This year ASGCLA is presenting the ASGCLA/KLAS/NOD Award to Moline Public Library/ARTability for its efforts to expand and enhance art-related programming for people with disabilities in its community and their advocacy and passion in providing equal access to library programs and services through ARTability and Beyond.
The Moline Public Library has successfully initiated tailor-made programming specifically to meet the needs of a variety of disabilities.
The Library’s Adult Services staff, led by Lisa Powell-Williams, polled area service providers to determine gaps. First addressed was library access. While people with disabilities certainly can obtain a library card, barriers such as lower learning levels, physical barriers and sensory difficulties prohibited certain members of the public from fully enjoying their library experience. Once access was addressed, new tailored programming and services followed.
Art related programs are popular at the Library and are typically full, with a waiting list. The Library has begun offering similar adaptable programs for residents with disabilities. Working with Blackhawk Area Education Center (BAEC) serving 14 local school districts, the Library created ARTability, offering 13 uniquely tailored art and music programs for BAEC students. The Library initiated the monthly Next Chapter Book Club, uniquely adapted from traditional library book clubs. Additional programming offerings included special guided tours for students with hearing loss at Moline High School and uplifting outreach programming at GiGi’s playhouse. As specialized programming commenced, the Library also saw a need for a variety of sensory aids and created two kits containing items such as noise cancelling headphones, weighted scarves and tactile balls – all aimed to make every patron’s library experience a positive one. ASGCLA thanks COSLA, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, for supporting the 2020 Awards program. ASGCLA thanks the Keystone Library Automation System (KLAS) for providing a nonetary award for the library receiving the ASGCLA/Keystone Library Automation System (KLAS) & National Organization on Disability Award. The Association for Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASGCLA), https://asgcladirect.org/ has been the premiere destination for ALA members to find information and build capacity to serve populations that are served by state library agencies, federal and armed forces libraries, libraries serving underserved populations, library cooperatives and library consultants. ASGCLA enhances the effectiveness of library service by advocating for and providing high quality networking, enrichment and educational opportunities for its diverse members.