For immediate release | February 8, 2011

Elizabeth Ridler named ASCLA Cathleen Bourdon Service Award recipient

CHICAGO-- Elizabeth Ann Ridler, neighborhood library supervisor at the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library and longtime member of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), is the 2011 recipient of the ASCLA Cathleen Bourdon Service Award. ASCLA is a division of the American Library Association.

This award, named in honor of former ASCLA Executive Director Cathleen Bourdon, is presented to an ASCLA personal member for exceptional service and sustained leadership to the division. This includes participation in activities which have enhanced the stature, reputation and overall strength of ASCLA, as well as cultivated the division’s relationship with other appropriate organizations, institutions or governmental agencies.

As an ALA councilor since 2004, Ridler has worked tirelessly to enhance the stature, reputation and overall strength of ASCLA. She has worked closely with ALA’s Accessibility Assembly (formerly the ADA Assembly) on ADA issues, providing steadfast and eloquent representation of the division’s concerns and priorities. She has been a guardian of the ADA, showing leadership, dedication and skill on both ALA Council and in other governance roles to ensure that its provisions continue to be applied and endorsed as ALA policy.

“Elizabeth Ridler has been at the forefront of librarians in addressing the critical issue of equity of access that is so central to the core of our work in ASCLA,” said Diana Reese, ASCLA president. “Elizabeth is a strong advocate for ASCLA and for ALA members with access issues as well as for the general populace.”

Ridler has distinguished herself as a leader on issues of equity of access at the national, state and local levels. In addition to her service to ASCLA, she has also provided noteworthy contributions to ASCLA’s Libraries Serving Special Populations Section (LSSPS), advocating for their important issues at every possible opportunity. Her pioneering efforts with the ASCLA LSSPS Century Scholarship Committee have enabled ASCLA LSSPS to offer an excellent program of financial assistance to persons with disabilities pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science.

Ridler’s specific leadership service includes ALA Councilor at Large (2004-2013); ASCLA Legislative Committee (2008-2012); ALA Resolutions Committee (2006-2010); ASCLA Ad Hoc Task Force on Mentoring, chair (2002-2004); ASCLA Century Scholarship Jury, chair (2000-2004); ADA Assembly (1995-1999); and ASCLA Standards Committee Subcommittee to Develop Guidelines for Library Services for People with Mental Retardation (1995-1999). She has also served as president (1999-2009) for the New York Library Association’s Round Table on Library Services to Special Populations. She holds an MLIS from the University of Western Ontario, an MA from the University of Alberta, a BS in Education from the University of Toronto and a BA from Trent University.

ASCLA President Diana Reese will officially present the award to Ms. Ridler at the ASCLA/COSLA Reception from 8 - 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26 at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. This event, open to all ALA Conference attendees, will be held at an ALA Conference hotel. The exact room location will be announced in late spring.

ASCLA, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is a diverse organization of librarians and staff who work in state library agencies, agencies providing library services to populations with special needs, library cooperatives and independent librarians 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