Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action  --
The Red Notebook

@ Your Library

Celebrate Deaf Legacy

Deaf America Reads

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Deaf America Reads poster

National Literary Society of the Deaf
A Reading Promotion Partner of the
Center for the Book at the Library of Congress
"One Book" Reading Promotion Project

Deaf America Reads
2008 -- 2010

Planning Your Community Programs:
Coordinated by Alice L. Hagemeyer, MLS


A. Introduction

Librarians, library programmers and program sponsors – novice and veteran alike –will find the following four resources useful and helpful when planning community programs in their area. They are available by means of free downloads on FOLDA web site.

1. One Book One Community: Planning Your Community – Wide Read, compiled by the Public Program Office of the American Library Association. 2003 44 pages
Librarians and program directors across the continent have sent their materials and talked about their program. Such input has been helpful to the office when working on its guide.
Note: State-by-state listing of past and current "one book" programs appears on

2. Celebrate Deaf Legacy @ your library: National Deaf History Month Kit: 2004-2006, developed by the National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on National History Month 2004-2006   January 2006  20 pages plus two posters. 
The committee consists of Alice L. Hagemeyer, Chair, Thomas Harrington, Joan Naturale, Abigail Noland, and Gary E. Wait who all have the expertise in the area of deaf resources and library services.  Andrew Lange was the NAD liaison.

3. Four Directories @ your library
ONGOING project online initiated by Alice L. Hagemeyer in 2006
Deaf Community Contacts
Books About and By Deaf Persons
Speakers and Storytellers Sign
Deaf People Work 

Such directories list organizations, books and/or individuals that have special interests in promoting deaf culture, books and literacy in local communities.

4. Got Deaf Culture @ your library? Ask a Librarian! Series
First major topic:  I Helped Make America Great 
Ongoing project for 2008-2010 by Alice L. Hagemeyer
Purpose: To familiarize the nation's libraries and librarians with deaf related membership organizations, their history and resources

B.  What is "one book" Reading promotion project?

On March 13, 2008, the National Literary Society of the Deaf (NLSD), a reading promotion partner of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, unveiled its  "One Book" Reading Promotion Project called "Deaf America Reads: March 13, 2008-March 13, 2010."  The book selected for "one book" is Moments of Truth: Robert R. Davila, the Story of a Deaf Leader, by three co-authors: Harry G. Lang, Oscar P. Cohen and Joseph E. Fischgrund and is published in 2007 by RIT PRESS in Rochester, NY. 

The program purpose is to broaden and deepen an appreciation of reading and to compel the national deaf community to share experience while reading the same book.

Ricardo Lopez, NLSD president said, "This project is a wonderful opportunity for the national deaf community to get together to discuss the same book during the two-year project." 

Julie Bourne, National Association of the Deaf board member, who has prepared her speech in advance for the program but due to an unforeseen emergency, she could only make it in spirit, agrees.  "We must emphasize the importance of local and state level deaf-related organizations collaborating with local libraries across the nation to promote books and reading," she said. 

The NLSD mission is to promote deaf culture, books and literacy through programs, particularly at public libraries.

C. What is the book about?
Robert Davila biography

    A biography of Robert R. Davila, the book chronicles his life from the barrio to the board room.  He experienced childhood poverty in a migrant farming family; in 1943 at age 11 he became profoundly deaf due to an illness. Yet he persevered to become one of the first deaf persons in history to earn a doctorate, presiding over several institutions and organizations, including a presidential appointment as official in the U.S. government at the Department of Education.  He is a remarkable leader and an inspiration to deaf people for his hard work and courage.
    In January 2007, he was invited to assume the presidency of Gallaudet University in a time of crisis. A year later, Davila was named the Deaf Person of the Year by Deaf Life Press.

D. What about books for children?

The NLSD suggests libraries to present separate programs for children (deaf and hearing).  Storytellers may read the following two books in American Sign Language.
Fiction Ages 4-8
Kami and the Yaks, by Andrea Stenn Stryer and illustrated by Bert Dodson.  Published 2007 by Bay Otter Press, Palo Alto, California
Kami and hearing family members use home signs. The story was inspired by a little deaf boy the author met while trekking in the Mount Everest region of Nepal.

