Kathleen Peiffer offers a fond farewell to ASCLA membership


Dear ASCLA members:

At the end of Annual Conference I concluded my three year term as president elect/ president/past president. I want to thank everyone in the association, as well as the ASCLA office staff, for their support, friendship and willingness to serve the association in so many ways.

Our association continues to grow; however, I hope that we never get so large that members feel “lost”. There is still plenty of work to be done to keep our division “small but mighty”!

Please offer the new ASCLA president, Michael Golrick, your time and talent. We will all be richer for it.

Kathleen Peiffer
State Librarian
New Mexico State Library
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Meet the ASCLA Board of Directors: Chris Corrigan, 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.

Chris Corrigan
Chris Corrigan

Chris Corrigan

Digital Reference Librarian, Library of Congress, NLS/BPH

ASCLA Designated Director of Special Populations

  • Why did you join ASCLA? I joined ASCLA because it is an appropriate fit to connect with library professionals who work with diverse populations of patrons.  
  • How has ASCLA helped you in your career? Because of my familiarity with the Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, I was able to cite them while referencing my experience when applying for my new position.
  • What are some of the ASCLA activities you’ve participated in? ASCLA Board, Web Presence Committee, Universal Access Interest Group
  • What is the current hot topic in your area of library work? How can ASCLA/ALA help address this issue?  NLS is about to roll out a new iOS app for the BARD service. ASCLA could help by assisting in developing methodology for ascertaining patron feedback.
  • Tell us about your current role at your library/institution, and maybe a little bit about your career path, too. I just started as the new Digital Reference Librarian with NLS. Currently, my role is to help update our reference publications with relevant material of interest to people with disabilities, those who work with people with disabilities, their families, or anyone one else who has a general interest. In addition, I am continuing to manage, maintain and update NLS’ reference collection of material pertaining to people with disabilities.
    Prior to joining NLS, for four years (from January 2009 to May 2013) I was a Library Associate (LA) with the Adaptive Services Division of the DC Public Library (DCPL). This position was unique from other LA positions in the DCPL system because it was within an NLS network library. This allowed me to be creative and innovative in my work with patrons with disabilities. I created a curriculum for teaching basic computer skills with adaptive technology, maintaining two instructional websites for students to refer to, performed individualized reader’s advisory work with patrons confined to their homes and worked with professionals in the web accessibility and assistive technology field.
    I hope to continue on this career path by learning from the many mentors I have met and will meet in order to better serve my patrons and become a strong contributor to the field.
  • Describe a particularly rewarding experience in your library career. Using the curriculum I developed with Adaptive Services, I created series of small classes for visually impaired adults. These classes culminated in a graduation ceremony where the students invited their families to celebrate with them as they were recognized for their accomplishments. I was overjoyed to observe the pride they had for themselves in their accomplishment.  
  • What are you currently reading or listening to? I just checked out four books from the library and am trying to decide which to read: Jussi Alder-Olsen’s The Keeper of Lost CausesDavid Benioff’s City of ThievesUmberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum and Umberto Eco’s The Prague Cemetery.
  • Tell us one fun fact about yourself. I grew up playing, running and walking my dog in the same place Walt Whitman once nursed Union soldiers.
  • Any hobbies? Running.
  • Who is your hero? S. R. Ranganathan. I think it is important to remember that our’s is a service profession and we are there for the people we serve not ourselves. Whenever I forget this I look to Ranganathan’s 5 Rules of Library and Information Science:

            1. Books are for use

            2. Every reader his/her book

            3. Every book its reader

            4. Save time for the reader

            5. The library is a growing organism.

Reach Chris at corrigancj -at- yahoo (dot) com or 202-707-9286.

Meet the ASCLA Board of Directors: Stacey Aldrich, Past President

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.

Stacey Aldrich
Stacey Aldrich

Stacey A. Aldrich

State Librarian, State Library of Pennsylvania

ASCLA Past-President

Why did you join ASCLA? ASCLA is a great organization for meeting and working with colleagues who do similar work nationally.

