New ASCLA online course educates all library staff about services to library users with disabilities

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/27/2011


Elizabeth Markel

CHICAGO — Registration is now open for “Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities,” a new online course offered by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA).

Providing library services to differently-abled library users is a role filled by all levels of library staff. From the part-time aide checking out library materials to the library director determining policies, staff skills and attitudes are crucial for a satisfactory library experience. During this course, participants will identify differently-abled library users at their library and the resources and technologies available to assist them; examine changes in attitudes, laws and technologies that have impacted people with disabilities; and will be able to recommend changes in personal and organizational behaviors to improve services for people with disabilities at their library.

This course is truly designed for all library staff, including support staff, general professional staff, age-level or subject specialists, managers and administrators. The course will begin Monday, Oct. 17 and finish on Friday, Nov. 11.  One live online session using the FlashChat feature of Moodle, the online course management system, will take place from 1 - 2 p.m. Central time on Thursday, Oct. 27.  Online and faxed registration will close on Thursday, Oct. 13 or when the class reaches maximum capacity.

Interested participants can register online now, register via fax or mail, or learn more about the course at the ASCLA website.  Registration fees start at $130 for ASCLA members. Discounted group registration rates for two or more registrants from the same library, library system or network are available—download the group registration form (PDF). Contact ALA’s Membership and Customer Service Team with any questions about registration for this course at or (800) 545-2433, option 5.

“Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities” is taught by Kate Todd, who has worked as a children’s librarian for The New York Public Library and as emerging technologies librarian for Manhattanville College. At Manhattanville College, she taught “Technology for Special Education” in the graduate school of education. She has also taught several online courses for  the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC), including “Children with Disabilities in the Library”—this new ASCLA course is the general staff counterpart to that course.

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 multi-type cooperatives, as well as those who are self-employed. Not an ASCLA member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, ASCLA preconference and other ASCLA events? Join, renew or add ASCLA to your ALA membership at