New eCourse: Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff

Chicago—ALA Editions announces a new iteration of our popular eCourse, Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff. Kathy MacMillan will serve as the instructor for a 6-week facilitated eCourse starting on May 15, 2017.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 30
Certificate of Completion available upon request

Learning outcomes

After completing this eCourse, participants will:

  • Have the opportunity to learn over 100 signs and have a grasp on how to use these signs in library settings
  • Have a basic understanding of Deaf culture and how to interact effectively with deaf patrons
  • Understand multiple applications of ASL in different library contexts
  • Understand how the library can use ASL as a service that ties into the broader community

American Sign Language (ASL) is an invaluable skill for library professionals.  A basic grasp of ASL enhances your ability to serve deaf library users and opens up a new world of possibilities for baby storytime programs. It’s also a marketable professional skill that can translate to public service jobs beyond the library world.

Ideal for those without previous experience, in this eCourse, librarian and ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan will use readings, multimedia resources, and online discussion boards to introduce basic ASL vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting. MacMillan will place ASL within a linguistic and cultural context, aiding participants in improving library services.

eCourse outline

Week 1: Getting Started with ASL
  • Introduction: Overview of Course, “The 5 Parts of a Sign”
  • Vocabulary  (Introducing Yourself): MY, YOUR, ME, YOU, NAME, WHAT, NICE, MEET,  PLEASE, THANK YOU, EXCUSE ME, SORRY, DEAF, HEARING, YES, NO, the manual alphabet and its purpose
  • ASL Grammar: Information-seeking Questions
  • Sentence Activity: Putting it all Together
  • Deaf Culture: Terminology and Battling Audism
  • Library Services: How to Communicate with Deaf People
  • Quiz
Week 2: Around the Library
  • Review activity
  • Vocabulary: LIBRARY, DESK, INFORMATION, LIBRARIAN, MAN, WOMAN, BATHROOM, WATER, FOUNTAIN, DOOR, CHILDREN, COMPUTER, CLOCK, SODA, COFFEE, EAT/FOOD, DRINK, MACHINE, BOOK, SALE, OPEN, CLOSE, MAGAZINE, BULLETIN BOARD, DVD, CD, AUDIOBOOK, the numbers 0 through 10
  • ASL Grammar: Yes/no questions
  • Sentence activity: Putting it all Together
  • Deaf Culture: Earth vs. Eyeth 
  • Library Services: Collection Development of Sign Language Materials
  • Quiz
Week 3: At the Circulation Desk
  • Review Activity
  • Vocabulary: CHECKOUT DESK, PAY, FINE, LIBRARY CARD, OVERDUE, ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, RETURN-BOOK, CHECKOUT BOOK, DOLLAR, CENTS, FIRST, LAST, CHANGE, LINEUP, RESERVES, SHELF, MEETING ROOM, CALENDAR, DUE, FREE, money signs,  the numbers 11 through 19
  • ASL Grammar: Topic-Comment structure
  • Sentence activity: Putting it all Together
  • Deaf Culture: Early History of ASL
  • Library Services: Services Typically Used by Deaf Patrons
  • Quiz
Week 4:  At the Information Desk
  • Review Activity
  • Vocabulary: Library will close in 5/10/15 minutes, PRINT, COST, sentences, first 5 pages free, FINISH, HELP, GIVE, TIME, FAX, DON’T KNOW, HAVE, WHERE, REQUEST, FORBIDDEN, FICTION, NONFICTION, LAB, WANT, time signs, numbers 20-29
  • ASL Grammar: Directional verbs
  • Sentence activity: Putting it all Together
  • Deaf Culture: ASL in the 20th and 21st centuries
  • Library Services: Technologies for Accessibility
  • Quiz
 
Week 5: Programming
  • Review Activity
  • Vocabulary: PROGRAM, INTERPRETER, REQUEST, REGISTER, CALENDAR, BROCHURE, NAMETAG, TEACH, STORY, MUSIC, CRAFT, COOK, BOOK DISCUSSION, MOM, DAD, SISTER, BROTHER, BABY, GRANDMA, GRANDPA, days of the week, months, numbers 30-66 with doubles
  • ASL Grammar: Numerical incorporation and use of space
  • Sentence activity: Putting it all Together
  • Deaf Culture: Signing Etiquette
  • Library Services: Providing Interpreters
  • Quiz
Week 6: In the Community
  • Review Activity
  • Vocabulary: Vocabulary: STORE, BANK, POLICE, FIREFIGHTER, SCHOOL, RESTAURANT, GO-TO, PLAYGROUND, OFFICE, WORK, SPORTS, COLLEGE, GAS STATION, DOCTOR, HOSPITAL, numbers 67-100
  • ASL Grammar: Pronouns and space
  • Sentence activity: Putting it all Together
  • Deaf Culture: Deaf Gain and the Library as a Source of Empowerment
  • Library Services: Working with Interpreters
  • Quiz

About the Instructor

Kathy MacMillan is a freelance writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She has authored or co-authored many books, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996.  She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, was published by HarperCollins in 2016.

Registration for this ALA Editions facilitated eCourse, which begins on May 15, 2017, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at editionscoursehelp@ala.org.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. 

Colton Ursiny
Administrative Assistant
Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff eCourse
cursiny@ala.org
ALA Publishing
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