Are there any hot topics in your area of library work? How can ASCLA help with these subjects? There are many hot topics in state library work. Two key topics are broadband and leadership. ASCLA is a great venue for providing leadership opportunities for state library staff to support these topics.

Tell us a bit about your career path. Currently, I am the State Librarian in Pennsylvania. Most recently I was the State Librarian of California. I also worked at the Division of Library Development and Services in Maryland. I have spent the majority of my career in state librarians, but have also worked in academic, public, and special libraries. I also worked for a futuring think tank in Washington DC. My focus has been on proactiving building the future of libraries.

What do you find rewarding about your library work? Each day is a new experience and provides a new learning and reward. Being a mentor in the Eureka! Library Leadership program has been one of my favorite experiences. Meeting and working with colleagues to build new connections, new skills, new attitudes and forward momentum for libraries has been fantastic.

Fun fact about me: I am a total space geek. I had an opportunity to meet briefly Al Worden, who flew on Apollo 15. Even got a hug from a man who has traveled to the moon.

Hobbies: I love movies and music.

Hero: Gosh, there are so many for so many reasons.

Reach Stacey at saldrich -at- pa (dot) gov.

Meet the ASCLA Board of Directors: Sara Laughlin, President

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.

Sara Laughlin
Sara Laughlin

Sara Laughlin

Director, Monroe County Public Library

ASCLA President

I joined ASCLA shortly after I became coordinator of a multitype consortium in 1980, because I discovered that all the consortia directors from around the country were there.  I wanted to meet them, share ideas, and keep up with what was going on. For the next 17 years, I really enjoyed participating in lots of different ways, edited a couple of consortia publications, and eventually served at chair of the multitype consortium section (can’t remember its exact name now).

And then I became a consultant and got involved with the consultant’s section (now interest group). Over the next 10 years, many of my clients came through my friendships and ASCLA connections with state library and consortia leaders and consultants from around the country. For eight years, I served as editor of Interface, a job that introduced me to the dedicated librarians who work with people with disabilities and kept me in touch with the best practices of state libraries and consortia.

In 2007, I was asked to become interim director of my own Monroe County Public Library, a really great institution that I’d long admired. After eight months, the Board made me director. I’m now managing a budget of $10 million, 160 employees, two large facilities, and outreach, adult literacy, and community access television services. Although it’s not a picnic every day, when I look back over six years, I can see that we’ve come a long way. Every day, I use the leadership, problem-solving, communications, and process improvement skills that I learned in earlier positions, consulting and in ASCLA.

As vice president last year and president this year, it’s been a great pleasure to witness the creativity and passion of ASCLA members and given me a chance to meet more members.

On the personal side, I love to canoe, hike, knit, sew, and read.  I get more opportunities now to share discussions about reading and recently joined a book group for the first time.  This week, my husband and I moved from our home of 25 years to another a few miles away.  Our plan is to build a house next door to the next one, in the beautiful, five-acre, wooded ridge overlooking a lush ravine.  That ought to keep us busy for the next year or so.

My heroes: Betty Martin (retired director of the Vigo County (Ind.) Public Library); Marcia Capuano (retired assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at Lawrence Township (Ind.) Schools); Dorothy Crenshaw (retired chief information officer at Indianapolis Public Schools); and Sharman Smith (retired state librarian of Mississippi and Iowa before that).

Contact Sara at laughlin -at- mcpl (dot) info or 812-34-3056.

Volunteers wanted! ASCLA awards committee seeks virtual participants

We are seeking a few additional members to volunteer for the ASCLA Awards Committee! Could it be you?!

Keep reading for more information about the committee and its responsibilities. If you’re interested in participating, please send an e-mail to the following people prior to Sept. 1: ASCLA President Sara Laughlin (saraglaughlin@gmail.com, Award Committee Chair Will Reed (will.reed@cpl.org) and ASCLA Marketing and Programs Manager Liz Markel (lmarkel@ala.org) with the subject line “ASCLA Awards Committee Volunteer.”

