For immediate release | March 26, 2012

Transform your library: ASCLA online learning promotes accessible library services for all users

CHICAGO — Upcoming online learning opportunities from the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) will prepare your library to reach all of its users—including the blind, visually impaired and other people with disabilities, as well as Latino populations—with effective services, a welcoming environment and knowledgeable staff.

ASCLA, a division of the American Library Association, offers expertise in serving special populations, as reflected in these webinar topics. Take advantage of this expertise by enrolling in one of the upcoming webinars or online courses to gain valuable knowledge that will help transform your library’s services. Learn more below, or visit ASCLA’s online learning page, to find out about all of the divison’s upcoming opportunities, including programming and workshops at the ALA Annual Conference.

Questions about registering for these webinars can be directed to ALA’s registration team at or (800) 545-2433, option 5.

WEBINAR: Serving the Blind and Visually Impaired in Your Library

Thursday, April 5, 2012, 1 – 2:30 p.m. Central Time


The need for services to the blind and visually impaired is critical to all libraries. This webinar will introduce the Service Frontiers in BVIP Initiative for blind and visually impaired patrons. During the session we will review the definition of blindness; explore disability etiquette; and learn where the blind are and how to attract them with our library services. Service Frontiers in BVIP is a first of its kind in the U.S. and we will create a successful model for public libraries around the country. This program will focus on developing partnerships – between libraries and the blind and visually impaired community– that will promote an ongoing exchange of needs, ideas and solutions for improving library services to this underserved population.

Who Should Attend: Public and academic librarians; library staff communicating and serving this community; reference librarians identifying and delivering information materials to this community; Web developers interested in gaining a practical understanding of Section 508.

Instructor: Buna Dahal, internationally acclaimed leadership strategist, ADA consultant and secretary for the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado

Registration starts at $40 for ASCLA members. Single-login group rates are $99.

ONLINE COURSE: Improving Library Services to People with Disabilities

Apr. 23 – May 18, 2012

Two live course chat meetings: Thursday, May 3 and 17, from 3 - 4 p.m. CENTRAL/Chicago Time

REGISTER NOW. Previous course offerings have sold out!

Library services to people with disabilities are provided by all levels of library staff. From the part-time aide charging out library materials to the library director determining policies, staff skills and attitudes are crucial for a satisfactory library experience. All libraries have a plan for serving people with disabilities, whether it is the installation of ramps or the creation of special needs story times. But improvements are always possible. Library staff members who enroll will review the current level of service to people with disabilities and then explore materials and sources that provide additional support or new ideas.

Who Should Take This Course: This course is designed for all library staff, including support staff, general professional staff, age-level or subject specialists, managers and administrators.

Instructor: Kate Todd has worked as a children’s librarian for The New York Public Library and as emerging technologies librarian for Manhattanville College, where she also taught “Technology for Special Education” in the graduate School of Education. She also taught the popular ALSC online course “Children with Disabilities in the Library.”

Registration starts at $130 for ASCLA members. Group rates for multiple registrations from the same library, library system or network are available!

WEBINAR: Creating a Latino Friendly Library

Thursday, May 17, 2012, 2 – 3:30 p.m. Central Time


Latino communities continue to grow, and we continue to puzzle over how to get this significant segment of our communities into the library. This webinar will introduce practical and simple techniques that libraries of all sizes can use to begin the process of making Latinos feel welcome and comfortable in the library. Participants will learn how to work with and challenge the language and cultural barriers that keep Latinos from using the library.

Who Should Attend: Anyone whose library serves Latino/Spanish-speaking populations and who is interested in implementing a plan to bring more Latinos into the library and make them feel welcome.

Instructor: Yolanda J. Cuesta, lead consultant at Cuesta MultiCultural Consulting

Registration starts at $40 for ASCLA members. Single-login group rates are $99.

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 cooperatives, as well as those who are self-employed. Our division’s work centers on member-driven interest groups that represent the diversity and important work of our engaged and active members. Not an ASCLA member, but interested in forming new interest groups, receiving discounted registration rates on ASCLA preconferences and online courses, and other important membership benefits? Join, renew or add ASCLA to your ALA membership at