Standards and Guidelines

ASCLA Standards Creation Manual

This manual will assist ASCLA members to create new standards and guidelines. ASCLA establishes standards and guidelines that align with its vision to build capacity for libraries serving special populations, state library agencies, specialized libraries, library cooperatives and library consultants. These standards and guidelines are created and approved by its members. The following ASCLA standards and guidelines publications may be purchased from the ALA Online Bookstore here.


Library Services for People who are Blind and Physically Handicapped

Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 2011.

These standards and guidelines, which build upon previous editions, are intended to help LC/NLS network libraries serving the blind and physically handicapped maintain the best service levels for eligible individuals and organizations. The goal is to provide appropriate service standards for the development, deployment, and evolution of LC/NLS network library services and activities, including direct patron services, collection development and management, outreach efforts, the production of local materials, and more. The addition of the section on BARD is a major addition to this edition as well as changes to staffing guidelines which are more in line with the current reality of staffing levels at the network libraries.


Library Services for People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Guidelines for Library and Information Services for the American Deaf Community. 1996 

These guidelines are meant to inform librarians about the library needs of the deaf community. They apply to all types of libraries, including public, school, and academic, as well as special libraries serving government, commerce and industry, the arts, the military, hospitals, prisons, and other institutions. They are meant to serve both as an encouragement to make services accessible for deaf persons and as a means to assess the completeness and quality of such services.

Library Services for People with Disabilities

Planning for Library Services to People with Disabilities: ASCLA Changing Horizon Series #5, 2001.

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates every public library must provide equal services to any person requesting them, regardless of disability. The ADA also mandates that no qualified individual with a disability shall be excluded from participation or be denied services or be subjected to discrimination.

The author, Rhea Joyce Rubin, has created a planning process to ensure that libraries consider all of the issues necessary to comply with the law. This method has been designed to work in conjunction with an already existing library plan.

Library Services for People with Mental Illnesses

Guidelines for Library Services for People with Mental Illnesses, 2007.

This document was developed by the ASCLA Standards Review Subcommittee not only to endorse librarians in their efforts to establish very detailed crisis management procedures for their workplaces, but also to endorse librarians' efforts to develop the expertise to avert crises and arrive at successful library experiences for people with mental illnesses. Although public and school libraries are more likely to provide daily service to individuals who have mental illnesses, all librarians should be aware of the information needs of these patrons and be prepared to meet them.

Library Services for People with Developmental Disabilities

Guidelines for Library Services for People with Mental Retardation, 1999.

These guidelines have been developed to assist all libraries including school, public, academic, and specialized libraries such as prison and institutional libraries to better service the needs of people of all ages who have developmental disabillities.

Library Services for Prison Libraries/ and Correctional Institutions

Library Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions. American Correctional Association/American Library Association Joint Committee on Institution Libraries. ASCLA, 1992.

The correctional librarian, often a one-person manager in a community otherwise isolated from library and information science, relies heavily on professional association standards as guidance, as model, and as legitimization for program development and service delivery.

These standards delineate elements that are necessary for the provision of acceptable library service in state and federal adult correctional institutions.

Library Standards for Juvenile Correctional Institutions. ASCLA, 1999.

These standards explain how the library in a juvenile correctional facility must support, broaden, and strengthen the facility’s total program of treatment and education.

These standards are appropriate for these types of facilities:
- Long-term facilities that generally hold juveniles who have been adjudicated and committed to custody (some of whom may be serving brief terms of commitment)
- Short-term facilities that generally hold juveniles awaiting (sometimes for several months) adjudication or other disposition.

Library Services for Caregivers

Library Services to the Sandwich Generation and Serial Caregivers. 2001.

This guide provides librarians with resources to assist multigenerational caregivers. Suggestions on library activities and projects that can be provided to older adults are included. Graphs and tables that profile demographics specifically race; age, and geography are contained. The list of professional organizations, web sites, and other materials are handy. The inclusion of resources on home modification is extremely useful. This fourth addition to the Changing Horizons series is an excellent resource for libraries, caregivers, and community groups that provide services to seniors.

State Library Agencies

The Functions and Roles of State Library Agencies, 2000.

The Functions and Roles of State Library Agencies examines both the common and uncommon services that state library agencies provide and illuminates emerging trends in state library practice.

The compilers, Ethel E. Himmel and William J. Wilson, surveyed state library agencies and share their findings in this publication. They provide an overview of state library agencies and discuss services provided to the public, government and libraries.