What does the ASCLA Awards Committee do? What are my obligations as a committee member? The role of the awards committee is to promote the open nomination period for the awards each fall, with help from the ASCLA office. Once the nominations have been received, the committee meets virtually to review the nomination materials and select winners. Committee members also help gather information about winners via phone and e-mail that supports the announcement and promotion of the winners by the ASCLA office.

How often do we meet? Do I have to attend conferences? The work of the committee is done virtually, so no conference attendance is required. Awards are presented at the ASCLA/COSLA Reception at the ALA Annual Conference; committee members are encouraged to attend and participate if they are attending the conference, but it’s not required. The committee meets approximately quarterly via phone and also engages in virtual conversations using ALA Connect.

What kind of person/skills are you looking for to serve on this committee? We are looking for members to represent the state library, consulting/independent librarians and consortia/networking constituencies of ASCLA on this committee. We are also looking for members who are willing to do a little virtual work engaging the library community to spread the word about the awards and help find nominees, thoughtfully contribute to the nominee review process and correspond by e-mail or phone with a winner or two to publicize the award in the spring.

ASCLA offers five awards annually—here’s a brief overview:

  • ASCLA/Keystone Library Automation System (KLAS)/National Organization on Disability (NOD) Award A $1,000 award and certificate for 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.
  • Francis Joseph Campbell Award A citation and a medal presented 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.
  • ASCLA Exceptional Service Award A citation presented to recognize exceptional service to patients, to the 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 of experimental projects.
  • 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.
  • Cathleen Bourdon Service Award This citation 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.

If you’re interested in participating, please send an e-mail to the following people prior to Sept. 1: ASCLA President Sara Laughlin (saraglaughlin@gmail.com, Award Committee Chair Will Reed (will.reed@cpl.org) and ASCLA Marketing and Programs Manager Liz Markel (lmarkel@ala.org) with the subject line “ASCLA Awards Committee Volunteer.”

Deadline extended! Submit your program, preconference or institute proposal for 2014 by July 31

Now that the 2013 Annual Conference is over, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2014!

The ASCLA Conference Programming Committee is accepting proposals until July 31, 2013 for the following types of programming:

  • Institutes for the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia
  • Preconferences for the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas
  • Programs for the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas

Institutes and preconferences are ticketed events held on the Friday of the conference. Programs are held throughout the Annual Conference and are included as a part of conference registration.

You can access the online program proposal form here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ascla2014progpreconproposal

You can also download a PDF of the form in preparation for submitting the online form. Only online submissions will be accepted! (If you run into accessibility challenges with either version of the form, please contact us so we can help you out!)

The revised deadline for submissions is Wednesday, July 31!

We have a limited number of slots available for each type of event, so put your best foot forward when submitting a proposal.

Who can propose a program, institute or preconference? Any current ASCLA member can propose one of these events, however we strongly encourage support and sponsorship from one of our interest groups! If you’re not an interest group member, consider joining one and using the group as a springboard for your conference event ideas. Check out the list of our interest groups, contact information for interest group leaders and instructions on how to join.

What sorts of topics are of interest? The best topics represent ASCLA’s core member areas–state library agencies, special populations librarians, independent librarians and library consultants, and resource-sharing librarians at networks and cooperatives–but are also of interest to librarians throughout the profession from all types of libraries. Keep in mind that topics should still be relevant in January and June 2014 when they are finally presented! You can browse our interest group list here for inspiration.

If my event is accepted and approved by ASCLA, what will I be responsible for? You will be responsible for recruiting and serving as a liaison to the event speakers, as well as being on-site the day of the event to help coordinate event details. You will work with the ASCLA office to set up the event details with ALA Conference Services. The ASCLA office will promote your event, and will give you the tools to help spread the word.

I’m not an ASCLA member, but I’d like to get involved with program planning. The best way to do this is to join ASCLA, and then join one of our many interest groups.

