I wish to respond to a couple of points in Mr. Fiels’s column on reinvention of the ALA (Executive Director’s Message, “Taking On Transformation,” American Libraries, July/August 2011).
First, building awareness among people with disabilities that libraries can meet their information needs. I was diagnosed at age 39 with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I turned primarily to my public library for information about my condition.
I welcome the trend exhibited by ALA Annual Conference programming to focus upon services to people with ASDs. I would like to see this dialog continue with specific recognition given to adults who have ASDs.
The second area in which I wish to comment concerns student members of the ALA.
Why are community-college level programs prohibited from forming chapters? Four-year institutions have priced master’s programs out-of-reach to those of us who are are drawn to library service but who are unwilling to incur massive debt.
I believe that chaptering at community colleges should be part of reinventing ALA. I likewise believe that there should be an avenue whereby unchaptered student members can apply to ALA Student to Staff.
Submitted to American Libraries magazine
Subject Classifications (Partial list, via Dewey Decimal System)
- 006.754-Social Media
- 020-Library and Information Science
- 020.92-Cynthia M. Parkhill (Biographical)
- 023.3-Library Workers
- 025.04-Internet Access
- 027.473-Public Libraries
- 027.663-Libraries and people with disabilities
- 027.8-School Libraries
- 028.52-Children's Literature
- 028.535-Young Adult Literature
- 028.7-Information Literacy
- 158.2-Social Intelligence
- 323.30-People with disabilities--Civil rights
- 658.812-Customer Service
- 659.2-Public Relations
- 686.22-Graphic Design
- 809-Literature--Critical Appraisal