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Office for Literacy and Outreach Services Report to Committees and Roundtables

Office for Literacy and Outreach Services Report to Committees and Roundtables

2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting – Seattle 

Programs at Midwinter

The OLOS Advisory Committee will meet on Saturday, January 26 from 8:30-10:00am in room 620 of the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC).

The Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds will meet on Saturday, January 26 from 1:00-2:30pm in the Discovery room at the Grand Hyatt.

The Committee on Literacy will have two meetings during the 2013 Midwinter Meeting, including the Literacy Assembly /Committee on Literacy meeting on Friday, 1/25, from 1:00-4:00pm in WSCC room 206 and the Committee on Literacy All Subcommittee Planning Meeting on Saturday, 1/26 from 1:00-2:30pm.

Additionally, OLOS supports the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration with the Social Responsibilities Round Table and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.  The 2013 Celebration, keynoted by Dr. Jeanne Theoharis, Professor of Political Science at CUNY-Brooklyn College, will take place on Monday, January 28 from 6:30-7:30am in WSCC room 611-614am. Light refreshments will be provided courtesy of World Book, Inc. Dr. Theoharis’ participation in the 2013 Celebration is made possible by Beacon Press. Representatives from OLOS, the Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of all Kinds, OLOS affiliates, and the Committee on Literacy will be participating in the event.


In October, OLOS released “Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness through Library Engagement,” the latest in the Office’s suite of toolkits geared to help libraries improve library services to underserved or historically discriminated against populations. Developed with the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT), “Extending Our Reach” offers tips, tools, resources, model programs, best practices and much more to assist librarians and library staffers in creating meaningful library services for people who are experiencing homelessness. This toolkit will be featured during the Librarians Build Communities “Emerald City’s Shelters: A Gateway to Librarian Outreach to the Homeless” event on Friday, January 25, where approximately 100 Midwinter Attendees will learn about the issues related to providing library service to the homeless. OLOS will explore further promotion of the toolkit, including targeted mailing and hosting a webinar in early 2013.

National Bookmobile Day @ your library

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 will mark the fourth annual celebration of National Bookmobile Day, a collaborative effort between ALA, ABOS (Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services), and ARSL (Association for Rural & Small Libraries). OLOS will work with ABOS and ARSL to refresh the free, downloadable publicity materials on the online resource center (www.ala.org/bookmobiles), providing libraries and bookmobile agencies with the tools to host their own National Bookmobile Day celebrations. Available resources on the NBD online resource center include:

-          PR templates, including a press release, op-ed, and proclamation

-          Updated NBD fact sheet outlining stats, history, and current issues facing mobile outreach

-          Customizable marketing collaterals, including bookmarks, stickers, and logos

OLOS will continue to promote the growth of NBD on social media. As of January 2013, the National Bookmobile Day fan page on Facebook has grown to 1,076 followers, providing an effective means to promote the event and disseminate information about the 2013 celebration. OLOS will also again hold the Why We Love Our Bookmobile virtual celebration on YouTube, where libraries are encouraged to submit videos highlighting their services and celebrations for National Bookmobile Day.

As in previous years, OLOS will work with the ALA Public Information Office to promote National Bookmobile Day to ALA membership, library trade, and the wider media, and will incorporate NBD messages into National Library Week materials.

The American Dream Starts @ your library

In 2013, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation renewed its commitment to The American Dream Starts @ your library®, a literacy initiative for adult English language learners and their families through providing a third round of funding to ALA to build upon the project’s success. ALA in turn selected 44 public libraries in 21 states to receive one-time grants of $5,000 to $15,000 to add or expand literacy services for the adult English language learners in their communities.  Libraries will use this funding to expand their print and digital ESL collections, increase computer access and raise the visibility of library services for immigrant populations.  

The newest American Dream libraries join a cohort of100 previously funded programs in Dollar General communities. Since 2007, these American Dream libraries have built easily replicable programs, developed coalition-building strategies and provided annotated lists of proven resources for libraries across the country serving adult English language learners.

To see a complete list of the third round libraries, please visit www.americandreamtoolkit.org.


Michelle Harrell Washington will join ALA as Director, Office for Diversity (OFD) and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) effective February 11, 2013.  Currently Public Services Librarian at the Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries, where she has been since 2009, Michelle Washington brings strong library experience to her new ALA role.  She served as Director of Library Services at the University of Washington Colleges, Washington County, and prior to that spent a number of years as the Multicultural Services Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.  Michelle has a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was co-recipient of an ALA OFD Diversity Research Grant (2003-2004) for the project “Promoting Information Literacy Through Coalition Building.” Michelle replaces Miguel A. Figueroa, who departed ALA in June 2012 to accept a position at the American Theological Library Association in Chicago.

In December 2012, John Amundsen was promoted to Program Officer, Outreach and Communications. In this expanded role, John will collaborate with OLOS member leaders in the development of outreach programming and resources in support of local library staff and stakeholders’ efforts to address information needs of traditionally underserved populations, in addition to his continuing responsibilities in administering OLOS’ communication efforts.  

In September 2012, Elliot Mandel, OLOS Program Coordinator, departed ALA to accept a position at Rush Hour Concerts in Chicago. OLOS will explore options in filling the vacant position in 2013. 


OLOS Report - MW2013r.doc31 KB