The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association, is the premier destination for ALA members to find information and build capacity to serve populations that are served by state library agencies, libraries serving special populations, library cooperatives and library consultants.
ASCLA enhances the effectiveness of library service by advocating for and providing high quality networking, enrichment and educational opportunities for its diverse members.
Who We Are
ASCLA's more than 800 members are:
- Librarians, library agencies and staff serving underserved populations, such as those with sensory, physical, health or behavioral conditions or those who are incarcerated or detained.
- Librarians and staff of state library agencies, and state library consultants – organizations created or authorized by the state government to promote library services in the state through the organization and coordination of a variety of library services.
- Library networks and cooperatives – organizations of one or more types of libraries: academic, public, special, or school. They collaborate to maximize the funds available for provision of library services to all citizens. They may serve a community, a metropolitan area, a region, or a state-wide or multi-state area.
- Consultants, independent or contract librarians, as well as those who work outside of traditional library settings.
- Member activity is centered around our interest groups.
What We Do
- Cultivate a community to connect you with your peers to help celebrate your victories and provide support and information when you face professional challenges.
- Provide a voice for libraries and librarians serving populations with special needs.
- Advocate for universal access for all library users.
- Offer online and in-person professional development opportunities. Topics include marketing and development, outreach to Latinos, services to the blind and visually impaired, being an effective facilitator, and so much more!
- Publish Interface, our e-newsletter for members that provides cutting-edge information and news from the field.
- Stay in touch using ASCLA-L listserv, ASCLA Facebook page, ASCLA Twitter and ASCLA news.
- Produce resources such as our Library Accessibility Toolkits and industry standards and guidelines, like our recently published revised “Standards of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped”.
- Cultivate leaders and librarians who make a difference through interest groups, committee service and development of critical documents such as the Prisoners’ Right to Read statement.
- Provide professional recognition with awards that sing the praises of our deserving and dedicated members.
- Have fun at events like the ASCLA/COSLA Networking Party and Award Reception, a social gathering of ASCLA members where we celebrate accomplishments.