Non-fiction Ages 9-12

My Heart Glow: Alice Cogswell, Thomas Gallaudet and the Birth of American Sign Language, by Emily Arnold McCully   Illustrated by author   Published July 15, 2008 by Hyperion Books for Children, New York
Deafened at age 2 due to the Spotted Fever, Alice inspired her hearing neighbor, Thomas Gallaudet, who eventually brought Laurent Clerc from Paris – her first deaf teacher who used sign language.    

E. How are the nation's libraries and the deaf community connected?
The Red Notebook: Deaf Resources @ your library

Originated by Alice L. Hagemeyer in 1979 and joined the Internet in 1994, this resource has been a starting point for libraries to look up for information regarding the deaf community and library services. Public information regarding deaf culture, sign language, kinds of hearing loss, auxiliary aids and adaptive services is available on various Internet websites and library shelves. 

F. Where can I subscribe to the Red Notebook?
If  you do not have the copy, you may order one.  The cost is 25 dollars plus $8 for shipping.  Plus life time subscription at no cost.  Click here for ordering information.

If you are already a subscriber, please register by emailing your name and email address to directorycontacts @  Registered subscribers will be informed when new topics are being added to the web site.

THE RED NOTEBOOK is in the form of a customized 3-ring "view" white binder which includes:  (1) The Red Notebook: Deaf Resources @ your library poster for front cover;  (2) Welcome page; (3) Directions  (4) Eight index dividers (8 sections)

For topics published in prior editions of 
THE RED NOTEBOOK or shown on the FOLDA website, feel free to download them for inclusion in your printed copy of  THE RED NOTEBOOK


M.A.I.L Section
Issues: Nonprofit, membership organizations (a total of 20 pages)
I Helped Make America Great, including a poster of Thomas H. Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc on the ship in 1816; Chapter National Association of the Deaf, including a poster of Laurent Clerc profile in 1830s and Chapter Maryland Association of the Deaf, including a poster of George Veditz profile in 1910s 1
Library Section
Two Posters: Deaf America Reads and Deaf History Month 2
Program Planning Suggestions: "One Book" Deaf America Reads
Diversity Section
American Deaf Culture Within Five Cultures
Key Contacts
Four Directories @ your library

G. Program Planning Suggestions
In 2006, the National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month 2004-2006 made suggestions for creating successful deaf history programs.

Some such suggestions are listed below along with input from the National Literary Society of the Deaf (NLSD).

    An internal advocate within a local library system who has to have some passion about the subject or it will die right then and there. Next step would be to form a committee--whatever size--with the goal of promoting deaf culture, books and literacy. A further step would be to contact an organization or two in that library’s region that would be a natural partner in promoting the quality of deaf resources: Academic Institutions with Deaf Studies/ASL Programs and others. We recommend keeping the committee SMALL. Five is plenty; otherwise, they may not be able to keep the group on task.

NLSD Input
Some reading promotion partners of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress may also want to be involved.
Deaf Community Contacts @ your library, a FOLDA directory, is a good source for locating organizations that have deaf resources.
NLSD will provide assistance to library sponsors in their need to access quality books, magazines, ASL videos and others.

For committee support: Photocopies, auxiliary aids and services at meetings if needed, postage, and others
For programs: Room rental, refreshments, technology, communication assistance, auxiliary aids, honorarium fees, posters and others
For publishing: Desktop publishing, graphic art work, Braille transcription, and others 

We suggest designating part of the program budget that already exists. Advocates for the library system may attend the program committee meeting and bring suggestions for Deaf Culture and History topics. And if the library does not have a program committee, we suggest they write up a proposal to whoever makes that decision. Funding can come from donations and other resources besides grants and fund-raising.

NLSD Input 
National: "One Book: Deaf America Reads 2008-2010"
State & Local:   The committee may want to add slogan to go with the National Theme.
For example, You Helped Make America (or state) Great.

