American Sign Language for Library Staff:
6-Week Asynchronous ALA Course
Level up your knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) along with your library’s services to deaf and hard of hearing library users. Designed to provide more in-depth learning, practice, and feedback for those who have completed American Sign Language for Library Staff Level 1, this course will use readings, multimedia resources, online discussion boards, and hands-on assignments to introduce more ASL vocabulary, grammar, and culture topics relevant to the library setting. Instructor Kathy MacMillan is a librarian and ASL interpreter and will provide individualized feedback via a video project customized to your learning goals. You will also have the opportunity to participate in two live online class sessions to interact with the instructor and peers. The live sessions will be recorded for those who do not attend.
This 6-week, asynchronous online course will introduce more American Sign Language vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting and place that information within a linguistic and cultural context to aid participants in improving library services to patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Each week will focus on a different aspect of library services and will take approximately 5 hours to complete.
Please note that ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions eCourses on learning American Sign Language focus on library-specific vocabulary and Deaf Culture topics. Even if you have taken a conversational ASL course elsewhere, we recommend that you begin with American Sign Language for Library Staff Level 1 (called Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff in past iterations), as it covers library-specific vocabulary not usually taught in community ASL courses.
After completing this eCourse, participants will be able to:
- Demonstrate more advanced vocabulary relating to library resources and services in American Sign Language.
- Create and post video captions.
- Identify and effectively disseminate quality resources for deaf and hard of hearing patrons.
- Discuss major topics relating to Deaf culture and history, including Deaf Culture art and storytelling, the fetishization of ASL, and intersectionality in the Deaf community.
Kathy MacMillan is a freelance writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She is the author of Nita's First Signs (Familius Press), as well as the author or co-author of many books from ALA Editions, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996. She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, was published by HarperCollins in 2016.