Serving Deaf Patrons in the Library
Kathy MacMillan, librarian and certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, will guide you in making your library a welcoming place for deaf people. You will gain an understanding of Deaf culture, learn several useful library-related signs, and be ready to work confidently with interpreters for your programs. An experienced and sought-after trainer, MacMillan’s programs are praised for their practical focus on common library interactions. Links to video demonstrations and handouts for library-related signs will be made accessible to participants to encourage practice and implementation after the workshop.
Topics covered in this two-part workshop:
- An overview of the different ways deaf people communicate
- Understanding and meeting your library’s legal obligation to serve the deaf
- Strategies for communicating with a deaf or hard-of-hearing person in the library
- Tips for finding, hiring, and working with interpreters
Kathy MacMillan is a freelance writer, American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller. She has contributed articles to Public Libraries, American Libraries, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates, and LibrarySparks, and is the author of Try Your Hand at This!: Easy Ways to Incorporate Sign Language into Your Programs (Scarecrow Press, 2006), A Box Full of Tales: Easy Ways to Share Library Resources through Story Boxes (ALA Editions, 2008), and Storytime Magic (with Christine Kirker, ALA Editions, 2009). She was the Library/Media Specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005, and prior to that was a children’s librarian at Carroll County Public Library and Howard County Library, where she developed and presented hundreds of programs for all ages. She holds an M.L.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park, and has been reviewing for School Library Journal since 1999. Kathy presents storytelling programs introducing sign language for thousands of children and families each year through Stories By Hand (www.storiesbyhand.com).