This October, Americans observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month by paying tribute to the accomplishments of those with disabilities whose work helps keep the nation's economy strong and by reaffirming their commitment to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens.
The theme for 2023 National Disability Employment Awareness Month is "Advancing Access and Equity." Check out the 31 Days of NDEAM resource list curated by the Office of Disability Employment Policy for ideas on how to highlight this month at your library space!
Congratulations to new leadership in our Round Tables, Interest Groups, and Committees in ODLOS! If you have not received communication from your new group directly, please reach out to email@example.com to confirm your appointment, and get in contact with your team.
Between January 1 and August 31, 2023, OIF reported 695 attempts to censor library materials and services and documented challenges to 1,915 unique titles - a 20% increase from the same reporting period in 2022, which saw the highest number of book challenges since ALA began compiling the data more than 20 years ago. The vast majority of challenges were to books written by or about a person of color or a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Read the full announcement
On August 3, 2023, the Department of Justice published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to update the regulations for Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to better ensure web and mobile app accessibility for people with disabilities. For a high-level summary of the NPRM, read the fact sheet. The Department has also published a press release.
September 26th marked the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, programs receiving federal financial assistance, federal employment, and the employment practices of federal contractors. It was a milestone for individuals with disabilities across the nation, and it serves as the foundation for many other disability-related legislation. Check out this series of articles from the U.S. Access Board about the Rehab Act.
Through the Spectrum Scholarship Program, the American Library Association affirms its commitment to diversity and inclusion by seeking the broadest participation of new generations of racially and ethnically diverse librarians to position ALA to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services. This year's cohort includes 70 scholars who are pursuing their MLIS degree at an ALA-accredited program.
Meet the 2023-2024 Scholarship Cohort
The new edition will be forward looking and expand the scope of the standards to be as inclusive as possible. The new Standards will heed the current phenomenon of mass incarceration, the inequitable incarceration rates of BIPOC individuals, and the rising rates of incarceration of women (especially women of color) and pay special attention to the incarceration of LGBTQIA+ individuals, undocumented individuals, and youth in jails, prisons, and other detention facilities, as well as to the information needs of returning individuals.
Read more about the Standards
In collaboration with the National Library Service, ODLOS contracted a project director and supported the assembly of a working and advisory team in early 2023 to begin making updates to the Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped 2017. The purpose is to develop a framework of service for NLS network service providers through a series of drafts, with a final document to be adopted mid-2024. This project aims to create a revised 2024 Standards and Guidelines with maximum input from patrons, staff, and other community members.
Several members of the working team and advisory met in-person at the ALA Annual Conference in June for three dedicated working days, and the project director for this work also hosted a public information-sharing forum.
The first draft of the revision, retitled the Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Print Disabled 2024, was submitted to NLS in September for internal review and comments. There will be a public hearing at LibLearnX open to all attendees to share feedback and comments, as well as other opportunities to be announced at a later date.
Grounded in Core's mission of cultivating and amplifying the collective expertise of library workers in core functions and its tagline, Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, the LIFT awards are designed to support information professionals whose passion, actions, and everyday work warrants recognition and celebration.
When notifed they had won, Orozco-Sahi responded, "Core has been an invaluable resource during my time at ALA so far, connecting me with people who have changed the trajectory of my professional career, as well as my personal growth. To be honored with this LIFT Award means being able to continue to engage meaningfully with library professionals, to be a voice in the room working towards the ideals of libraries and librarianship. I am grateful for the support and recognition."
Read more about Orozco-Sahi's LIFT Award
The Spectrum Scholarship Program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA. Each scholar receives $5,000 from ALA to combat the rising cost of graduate education as well as $1,500 to attend the Spectrum Leadership Institute held during the ALA Annual Conference. In addition to financial support, recipients benefit from peer mentoring and a large alumni network. Critical for long-term impact, the program offers continuing education and professional development opportunities foundational to obtaining leadership positions within the profession. Applications are due to the ALA Clearinghouse by March 1. Learn more about how to apply!
