For immediate release | May 14, 2013

2013 LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award winner announced

CHICAGO — Karen Doerksen, MLIS degree candidate at the University of Alberta School of Library and Information Studies, has been named the winner of the 2013 LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award, sponsored by Ex Libris Group and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Doerksen's paper, titled "A Sight to Be Held: Adapting Comics and Graphic Novels for Visual Impairment," describes the vital role of graphics and pictures in the development of early literacy and examines the challenge of adapting comics and graphic novels into assistive formats to support the achievement of graphicacy in visually impaired individuals.

"The members of the LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award Committee are pleased to acknowledge and honor with this award Karen Doerksen's thought-provoking manuscript, which reconsiders the position that comics and graphic novels are highly unsuitable for adaptation for the visually impaired," said Regina Koury and Heidi Hanson, co-chairs of the committee. "Ms. Doerksen's paper illuminates the challenges and controversies surrounding this complex topic, and explores the possibilities inherent in emergent assistive technologies."

The award will be presented at the LITA Awards Ceremony on Sunday, June 30, 2013 during Sunday Afternoon with LITA at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

About LITA

Established in 1966, LITA is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership of over 3,000 systems librarians, library technologists, library administrators, library schools, vendors and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers. For more information, visit


Mary C. Taylor

Executive Director

Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)