NLSD Input
Reading promotion activities may be held at any time during the two years between now and December 31. 2010, and they may be held in observance of deaf-related annual events, such as Deaf History Month, March 13 - April 15; International Week of the Deaf, the last full week of September; and Clerc-Gallaudet Week, the first full week of December that includes the 10th (Human Rights Day.)

NLSD Input
Adults and teens from the Deaf Community and the general public as well

Whenever possible, the building should be in a location people can reach by public transportation and have a ramp, directional signs and the staff already trained in serving people with disabilities or those who have language barriers. It would be best if in the meeting room there would be a raised platform and not have a window or light source behind the speaker. If the speakers use sign language and some people in the audience do not know sign language, it would be advisable to know what communication technologies are available in the community that is served by the library.  Two examples of communication technologies are Sign Language / Voice Interpreters and CART in which services may be provided by a local agency.   
CART or Communication Access Real time Translation is one type of interpretation. CART provides visual text with nearly instantaneous translation of the spoken word. The CART provider types the speaker’s words on a stenographic machine which is connected to a computer with software to translate the stenographic code into English. The translation can then be read on the computer screen; for larger group events the CART text can be displayed on a large video screen or projected onto the wall. 
Source: Planning for Library Services to People With Disabilities, by Rhea Joyce Rubin Chicago: ALA/ASCLA, 2001

NLSD Input
Please do not forget about the needs of signing deaf people who are blind and/or have cerebral palsy.  Libraries and their co-sponsors can collaborate to locate signing library friends who will assist with "person to person" communication. 

Presenters may be guest speakers, lecturers, storytellers, and/or performing artists, either in person or on video.
Checklist:  Biography and photo; Presentation Topic, Technical assistance needed for presentation and honorarium fees   If videos are used, please make sure they are of high quality.  For video reviews, please visit

NLSD Input
Presenters may be librarians, library staff, and board members from within the library system 

Libraries may display a collection of books, videos, and other library materials that are related to the language, culture and history of the deaf community in a prominent place, encouraging customers to check out those that are circulating.
Libraries may set up a schedule to demonstrate ASL videos as part of the exhibit, encouraging customers to check out those that are circulating. Examples of videos and their reviews can be found on the ASL Access Web Site

Public media (e.g., TV, newspapers, library networks)
Eye-catching Deaf History Month posters you may design on your own
Handouts, such as a list of fiction books having deaf characters for children and young adults, Deaf American History Trivia, Notable Deaf Quotes and others

NLSD Input
Public libraries and their sponsors wishing to have NLSD publicize their "Deaf America Reads" programs are urged to fill out the form:
Please feel free to use  NLSD logo --Deaf America Reads -- in your posters, public releases, handouts, bookmarks and/or other promotional items.
Click here for a printable poster, please go to

NLSD Input
In 2006, the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Association
of the Deaf (NAD) proclaimed the dates of March 13 to April 15 as Deaf History Month.
    In preparation for the act of observing the Deaf History Month in 2009 and beyond, ALA and NAD encourage the local and state level deaf-related organizations to collaborate with the local libraries across the nation, to seek recognition and support from the state and local officials (governor, mayor, or county executive), to proclaim and celebrate the Deaf History Month during that time.
    Such nationwide recognition on the state and local levels will help support our efforts to obtain a National Deaf history Month proclamation.

NLSD Input
The National Literary Society of the Deaf would love to hear the results of your program, of any size, so please email them at
Thank you!

Ready, Set, Go!   
Have comments?  Questions?   Please feel free to email them to

Deaf America Reads poster

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. 
Lao Tzu c.604 – c531 b.c

  1. Illustrated by Ruth E. Peterson   Credit to FOLDA
  2. Designed by Lois Hoover   Credit to National Literary Society of the Deaf  All posters come in size 8 ” x 11”
  3. NAD Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month 2004-2006 consists of Alice L. Hagemeyer (chair), Thomas Harrington, Joan Naturale, Abigail Noland and Gary E. Wait. Andrew J. Lange was the NAD Liaison. 
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