ALA's Century Scholarship is an annual scholarship of $2,500 that funds services or accommodation for a library school student(s) with disabilities admitted to an ALA-accredited library school, administered by ALA's Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR).
The scholarship will fund services or accommodations that are either not provided by law or otherwise by the university that will enable the student or students to successfully complete the course of study for a Master's or Doctorate in Library Science and become a library or information studies professional. Learn more about how to apply!
The American Library Association Publishing Committee provides a grant of up to $5,000 for the preparation of print or electronic reading lists, indexes or other guides to library resources that promote reading or the use of library resources at any type of library.
Funded projects have ranged from "A Resource Guide about Disabilities, Disability Theory, and Assistive Technologies" to "A Bibliography for Queer Teens" to "Graphic Novels & the Humanity of Mental Illness" to "Web Accessibility Resources for Libraries".
Applications must be received by November 3, 2023. Recipients will be notified by February 2024. For questions, contact Mary Jo Bolduc, Grant Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Library Association (ALA) invites applications from small and rural libraries for the second round of funding of the Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities grant to increase the accessibility of facilities, services, and programs to better serve people with disabilities. Library workers may apply online for grant funding from September 11, 2023, to December 11, 2023, at ala.org/LTCAccess. Up to 300 libraries will be awarded either $10,000 or $20,000 awards in this second application period, part of ALA's longtime community engagement initiative.
To be eligible, a library must have a legal area population of 25,000 or less and be located at least five miles from an urbanized area, in keeping with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) definitions of small and rural libraries. View the full project guidelines.
Grantees will first conduct community input-gathering sessions to assure that their work aligns with local needs. Libraries will be required to identify the primary audience they are hoping to reach (e.g., older adults with mobility disabilities, children with autism, Deaf community members) and facilitate a community conversation with the impacted populations in order to guide the improvement of the library's services.
Angela Meyers presents about Memory Cafes at the June 24 ALA session.
High attendance at three LSDA/ODLOS sessions at last June's American Library Association conference demonstrated that interest in providing library services to patrons living with dementia is steadily growing. A pre-conference entitled "Inclusion, Resources, and Joy: Serving the Alzheimer's/Dementia Community in Public Libraries" was attended by 40 on June 22. Approximately 100 attendees filled a large room for Saturday's session, "Memory Cafes and Library Dementia Services". Presenters Amy DelPo, Timothy Dickey, Angela Meyers, and Mary Beth Riedner provided practical tips and inspiration to attendees at these two sessions. Nearly 50 librarians came to the "Serving your Patrons with Dementia" LSDA membership meeting that was led by Allan Klieman the following Monday.
Participants at these sessions learned how libraries can become welcoming, stigma-free community resources for their patrons living with dementia and their care partners. Armed with background information, communication techniques, ideas for programming, resources for staff training, and tips for finding local partners, attendees left the sessions better equipped to assist this deserving, but often underserved, population in their own communities.
Librarians can also apply for funding to create new dementia programming from the Stephen T. Riedner Grant for Life Enhancing Library Programs for People Living with Dementia, which is administered by RUSA. Applications for the 2024 round will be accepted starting in mid-October. The deadline for applications is Feb. 23, 2024.
Please consider joining the LSDA/ODLOS interest group to share experiences, ask questions and learn from each. Membership is free. More information about LSDA can be found at our webpage.
Rebecca Weber at ARSL Conference
The Public Programs Office and ODLOS had strong representation at this past September's Association for Rural and Small Libraries Conference in Wichita as we highlighted the Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Libraries grant! Both Rebecca Weber and Carrie Banks from RUSA's Accessibility Assembly were instrumental to creating the "Serving Patrons with Disabilities" Practitioner's Guide for the grantees, in collaboration with our partner Access Living, and we were fortunate to have Rebecca join us at PPO's booth to support knowledge-sharing at the conference. So many folks who received this grant came to talk o us at the booth about their projects in expanding disability access! A great example of collaboration at ALA and huge appreciation for the Accessibility Assembly's support with this work.