Anything else I should know? If you’re going to go through the trouble of planning an in-person event, we want to maximize the reach of that information! Consider offering a webinar or other online learning opportunity in conjunction with the in-person event that will enhance the learning experience! So for example, you might offer a webinar in early May as a teaser for the content that will be covered at your conference program in June. In late July, you might host a follow-up discussion using a tool like ALA Connect, Google Hangout or Blackboard Collaborate that brings program attendees together to continue the conversation about what you’ve discussed at the previous two events.

Questions about the program planning process? Please contact Rosario Garza, committee chair at rgarza@socallibraries.org and Liz Markel, ASCLA marketing & programs manager at lmarkel@ala.org.

We look forward to receiving your proposals!

Leadership skills: become an effective facilitator with help of upcoming ASCLA webinar

CHICAGO–Managers and leaders from all types of libraries will benefit from the upcoming May 9 webinar “Being an Effective Facilitator” hosted by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of ALA that cultivates leaders in librarianship with a wide variety of relevant webinars, workshops and online courses.

During this 90-minute online session, Brenda Hough will prepare you to run meetings and lead planning discussions with confidence in both face-to-face and online sessions! The effective facilitation skills that will be covered in this session are relevant to many professional situations including focus groups, staff meetings, brainstorming and learning sessions, and countless other group opportunities where a leader is needed to guide the conversation. Hough will also provide tips for improving participation and productivity, and cover important topics such as group dynamics, learning styles, and models for running meetings and group sessions.

“Being an Effective Facilitator” will be held Wednesday, May 9, 2012, at 2:00 – 3:30 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 Monday, May 7, 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.

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 ASCLApreconferences and online courses, and other important membership benefits? Join, renew or add ASCLA to your ALA membership at www.ala.org/membership.

Member Signatures Wanted: Petition to establish tribal librarian interest group

A note from ASCLA Executive Director Susan Hornung:

We have a new e-petition started for a Tribal Librarian Interest Group. Lillian Chavez, the Librarian for Mescalero Community Library in Mescalero, NM, and ASCLA member, has started this petition.

This group is open to anyone with an interest in Tribal Libraries.  The purpose of this group is to increase knowledge and networking among library leaders and tribal libraries possibly by producing a listserv, conference programs, webinars, discussion forums and any other types of educational events (activities to be decided once the group has started). Hopefully, these new relations will begin a lifelong partnership within our tribal librarians interest group. Another note to add is that this interest group  is not just for “Tribal,” it is for everybody to learn more about tribal libraries within their communities. Ms. Chavez says that she always get patrons who come into the library asking if they have to be a “Tribal Member” to use the library; the answer is “No, we are a public library and we are here for everybody to use.” She hopes that her fellow ASCLA members/librarians will sign the e-petition and gain a new world of information from a specialized perspective through this petition.

I encourage you to sign the petition here: http://www.ala.org/template.cfm?template=/CFApps/epetition/index.cfm&pid=D2F146AFEBB34405.

You do have to be an ASCLA member to sign the petition.

If you’re not a member but would like to join so that you can sign the petition and take advantage of our other membership benefits, you can do so by visiting www.ala.org/membership or calling 800-545-2433, option 5, and adding ASCLA to your ALA membership. Interest Group leaders must also be members of ASCLA.

Once we’ve acquired 10 signatures, the petition will go to the ASCLA Interest Group Coordinating committee for approval and then we will let you all know how to join the interest group.

You can check out the rest of our established interest groups on the ASCLA interest groups page of our website.

Member Feedback Needed! 5 minute online learning survey

ASCLA is in the process of upgrading its online training offerings in order to better serve the diverse needs of the members. We need your input now to be able to meet your specific online training needs. Even if you don’t ever expect to attend sessions, we would like your opinions.

The following survey should take no more than 5 minutes to complete. Any information you include will be managed confidentially. We are committed to continuous improvement in all areas of our association and your participation in this survey is very much appreciated.

Thank you for your support and please feel free to contact the ASCLA office (ascla@ala.org) if you have any questions.

Survey Link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3F2MYGC