For immediate release | January 18, 2011

ASCLA webinar series launched, registration still open for last sessions

CHICAGO — Today, the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) launched the inaugural Virtual Convergence, a four-day webinar series offering affordable online learning for a broad variety of librarians and library types.

The Virtual Convergence was designed to provide an affordable mid-year professional development opportunity for librarians who might not be able to afford the cost of conference travel. Webinar topics included grant writing, providing services for at-risk teens, contract librarianship, library accessibility and other issues of interest to public, academic, state, special and other types of libraries.

Registration for the webinars to be held Thursday, Jan. 20 will end at close-of-business Tuesday, Jan. 18. Those webinars are:

  • "Libraries and Information Access for Differently-able Patrons: What We Can Do to Ensure Equality," 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. While “diversity” remains critical, many libraries remain inaccessible. Financial limitations, limited knowledge, organizational culture, social construction of disability and even complacency are arguable contributors to this reality. Join us for an interactive discussion exploring accessibility’s dimensions and solutions.
  • "Extending Our Reach: Using Extension Programs to Promote Statewide Resources," 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Through online tools such as blogs, twitter and webinars, we educate Extension staff about resources they can use out in the field with the public along with professionally for their own research.
  • "Attracting Latinos to the Library: It's All About Relationships," 3 - 4:30 p.m Getting Latinos into the library is not a mystery—many libraries are successfully drawing capacity crowds to their programs and building relationships that continue to reap benefits for the Latino community and the library. This session prepares attendees for the same success at their own libraries.

Registration for the webinars to be held Friday, Jan. 21 will end at close-of-business Wednesday, Jan. 19. Those webinars are:

  • "Conducting Successful Virtual Meetings," 9-10:30 a.m. A not-to-miss session for anyone working virtually...which is most of us, these days! Together, let’s: raise expectations and standards for all online meetings; learn from each others' experiences through questions and sharing; and improve effective use of software features to increase interactivity and collaboration.
  • "Careers in Federal Libraries," 9-10:30 a.m. Live from the Library of Congress, we'll hear from a panel of Federal librarians about the types of jobs available to you and hear about the type of work being done in federal libraries all around the world.
  • "How to Find a Federal Job," 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Join us to discover the types of Federal library jobs that are available and how to navigate the Federal hiring process and be alerted when new jobs are announced.
  • "Managing Library Adult and Family Literacy Programs," 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. This session will provide an overview of the types of literacy programs found in public libraries with an emphasis on volunteer literacy. Topics include adult literacy statistics; family and health literacy; how to start up or improve volunteer literacy programs, working with adults who lack basic reading skills and with English language learners; and considerations for starting an adult literacy collection.
  • "Resume Writing and Interviewing Techniques," 1-2:30 p.m. Join Robert Newlen, renowned author, for a lively and witty look at job hunting. These tips on resume writing and interviewing are not to be missed!
  • "Saks Fifth Avenue Service on a Dollar General Budget," 3-4:30 p.m. This session will discuss and compare the techniques used in high-end customer service oriented retail environments and how we can apply them to our libraries to give patrons a 'superior' experience.

A full PDF schedule with descriptions is available at Registration is available online—click on “Register” next to Virtual Convergence at this registration page (login required)—or by mail and fax. When registering for a single webinar from the series, ASCLA and Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT) members pay $40, ALA members pay $50, non-members pay $65 and student and retired members of ALA pay $45. Those registering for two or more sessions will receive a reduced rate on each session.

Group registration rates for this event are available—those interested in more information should contact the ALA registration team at or 1 (800) 545-2433, option 5.

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 preconferences and other ASCLA events? Join, renew or add ASCLA to your ALA membership at


Elizabeth Markel