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You just never know who's going to drop by the IMLS booth in the exhibit hall!

February 10, 2012

By Kevin Cherry
IMLS Senior Program Officer

At ALA Midwinter in Dallas, IMLS Director Susan Hildreth got the opportunity to meet with University of Alabama and Wayne State University scholarship recipients from the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program-funded Project ALFA, "Accessible Libraries for All."

This project seeks to recruit and educate 30 students over three years to better provide universal information access to those library users who do not meet the legal definition of disabled, but who still might need special services. As the population of the United States ages, the number of "extra-legally ably challenged" individuals will grow, and Project ALFA students  will be there to help them.  Internships, fieldwork, and service learning projects allow ALFA Fellows to make a transition from classroom knowledge to applied experience, putting learning into action. An emphasis on technologies for information access, including hardware, software, and Web 2.0 tools is an integral part of the ALFA experience. The Alabama Public Library Service and the Florida Department of Education Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services serve as project partners.

(Unless noted, all those shown are Project ALFA fellows. All are identified from left to right.) FRONT ROW: Luly Castro; Kathryn Shelley; Kara Riley; Leigh Anderson; Kristynn Johnson; Riva Wharton. MIDDLE ROW: Stephanie Maatta Smith, Co Principal Investigator, Wayne State University; Elizabeth Thornburg; Neila Burwick; Christina Golm. BACK ROW: Danilo Baylen; Ashley Crace; Donna Sherrill; Laurie Bonnici, Principal Investigator, University of Alabama; Ryan Deerey; Susan Hildreth, IMLS Director; Meredith Allison; Michelle Blank. Photo by Donald Delauter.




Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program