how to interact with each of the 4 styles; and an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each style.

>>>WEBINAR SERIES 2: Emotional Intelligence in Your Workplace, Sept. 18, 25 and Oct. 2, 2:00-3:00 PM

Emotional Intelligence: simply defined, it’s being intelligent about emotions–yours and others’. We’ll delve into how our behavioral styles can affect our levels of emotional intelligence. We’ll also take a closer look at emotions: What are emotions anyway? Are we even aware of them when they happen? Can we control them? We’ll also probe how our emotions affect how we interact with others and discover the potential for improving our emotional intelligence, why it matters in the workplace, and why it might be challenging to do so.


==Upcoming ASCLA Online Courses==

>>>Improving Library Services to People With Disabilities Oct. 14 – Nov. 10, 2013

Two live course chat meetings: Chat 1:  Thursday, October 24, 3-4 p.m. Central Time. Chat 2:  Thursday, November 7, 3-4 p.m. Central Time.

CEUs now available for 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 recommend changes in personal and organizational behaviors to improve services for people with disabilities at their library.

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.

RFP issued for ASCLA Accessibility Academy Project Consultant

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) has issued an RFP for a project consultant to assist in the production of an online, interactive ASCLA Accessibility Academy module focused on improving library staff communications and interactions with people with disabilities; responses are due by Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.

ASCLA, a division of ALA, serves librarians who work primarily with people with disabilities. The ASCLA Accessibility Academy aims to provide information and skills training that will prepare librarians and staff at public, academic, special, and international libraries to work with these special populations. The Project Consultant will develop and implement the first Academy module, which will include an online tutorial and webinars, and will assemble manage an advisory team to provide long-term feedback on project deliverables and content, and also provide evaluation assistance.

Project deliverables to be managed by the consultant include one online tutorial on working with people with disabilities, presented live twice and also recorded, by May 1, 2013, to be presented by the consultant or an identified subject matter expert; a selection of reference tools for distribution for the tutorial such as tip sheets, checklists, vocabulary list, and additional reading; a logo and other branding materials for the Accessibility Academy; a prioritized list of future topics for future sessions; a documented framework for future Academy sessions; development of criteria and procedures for evaluating the modules; and a list of presenters for future sessions.

A complete version of the RFP is available for download from the ASCLA website. Applicants must submit one print or email copy, and one copy on a CD of the proposal by 6:00pm CT on Monday, October 15, 2012 to: American Library Association, Attention: Susan Hornung/ASCLA, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2795; e-mail:

Email submissions must have “ASCLA Accessibility Academy RFP” in the subject line of the message. Proposals not received by the date and time specified may not be considered and will be returned to the sender marked “LATE RESPONSE.” Faxed submissions will not be accepted. Contact ASCLA Executive Director Susan Hornung at or (312) 280-4395 with any questions about the RFP content or submission process.

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.

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 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.

Webinar: Effectively Marketing Your State Library’s Services

Want to market your state library’s services to your library users?

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies is offering a webinar that will show you exactly how to do that!

State Library Outreach to State Employees and Elected Officials
Monday, March 26, 2012 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Central Time
Registration closes Sunday, March 25–REGISTER NOW!

Learn from the Illinois State Library how to conduct effective outreach to your desired audience, such as state employees or elected officials, and raise awareness of the services available from your state library, and how you can assist them with their informational needs. This is an excellent opportunity for state library staff, reference librarians, outreach coordinators and other types of librarians to learn how to launch an effective campaign to promote your state library’s services.

During the webinar, we’ll:

  • Learn how to identify an audience and their needs
  • Review the importance of knowing your materials and resources
  • Explore new technology options and usage
  • Identify promotion techniques to gain exposure
  • Cover the recommendations, successes, failures and lessons learned from the Illinois State Library’s undertaking.
  • Address potential roadblocks such as restricted access to social media.

Webinar presenters: Debra Aggertt, reference outreach coordinator, Illinois State Library, and Sandra Fritz, reference librarian, Illinois State Library. Check out the webinar information page for more details about their background.

Individual registration: starts at $40 for ASCLA members
Group registration: $99 for a single login or $38/person (min. 2 people) for multiple logins
State Library Agency Members of ASCLA pay the amazing group rates of $69 for a single login or $29/person (min. 2 people) for multiple logins. Learn more about the benefits of ASCLA membership for SLAs here (PDF).

Questions about registration? Contact or (800) 545-2433, option 5.
Questions about your ALA or ASCLA membership? Contact