Check out recent events in the ODLOS Community
The Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) organized their fourth annual Afternoon of Social Justice. The virtual event featured panels of scholars and librarians, and presented on a variety of topics.
What Can U.S. Librarians Learn from Feminist Struggles in Ukraine, Sudan, and Iran?
Disability is Not a Bad Word
Just Vision's Boycott
Recordings from the two panels from the afternoon, as well as further information and resources, have been made available on SRRT's website.
ASERL Community Conversations: Open Access and Artificial Intelligence
October 5, 2023 at 3pm ET/2pm Central Time
REGISTER: Meeting Registration - Zoom
The Internet Generation: Connecting with Gen Z in the Library Landscape
Oct 12, 2023 at 2pm ET / 1pm Central Time
Why Do I Stay in Librarianship? III -- The DEI Perspective
Nov 1, 2023 at 2pm ET / 1pm Central Time
Trans and Gender Diverse Voices in Libraries
December 4, 2023 at 2pm ET/1pm Central Time
Disability Inclusion in Library Services
October 17 | 1:00–2:00 p.m. Central
Panelist: Shelley Harris, Children's Librarian, Oak Park (IL) Public Library
American Sign Language for Librarians
6 week e-Courses, Various Times
Panelist: Kathy MacMillan (she/her) is a writer, nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and signing storyteller.
Courses included in this bundle are:
American Sign Language for Library Staff: Level 1-6-week eCourse; begins Monday, October 2, 2023
American Sign Language for Library Staff: Level 2-6-week eCourse; begins Monday, January 8, 2024
American Sign Language with Children in Storytime or in the Classroom: A Practical Guide-6-week eCourse; begins Monday, April 1, 2024
NYPL's Accessibility Technology Conference 2023
Join NYPL Saturday, October 21–Sunday, October 22 at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (or virtually via Zoom) for The New York Public Library's first Accessible Technology Conference-a free and inclusive conference focused on the impact, affordances, and evolution of accessible technologies used by Blind, low-vision, and print-disabled people. Register here to attend in person; register here to attend via Zoom.
Association of Research Libraries: IDEAL Conference 2024
The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility in Libraries & Archives (IDEAL) Conference raises awareness and appreciation of workplace diversity issues through the exploration of theory and practice in the libraries and archives.
Save the date and plan to join us for the next IDEAL Conference, to be held July 15–17, 2024, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
To see what SRRT has been up to in the past year, please visit our SRRT Year in Review page at https://www.ala.org/rt/srrt/review. Upcoming events and calls for participation will be posted to Connect and our social media, including:
The Bridging Deaf Cultures Group is in a transitional phase. It's open to all deaf/hard of hearing library workers and their allies. If you're interested in shaping the future of the group, please email email@example.com, to join.
LSJI Co-Chair Kiera O'shea Vargas presents at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago
Library Services to the Justice Involved (LSJI) is a group of library professionals, students, correctional staff, volunteers, or anyone who serves the underserved in correctional settings (prison, jail, detention centers, state mental health institute, juvenile facilities) or justice-involved individuals (those in halfway houses, community corrections, sober living, transitional housing, on parole, or the formerly incarcerated).
LSJI continues to grow, and presently includes more than 475 people–a 200% increase over the past two years! In order to sustain this pace and provide support to members in our community, LSJI is seeking to hear from anyone who may be interested in co-chairing. These volunteer positions maintain the LSJI listserv (aka "prison-l") and organize the annual meeting at the ALA Conference, plus other networking and learning opportunities, as possible. In the year ahead, our group is excited to help promote the new Library Standards for People Who Are Incarcerated or Detained, which was approved by ALA Council in June and will be available soon.
