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 (kmaki@gailborden.info) or Mary Beth (mbried@comcast.net).

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
http://www.ala.org/CFApps/epetition/index.cfm (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.

ASCLA Interest Groups: New groups for tribal librarians and the future of libraries

Two new ASCLA interest groups are now welcoming members: the Future of Libraries Interest Group and the Tribal Librarians Interest Group!

Descriptions for these new groups, as well as all of ASCLA’s existing interest groups, are below! Click on the group name to be taken to their group page in ALA Connect. 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 members at your earliest convenience!

Learn more about how to start a new interest group here.

New Interest Groups:

ASCLA Future of Libraries Interest Group

This group is open to anyone with an interest in the future of libraries.  Changes in the world around us, different service models, new technologies, determining what our customers value and what our non-customers are finding elsewhere will be examined.  This group will submit an annual recommendation to the ASCLA President for two areas that we think libraries should focus on to increase their value and insure their viability in the future.

ASCLA Tribal Librarians Interest Group

The purpose of this new interest group is to increase knowledge and networking among library leaders with tribal libraries. The goal is to foster new relations and begin lifelong partnerships with community library leaders and Tribal Librarians. This interest group is not just for “Tribal.” Tribal librarians and employees of tribal libraries as well as librarians and library leaders interested in knowing more about tribal libraries are welcome.

Other ASCLA Interest Groups:

ASCLA Library Consultants Interest Group The ASCLA Library Consultant Interest Group supports professional development by providing programs, information exchange and networking opportunities of interest to independent librarians, library consultants, state library and regional library consultants, and anyone who wants to push the boundaries of librarianship.

ASCLA LSSP Universal Access Interest Group Interest group purpose is to promote inclusive library services – sharing information and resources.

ASCLA ICAN Consortium Management Discussion Interest Group This interest group is focused on consortial funding, advocacy, services, etc., plus discussion group on topics of interest to library cooperatives statewide, multi-state, national cooperatives, and multitype library systems.

ASCLA ICAN (InterLibrary Cooperation & Networking) Collaborative Digitization Interest Group Interest group for library cooperatives which are combinations, mergers, or contractual associations of one or more types of libraries (academic, public, special, or school) crossing jurisdictional, institutional, or political boundaries, working together to achieve maximum effective use of funds to provide library and information services to all citizens above and beyond those which can be provided through one institution. Such cooperative organizations or agencies may be designated to serve a community, a metropolitan area, a region within a region, or may serve a statewide or multi-state area.

ASCLA ICAN (InterLibrary Cooperation & Networking) Interlibrary Cooperation Interest Group Provides a forum for discussion of interests in interlibrary cooperation and the statewide development of library service, emphasizing the interdependence of all types of libraries.

ASCLA ICAN (InterLibrary Cooperation & Networking) Physical Delivery Interest Group The focus of this interest group covers the physical delivery of library materials for resource sharing and related issues.

ASCLA Library Services for Youth in Custody (LSSP) The purpose of this Interest Group is to advocate, promote, and improve library services for youth who have been detained in correctional facilities of various kinds.

ASCLA LSSP Bridging Deaf Cultures @ your library Interest Group Primary focus is building support for the nation’s libraries to work with organizations serving the deaf (OSD) in forming a Deaf Cultural Digital Library.

ASCLA LSSP (Libraries Serving Special Populations) LSSP Library Services to People with Visual or Physical Disabilities that Prevent Them from Reading Standard Print Interest Group This interest group focuses on assistive technology and accessibility services for people with visual or physical disabilities.

ASCLA LSSP Library Services to the Incarcerated and Detained Supports ALA members who serve patrons of any age who are held in jail, prison, detention or immigration facility.

ASCLA SLA State Library Agencies – Library Development Interest Group An interest group for State Library Agencies staff to network and discussion matters relating to library development services, activities, and needs.

ASCLA SLA (State Library Agencies)/LSTA Coordinators Interest Group For staff responsible for procuring and administering LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funds and programs. LSTA is a federally funded state based program generally administered by the state library of each state.

ASCLA SLA (State Library Agencies) Youth Services Consultants Interest Group The group’s purpose is to allow each state’s Youth Services Consultant or staff member responsible for working with youth services to keep abreast of topics of interest to the group and the constituents they serve in their states through listservs, and in-person networking meetings at ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences.

 

ASCLA elects Sara G. Laughlin, public library director, to division vice-president/president-elect role

Sara Gaar Laughlin, director of the Monroe County (Ind.) Public Library and longtime member of ALA and the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), will serve as the next vice-president/president-elect of ASCLA, the division of ALA that serves consultants, special populations librarians, state library agencies, and library networks, cooperatives and consortia, while promoting universal access to libraries and library services.

In her new leadership role, Laughlin hopes to provide strong and creative leadership that will tap into ASCLA members’ deep commitment to the library mission, as well as their strong expertise and broad professional networks—three unique attributes of ASCLA members that will help the division evolve in the face of rapid changes in publishing, technology and funding.

Laughlin joined ASCLA more than three decades ago when she took on a coordinator position at the Stone Hills Library Network. She has served both the library profession and the division in a broad variety of capacities: as a member of the Independent Librarians’ Exchange (ILEX) Executive Committee—now Library Consultants Interest Group; as section chair for the Interlibrary Cooperation and Networking (ICAN) Section; and as longtime editor of Interface (2001-08), ASCLA’s newsletter. She has also presented many programs and preconferences, including partnering with ASCLA consulting colleagues to produce the sold-out “Assembling a Consulting Toolkit” preconference which was offered in 2010 and 2011. For her service, she received the 2004 ASCLA Service Award.  She has also served as president of the Indiana Library Federation and the Friends of Indiana Libraries.

Laughlin received the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. She co-authored two books with ALA: “Quality Library: A Guide to Staff-driver Improvement, Better Efficiency, and Happier Customers” (2008) and “Library’s Continuous Improvement Fieldbook: 29 Ready-to-Use Tools” (2003).

Prior to her current position at Monroe County Public Library, she served on the library’s Board of Trustees. Her prior professional experience includes serving as President of Sara Laughlin & Associates, Inc. from 1997-2007.  She earned both an MLS and MA in Art History from Indiana University and a BA in History from the University of Cincinnati.

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 www.ala.org/membership.

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.