New Developments for Maryland’s Deaf Culture Digital Library

Things are moving ahead for Maryland’s Deaf Culture Digital Library, the first of its kind in the country!  Congratulations to Montgomery County Public Library for being selected to host this amazing resource.

Here’s the latest press release:

For Immediate Release: 6/22/2015

Montgomery County Public Libraries Selected to Manage Maryland’s Deaf Culture Digital Library

County Executive Ike Leggett has announced that Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL)has been selected by the Maryland State Division of Library Development and Services (MS-DLDS) as the site of the State’s Deaf Culture Digital Library (DCDL).“This is a true honor for Montgomery County Public Libraries,” Leggett said. “It is a well-deserved recognition of our library system’s long tradition of helping to identify and address the needs of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community for resources, collections, programs and technologies.”

Irene Padilla, assistant state superintendent of Libraries (Division of Library Development and Services) said, “Montgomery County Public Libraries’ services are renowned throughout the state of Maryland and across the nation. We are excited that MCPL has agreed to work with the MS-DLDS to ensure that the Deaf Culture Digital Library is the ‘first stop’ information center that will furnish statewide access to deaf resources. DCDL will provide highly competent assistance to Maryland residents and library staff in local public library systems, academic librarians in colleges and universities, and other libraries in the State of Maryland.”

“It’s a privilege and honor to be selected as a site for the DCDL,” said MCPL Director Parker Hamilton. “The Deaf Culture Digital Library is important to MCPL and the community, because it will improve availability and access to a comprehensive collection on deaf culture and programs that will help lead to better appreciation and awareness of deaf culture and the deaf community. We look forward to making resources more readily available to customers in the State of Maryland.”

The groundwork to formalize the foundation of the Deaf Culture Digital Library will take place in 2016, beginning with formation of the DCDL Advisory Board. The Division of Library Development and Services will begin taking applications for membership on the Board in the fall. The Deaf Culture Digital Library will be staffed with a full-time coordinator and an assistant. Additional details will be announced as they become available during the months ahead.

The final report to the Governor on the Deaf Culture Digital Library may be seen at:
http://tinyurl.com/o3dcb7o.

For more information about the Deaf Culture Digital Library, contact Susan Cohen at 301-637-2964 or Irene Padilla, 410-767-0444.

Release ID: 15-250
Media Contact: Bonnie Ayers 240-777-6507

Read Captions Across America

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You’ve probably heard of Read Across America, the national reading event sponsored by the National Education Association every year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

But did you know that this is also the day we celebrate Read Captions Across America? This event, sponsored by the Described and Captioned Media Program, was established to “raise awareness—particularly among children and their parents and teachers—that video-based media can be just as effective at encouraging and fostering reading skills as books, as long as captions are always turned on!”

Read Captions Across America emphasizes captions as a reading tool for ALL children, not just thoise who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Libraries and schools can promote the necessity of captions for accessibility and enhancing reading skills by incorporating Read Captions Across America programming any time of the year. Click here to order event kits and download free materials for your own celebration!

EL DEAFO by Cece Bell named a 2015 Newbery Honor Book!

el deafoCongratulations to Cece Bell, whose graphic novel memoir of growing up deaf, El Deafo (Amulet Books, 2014) has been chosen as a 2015 Honor Book by the John Newbery Medal Committee of the Association of Library Service to Children!

To find out more about this charming book for middle-graders, click here to read my earlier review of El Deafo.

 

Little Hands and Big Hands on the Eastern Shore

I am excited to announce that I will be visiting several libraries and bookstores on the eastern shore of Maryland and Delaware over the next week (full schedule below)!  Join me for a free program to learn more about the benefits of signing with young children, and purchase a signed copy of Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together.  The book was featured in a recent edition of the Cape Gazette:

“There are many great books out there about the basics of signing with babies,” says MacMillan. “In ‘Little Hands and Big Hands,’ I wanted to go beyond just the signs and give parents specific, age-appropriate activities they could use to make everyday life with their kids more harmonious while also enhancing early literacy. Many people assume that signing is something you do only until your child is speaking, but in fact there are tremendous benefits to signing with preschoolers as well – signing gives them more tools in their language and communication toolbox. That’s why the book includes activities for kids ages birth to 6.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Schedule of Events:

Hooray for Maryland’s Deaf Culture Digital Library!

On May 15, 2014, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law a historic bill establishing the Deaf Culture Digital Library (DCDL).  The mission of the DCDL, which will be run by Maryland’s Department of Library Development Services, is to provide “leadership and guidance in offering resources about deaf culture, acquiring and preserving an excellent collection of deaf resources in digital formats, and furnishing access to information regardless of location and, providing highly competent assistance to Maryland residents and library staff in local public library systems, academic librarians in colleges and universities, and other libraries in the state of Maryland.”  Strategic initiatives of the Deaf Culture Digital Library include:

  • Establishing the DCDL as an online central resource for Maryland library customers and staff, including information for deaf and hard-of-hearing people, parents of deaf children, and businesses and organizations providing access
  • Conducting needs assessments and providing training to library staff to improve Maryland library service to deaf customers
  • Developing deaf related programs and materials for libraries
  • Developing and supporting alliances between libraries and key deaf-related organizations

Click here for the full text of the bill.

Congratulations to the state of Maryland for taking the lead in improving library service to the deaf community!  Here’s hoping other states will follow Maryland’s lead.

All About Me

Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the “Story Time with Signs & Rhymes” series, recently interviewed me for her blog.  Find out probably more than you ever wanted to know about how I fell into ASL storytelling, learn some tips for signing with young children, and don’t forget to check out Dawn’s books while you’re there!  Read the full interview here.

Little Hands Signing in the News

imagesIn conjunction with my “Little Hands Signing: Holiday Signs” program at the Eldersburg Library on Thursday, December 19 at 9:45 am and 10:45 am, the Eldersburg Advocate has published this terrific article by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf about my Little Hands Signing classes:

When Kathy MacMillan was children’s services supervisor of the Eldersburg branch of Carroll County Public Library, she encountered a deaf kindergarten teacher who would come in seeking storybooks for her students. MacMillan decided she wanted to communicate with her, which led her to enroll in a basic American Sign Language course at the Catonsville campus of Baltimore County Community College.
Thirteen years later, after a stint teaching at the Maryland School for the Deaf, MacMillan is a certified ASL interpreter and a published author. She no longer is full-time at the Eldersburg branch, but said she still tries to host programs there monthly as substitute staff, to teach children and adults basic sign language and its benefits.
“I love to go back to teach,” MacMillan said. “Everyone is welcome.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.