For immediate release | July 9, 2013

Serving deaf patrons in the library

CHICAGO - ALA Editions announces Serving Deaf Patrons in the Library with Kathy MacMillan, a popular new workshop that will take place in two 90-minute sessions held on successive Wednesdays, Sept. 18 and 25.

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.

Registration for this workshop is available on the ALA Store. Each session of the workshop will last 90 minutes, and will take place at 2:30 p.m. EST/1:30 p.m. CST/12:30 p.m. MST/11:30 a.m. PST on Wednesdays, September 18 and 25.

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 (

ALA Editions Workshops are designed to give you and your staff the opportunity to participate in a hands‐on learning experience that will help you make the best decisions for your library.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or


Dan Freeman

Online Learning Manager

ALA Publishing