Bronwyn’s Library Blog

Archive for the ‘Libraries in the community’ Category

Welcoming Library Spaces for the Autism Community and Their Families

Posted by bronwynr on May 18, 2009

ASCLA/KLAS/NOD Award Winner Named

The Association of Cooperative and Specialized Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association, announces the  winner of the ASCLA/KLAS/NOD award:  “Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected,” — a remarkable project developed by Margaret Kolaya, director of the Scotch Plains Public Library, and Daniel Weiss, director of the Fanwood Memorial Library, both in New Jersey.

The award, sponsored by ASCLA, Keystone Systems, and the National Organization on Disability, recognizes a library for “an innovative and well-organized project which has successfully developed or expanded services for people with disabilities.    The winner receives a citation and a $1000 prize, funded by Keystone Systems.

Kathleen Hegarty, Chair of the ASCLA Awards Committee, commented on the choice of “Libraries and Autism” for the award:  This outstanding project has launched a virtual campaign to make libraries aware of people on the autism spectrum and, most notably, to train librarians to serve this growing, underserved population. Its accessible website offers valuable background information, a superb customer service training film, and supportive materials and graphics, all of which can be downloaded.  State sponsorship, able project leadership, the involvement of the autism community, and highly effective promotion have contributed to the success of an initiative that has had national impact.

The sophisticated, yet user-friendly website,, contains numerous citations to print and non-print materials, websites, and organizations concerned with the autism spectrum disorder as well as an Autism Overview PowerPoint presentation. Individuals with autism and library staff interact in the 19-minute training video which focuses on some unconventional behavioral traits of people with this disorder.  Techniques are then suggested and demonstrated that will enable librarians to respond in a positive and welcoming manner.

Providing expert commentary are:  Dr. Linda Meyers, Executive Director, COSAC (The New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community),  Dr. Jill Harris, Director of Psychology and Coordinator of the Autism Center of Excellence, Specialized Children’s Hospital, and Adrienne Robertiello, Community Partnership for People with Autism, who appears with her son in the video.

The video is intended to form the basis for workshops such as those held by the project for its own library staff, local school media specialists, and selected libraries in New Jersey.  It has been the springboard for workshops in other states, among them, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Supportive materials include: a list of workshop consultants;  publicity logos;  sample publicity release; a non-verbal communication tool; customer service tips; and a unique storybook template, “This is My Library,” – which can be customized by the individual library to provide a visual pre-visit tour of the library for the child with autism.   A “Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected” – decal for the library door or window is available on request.

As a component of the project, the training video has been distributed to every public library in New Jersey, many schools, special and academic libraries, and to every New Jersey legislator.  The Pennsylvania State Library has also replicated 1000 copies.

Other promotional efforts — the  comprehensive release sent by PR NewsWire and MultiVU to thousands of local and national media outlets and to over 3600 websites and the YouTube posting of the training video–have evoked enthusiastic responses from libraries nationally and internationally as well as from individuals in the autism community.

The project is a part of the “Welcoming Library Spaces for the Autism Community and Their Families”  incubator project which was made possible by a contract with INFOLINK: The Eastern New Jersey Regional Library Cooperative.  The Cooperative and its services are funded by the New Jersey State Library which is responsible for the coordination, promotion, and funding of the New Jersey Library Network.


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Free Conference registration opportunity from ARK and ALIA

Posted by bronwynr on May 3, 2009

Indigenous Knowledge Management Voices from the past: knowledge for the future

This two-day masterclass will provide an interactive environment in which to explore critical areas associated with the effective use of knowledge management techniques within the Australian indigenous culture. Effectively engaging indigenous communities, finding functional methods to capture, transfer and preserve oral and traditional knowledge, and exploring narrative techniques are the key focuses of this event.

Apply now FREE conference registration valued at over $2000. Click here for information and terms and conditions (please read before applying). Application forms available.

Closes 1st June 2009

Date: 22-23 June 2009

Location: Sydney, Australia

Presented by ARK

Posted in ALIA, Events, information management, librarianship, Libraries in the community, professional development | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Libraries as catalysts of social change

Posted by bronwynr on April 16, 2009

This paper presents a library-community convergence framework (LCCF) to extend the library’s role to participate more fully in community action and enhance its role as a proactive catalyst of social change, as compared to a sometimes perceived role of bystander.

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Can’t Afford a Prom Dress? Try the Local Library

Posted by bronwynr on April 15, 2009

With its community facing
tough economic times, the Galesburg Public Library has reached out by offering free prom
dresses to teens who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

As a result of a
the 100 Dresses Program launched by YA Librarian Kari Smith, more than two dozen
local girls from four high schools recently chose from gently used evening
dresses in all shades and sizes, donated from women’s clubs, college students,
and other high school kids. Some even walked away with matching accessories to
wear on their big night, which takes place on April 25. more
» » »

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What works well engaging multicultural youth with your library?

Posted by bronwynr on April 4, 2009

The Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA) is the national peak body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. FECCA provides advocacy, develops policy and promotes issues on behalf of its constituency to government and the broader community. FECCA and the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) are seeking to identify best practice initiatives in multicultural youth projects in Australia, with the possibility of developing a national model.

This initiative is being done in two phases:

Part A was finalised in December 2008. It aimed to identify best practice examples from multicultural youth programs that focus on capacity building, engagement with the broader community and leadership. A report from FECCA has been presented to DIAC. (For a copy, contact Charles Njora, FECCA’s Policy and Liaison Officer, at the email address given below.)

Part B, Developing a National Model Based on Best Practice Initiatives: This phase of the project will focus on the possibilities for a national model based on best practice initiatives.

Consultations for Part B are in progress until 17 April 2009.

FECCA is seeking to generate ideas for part B from youth, youth networks and other interested parties. To contribute enter your ideas in this survey tool the information will be collated and submitted to FECCA.

Alternatively, you can contact Charles Njora, FECCA’s Policy and Liaison Officer, ph: (02) 6282 5755; fax: (02) 6282 5734; email: ,

Posted in childrens library, Libraries in the community, Library, Young Adult Library | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Public libraries provide vital infrastructure for Australia’s digital future

Posted by bronwynr on March 8, 2009

[ .pdf 109 KB ]

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) announces the release of the latest Internet access in public libraries survey 2008 which demonstrates the vital role of Australian public libraries in addressing the need for equitable community access to online information and services.  … more

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Australian prisoner library services

Posted by bronwynr on February 15, 2009

The Australian Prison Foundation is about to launch a national campaign focusing on prisoner library services, and needs your help to create information resources.
Community News –

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San Antonio Kicks Off Early Literacy Bilingual Program

Posted by bronwynr on February 13, 2009

In an effort to combat the 25 percent illiteracy rate in San Antonio, TX, and to get families involved in early literacy, the San Antonio Public Library has begun a multifaceted bilingual initiative called Leer da Poder (Reading Empowers).

A key part of the campaign includes Lee y serás® (Read and You Will Be), a free program and curriculum that supports parents before their preschool children enter kindergarten. more » » » 

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Librarian of the Year Award Already Paying Dividends in Cedar Rapids

Posted by bronwynr on January 26, 2009

  • City Council lauds library
  • Budget remains a challenge
  • Wrangling with FEMA continues

It’s been little over a week since the public announcement that Team Cedar Rapids–the management team of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, IA–won Library Journal‘s Librarian of the Year award for its efforts to recover after a flood devastated the main library.

But that award is already paying dividends.


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Librarians Become Unofficial Job Counselors

Posted by bronwynr on January 24, 2009

The economy is putting more stress on libraries and the people who work there.

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