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Key Notes Blog

Bringing you weekly posts on conference planning, happenings at Keystone, or how better to put KLAS to work for you!

My Reflections on KLAS Users' Group Officers

I wanted to take some time today to write about a group of our users' that I get to spend more time with than most -- our KLAS Users' Group Officers. In the nearly 18 years I've worked for Keystone, I've had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of different persons and personalities who y'all selected to fill these positions. I've facilitated in-person and online elections, been the Keystone representative to committees they lead as the chair, watched as the Users' Group became more fully involved with and proactive about helping to create and produce programming at the Users' Conference and now beyond. I've seen the Users' Group Bylaws evolve and a whole new officer cycle was instituted last year. We're now in the first election under this new model, and I'm excited at the prospect of having someone new with whom to plan and work.

Read more: My Reflections on KLAS Users' Group Officers

Keystone, KLAS, and Accessibility (re-dux)

Hello everyone! Today, I'm bringing back (and updating!) a post from 2018. This is important info we want to make sure you know about and remember, so let's dive in...

Keystone, KLAS, & Accessibility

Easy access to all features and functions within KLAS has been integral to all phases of the design process since the first version of KLAS, and continues through our ongoing work developing the next generation of the program.

From our first library customer, North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Keystone has had a commitment to develop library software and provide support services for all of our users. Now that KLAS is installed and being used by nearly 2/3 of the network libraries that are part of the Library of Congress' National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped as well as a number of Instructional Resource / Materials Centers, we have a multitude of staff (as well as public catalog users) performing a multitude of tasks and requiring varying levels and types of accessibility. To help meet the needs of our users, Keystone offers some additional support and services. Examples include:

Read more: Keystone, KLAS, and Accessibility (re-dux)

Tips & Tricks - Back to the Stacks

As states ease restrictions and some staff are returning to large pile-ups of returned books (or a suspicious absence of returned books), and things are still far from “business as usual”, how is everyone handling it?

I’ll discuss some approaches that have come into our support inbox so far, but everyone has a little bit different situation, so remember these are just a few ideas to get you started. Please continue to contact us as needed to help strategize and determine the best workflows to get you back on track.

Read more: Tips & Tricks - Back to the Stacks

2021 KLAS Users' Conference Planning Updates

A view of Nashville's skyline from the river.

We're excited to announce that initial planning for the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference is underway. This will be our first biennial conference AND the first hosted by an Instructional Resource Center.

We sincerely thank Dr. Kathy Segers, Director of Accessible Instructional Materials and Outreach Services, Tennessee School for the Blind for being our local host for the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference. We look forward to working with you to plan an informative, inspirational, and rewarding experience for all our attendees.

2021 KLAS Users' Conference Dates & Location

I suspect what y'all really want to know is when and where the conference will be, so here you are...

Dates: June 29-July 1, 2021

  • Location: Nashville, TN
  • Host: Tennessee Instructional Resource Center at the Tennessee School for the Blind

Also, we've identified a few possible hotels in the area and will be contacting them soon for availability and pricing information. We'll let you know ASAP after one has been selected what our conference hotel and room rates will be.

Thank you to everyone who's already helped get us this far, including everyone on our conference planning committees.

Conference Planning Committees

The Planning Committees for the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference have already started meeting, and are looking forward to sharing additional information soon. Below are the current committee members, but we are always looking for additional KLAS Users who might be interested in helping out. You can contact Program Committee Chair Erin Pawlus (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Logistics Committee Chair Chandra Thornton (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you're interested in serving on either. 

Program Committee Members

  • Erin Pawlus, Committee Chair, Arizona Talking Book Library
  • Kathy Segers, Local Host, Tennessee Instructional Resource Center
  • Cyndi Reimer, California Instructional Resource Center
  • Michael Lang, State Library of Kansas, Talking Books Service
  • Katy Patrick, Keystone Systems
  • Drea Ewing Callicutt, Keystone Systems

Logistics Committee Members

  • Chandra Thornton, Committee Chair, Palm Beach County Library System - Talking Books
  • Kathy Segers, Local Host, Tennessee Instructional Resource Center
  • Craig Hayward, North Carolina Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
  • Andrew Shockley, Oklahoma Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
  • John Mugford, New Mexico Library for the Blind & Print Disabled
  • Sarah Smedley, Palm Beach County Library System -Talking Books
  • Kimberlee Hodges, Bayside Area Special Services Library
  • Drea Ewing Callicutt, Keystone Systems

Conference Planning Survey

The KLAS Users' Group officers and Program Committee are working on a conference planning survey that will be sent out in early September to help us bring you the best content in the most useful formats. Please be on the lookout for it and be sure to fill it out once you receive it.

In the meantime, mark your calendar and start planning for next summer in Nashville. We look forward to having you join us!

Tennessee School for the Blind

COVID-19 and North Carolina LBPH

Our KLAS Users' Group officers contacted some KLAS users to ask them to share how their library / organization is faring and what policy, service, or other changes they may have enacted in response to library closure or limited staffing related to Covid19. We welcome submissions from any KLAS user who wants to share their experience during this time. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you're interested in contributing a post.

Our next guest post in this series is from Craig Hayward, Systems and Digital Services Librarian at NC LBPH.


North Carolina in a time of COVID 19

North Carolina started hearing about what was happening in Washington State, and their library staff, in late February-early March and thanks to the information that the library there provided, we started preparing for how to quarantine items and figuring out how staff could work either from home or in socially distanced situations in the library. The most difficult part of the situation in planning would be with our circulation staff of 5 who most of what they do is handling physical items and have to work in close physical proximity for some parts of their work? Still a plan was set in motion and we prepared to transition to whatever we would be presented. The second week of March, the library closed to the public officially. This also meant the volunteers were not allowed into the building, making some of the work we do, in inspections and audio narration more difficult.

Read more: COVID-19 and North Carolina LBPH