Anyone interested in joining LSJI can sign up here, or for more information about leadership positions, please email Chelsea at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Description: Text: "Calling for Essays. The American Prison Writing Archive (APWA) is an internet-based, non-profit archive of firsthand testimony to the living and working conditions experienced by incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people, and prison volunteers. Anyone who lives or volunteers inside American prisons from all writing skills levels can contribute nonfiction essays and poetry, based on firsthand experience. 5,000 word limit. Visit us at: prisonwitness.org. Anyone interested in providing writing needs to include a signed Permissions-Questionnaire (PQ) obtained by writing to the address below. Handwritten contributions are welcome. There are no reading fees and The Archive will cover postage for responses. We will read all work submitted. For more information and to request the PQ, please write to: American Prison Writing Archive John Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.
The American Prison Writing Archive (APWA) is a growing digital archive of non-fiction essays by incarcerated writers offering testimony to their experiences of confinement and the criminal legal system. Our goal is to help center the voices of people who have experienced incarceration in national conversations about criminal justice and prison, and to preserve these witness testimonies for future readers. You can explore the APWA at prisonwitness.org.
The APWA has secured a grant from the Mellon Foundation to expand our outreach and representation within the Archive. Although our author and essay representation currently range broadly in location, background, and experience, we're seeking to grow our representation of several groups which are currently underrepresented in the APWA. These include:
People who are trans or gender non-conforming
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
People confined in jails
People confined in immigration detention centers
People aged 70 or older and 18-25
People located in the Plains and Gulf regions, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Iowa, New Mexico, D.C., New England
A larger representation of varying perspectives from system impacted individuals is essential to grounding the dialogue surrounding carceral practices in lived experience. We aim to expand access to APWA as an outlet for a wider range of backgrounds, identities, and perspectives by collaborating with a collective of Prison Witness Gatherers. We hope to source these Gatherers through partnerships with organizations and individuals who can adopt our call as a piece of their outreach, and actively widen the flow of essays, for an annual stipend of $2000. This is flexible and dependent on each Gatherer's engagement with incarcerated individuals.
If you are interested in assisting with our call, please contact us via email@example.com
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) is seeking proposals for innovative projects and programs for the 12th National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL XII).
The 12th National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL XII) will be held July 24-27, 2024, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference will be held in person and hybrid.
The conference theme is Culture Keepers XII: Unity in Diversity: Stronger Together in the African Diaspora. NCAAL is the largest conference devoted to African American librarianship and librarians serving minority populations. All proposals are welcome. The deadline for proposal submissions is December 15, 2023.
Submit proposals online at: https://forms.gle/w3bkhhEzRqt3s94aA
For more information, please contact the Program Committee Co-chairs Michele Fenton and Deloice Holliday at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The NCAAL XII Conference Co-chairs are Mahasin Ameen and Rhonda Oliver. You can reach them at: NCAALXII@bcala.org
Founded in 1970, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association is one of seven ALA ethnic affiliates. BCALA serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation's African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.
Read more in ALA Connect (login required)
Library Journal would like the ALA Community to assist them in identifying emerging talent in the library world to feature in their annual Movers & Shakers award. They are seeking nominations from a diverse segment of the library world, and those who may not typically be credited for their impact on the library field -- from librarians to non-degreed library workers, vendors, publishers, reviewers, and others. Please put in your nominations, and spread the word widely throughout your networks.
Nominations are due October 23. Here's the link to nominate: https://mediasource.formstack.com/forms/movers_shakers_2024.
The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services supports LIS workers in creating responsible and all-inclusive spaces that serve and represent the entire community. To accomplish this, we decenter power and privilege by facilitating conversations around access and identity as they impact the profession and those we serve. We use a social justice framework to inform library and information science workers' development of resources. We strive to create an association culture where these concerns are incorporated into everybody's everyday work.
American Library Association
Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services
225 Michigan Ave Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601
225 N Michigan Ave, Suite 1300 | Chicago, IL | 60601 | USA
Request a New Community