For immediate release | January 27, 2016

Popular eCourse, Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff, returns

CHICAGO — ALA Publishing announces a new iteration of its popular eCourse, Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff. Kathy MacMillan will serve as the instructor for this six-week facilitated eCourse starting on March 7, 2016.

American Sign Language (ASL) is an invaluable skill for library professionals. A basic grasp of ASL enhances your ability to serve deaf library users and opens up a new world of possibilities for baby storytime programs. It’s also a marketable professional skill that can translate to public service jobs beyond the library world.

Ideal for those without previous experience, in this eCourse, librarian and ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan will use readings, multimedia resources, and online discussion boards to introduce basic ASL vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting. MacMillan will place ASL within a linguistic and cultural context, aiding participants in improving library services.

After completing this eCourse, participants will:

  • have the opportunity to learn over 100 signs and have a grasp on how to use these signs in library settings;
  • have a basic understanding of Deaf culture and how to interact effectively with deaf patrons;
  • understand multiple applications of ASL in different library contexts;
  • understand how the library can use ASL as a service that ties into the broader community.

About the Instructor

Kathy MacMillan is a freelance writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She has authored or co-authored many books, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996. She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff.

Registration for this facilitated eCourse, which begins on March 7, 2016, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

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Liz Steiner

Marketing Manager

ALA Publishing