Monroe County Public Library, under the leadership of past ASCLA President Sara Laughlin, has received the 2014 Programming Award from the Indiana Library Federation (ILF).
This award recognizes the Library for its programming during Disability Awareness Month in March 2014 . The highly creative and inclusive programs offered were the culmination of two years of focused efforts by library staff and others to better serve those in the community with disabilities and their families.
As part of the library’s 2013-‐2017 strategic plan, a pledge was made to improve services for people with disabilities and their families. Library staff participated in a working group that was established to conduct research, learn best practices, collect feedback, and make recommendations to expand the Library’s capacity to serve patrons with disabilities and their families. Some of the outcomes of the working group included: addressing physical barriers to the Library building, creating a web page focused on disability services, and coordinating staff development attended by every member of the Library staff. MCPL utilized the online course, “Improving Service to People with Disabilities,” offered by ASCLA to help their employees increase their knowledge and understanding around better serving people with disabilities in their community.
During Disability Awareness Month, the Library partnered with the City of Bloomington, Indiana University Center for Disability and Community, IU Health Bloomington Hospital Children’s Therapy Center, Stone Belt ARC, and local disability service providers and experts to provide high-‐quality programming. Two of the programs – “Sensory Storytime” and “Autism Friendly Movie Showing” – were so well received they have now been added to the regular program schedule.
Congratulations to Ms. Laughlin, and the staff at the Monroe County Public Library!