2023 KLAS Users' Conference

  • 2023 Julie Klauber Award Info

    2021 Julie Klauber Award Info - image of the document. Document description in full type in body of article.

    The Julie Klauber Award is one way we at Keystone Systems recognize the invaluable support that volunteers and staff provide to their organizations and their patrons. Each organization may nominate one staff member or volunteer using the Julie Klauber Award Nomination form. The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 5.

    Who was Julie Klauber?

    Julie Klauber was a national expert and leader on disability issues and was instrumental in helping develop Keystone's growing national presence. In 2012, Julie received the ASCLA Francis Joseph Campbell Award recognizing her work advancing library services for patrons who are blind and print disabled. Julie served as the director of the Talking Books Plus Library in Suffolk, County, NY and authored several articles on library resources and services for people with disabilities. Additionally, she created and maintained the newsletter Disability Resources Monthly and the corresponding website www.disabilityresources.org. Julie passed away on September 3, 2002 after a long, brave struggle with cancer.

    A word about Julie Klauber from her former coworker:

    Valerie Lewis sent the below email to the KLASUsers listserv on January 24, 2011:

    It has been more than eight years since Julie passed away. Her name comes up every day.....truly, it does. I work with 5 other people who worked with Julie for many years. I sit in the office that was once hers. Her husband and sons are often in my home. I work with her husband Avery, to continue the important work that she and he started many years before I was lucky enough to meet them.

    Julie was a librarian, but more she was the truest advocate for access to library programs, services and materials for all, particularly people with disabilities.

    In addition to being the librarian for the sub-regional library that served Long Island, NY, Julie and her husband established a non-profit organization that provided information and referral resources for librarians, service providers and individuals living with disabilities.......long before and into the earlier days....of the internet.

    Julie spent truly all of her time making sure that people with disabilities had access to information.....all information. She created partnerships with local and national corporations that brought assistive technology to local libraries. She created library resources in alternative formats and worked with libraries and librarians across the country, to promote accessible library services.

    It has been my honor to be a member of the Julie Klauber Award Committee. It has given me the opportunity to read about lbph staff and volunteers who create new and innovative ways of making library materials, services and programs accessible to their patrons. Something still so difficult to do, even in these technologically advanced times.

    You may think that the daily practices and procedures of operating a library for the blind and physically disabled are hum-drum and nothing out of the ordinary, but think again. It is through the work and creativity of each and every member or your organization, that people with disabilities have access to information....something we treasure so dearly and take so for granted.

    On that note, we encourage you to think about how the wheels of your organization turn and who are the people turning it.

    With warm regards,

    Valerie Lewis, Director
    Long Island Talking Book Library

    Who can be nominated for the Julie Klauber Award?

    Each KLAS library or organization may nominate one staff member or volunteer who: 

    • Works with KLAS in their daily job functions.
    • Has demonstrated outstanding service to their organization and / or their community in the spirit of Julie Klauber during their time with the library.
    • Will appreciate and benefit from attending the KLAS Users' Conference.

    Please use the Julie Klauber Award Nomination Form to submit your nominee's info before the Friday, May 5 nomination deadline.

    What does the award recipient receive and how are they selected?

    The selected Julie Klauber Award Recipient receives a trip1 to the 2023 KLAS Users' Conference to be held in Nashville, TN July 17-20 and will be honored as part of an award ceremony held Monday, July 17 including receiving a personalized plaque to commemorate their achievement.

    Award finalists will be selected from all nominated individuals by the Julie Klauber Award committee2. James Burts, CEO of Keystone Systems, will then determine the 2023 recipient after consulting with all the finalists' supervisors.

    Biographies of previous Julie Klauber Award Recipients are available at the Julie Klauber Award Winners page.

    2 2023 Julie Klauber Award Committee Members include:

    • Chandra Thornton, Palm Beach County Library System, 2016 Julie Klauber Award Recipient
    • Teresa Kalber, Colorado Talking Book Library, 2011 Julie Klauber Award Recipient
    • Lisa Nelson, Utah State Library Program for the Blind and Disabled
    • Kimberly Tomlinson, Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library
    • Pepper Watson, Oklahoma Library for the Blind, Accessible Instructional Materials Center
    • Erin Pawlus, Arizona Talking Book Library
    • Andrea Ewing Callicutt, Keystone Systems, Inc.
  • KLAS UC 2023 Pre-conference Planning Survey

    Screen shot of KLAS UC 2023 Pre-Conference Survey description.

  • KLAS UC2023: Preliminary Conference Info

    Artwork of the Nashville skyline with a stamp-type border and labeling. Greetings From Tennesse is written large over the buildings, and a guitar leans against the side of the image.

    Greetings, KLAS Users!

    We are so very excited to announce our first hybrid KLAS Users Conference!

    As a reminder, the 2023 conference dates are July 17 - 20
    at the Tennessee School for the Blind in Nashville, TN.

    Registration is now open! Register for the conference here: KLAS UC2023 on Zoom Events

    The preliminary conference schedule is available here: 2023 KLAS Users' Conference Proposed Schedule

    The Program Committee is actively working to create an overview schedule listing planned sessions which they hope to share by April 1, 2023.

    Conference Theme:

    To help get you excited, the theme for the upcoming conference is A Perfect Tenn: KLAS UC2023

    So come on down to Tenn(essee) to be part of the equation!

    Conference Hotel:

    We have arranged a conference rate of $179 per night at Element Nashville Airport for all attendees of the conference.

    The hotel offers an airport shuttle, free breakfast, saltwater pool, indoor and outdoor lounge areas, and a fitness center.

    Photo of the front of the five-story, Element hotel. The center tower is framed by an architectural awning and the windows reflect a cloudy sky.The interior of the spacious hotel lobby with groupings of comfy chairs under fun light fixtures. The bar is at the far end of the room, adjacent to a wall of windows looking out on a sun-drenched pool and patio.

    You can reserve your room via this link: Book your group rate for the KLAS Users’ Conference

    The group rate is good for Sunday, July 16 through Friday, July 21, and there is no deadline to book your room.

    Registration Dates and Fees:

    Registration for the conference is open: KLAS UC2023 on Zoom Events

    Online registration for individuals:

    • $30 Early-bird Registration (1/16/23 – 4/30/23)
    • $50 Regular Registration (4/30/23 – 7/17/23)

    In-person Registration:

    • $150 Early-bird Registration (1/16/23 – 4/30/23)
    • $175 Regular Registration (5/1/23 – 6/18/23)
    • $200 Late Registration (6/19/23 – 7/17/23)

    BONUS: Every in-person registration comes with a free online registration for another user at your organization! While the Zoom Events platform does not support group rates, we hope that this bonus will help allow more KLAS users to attend the conference, and stretch your conference budget that little bit further. 

    Zoom Events Registration Notes:
    • You will be directed to log into a Zoom account to register. If you do not have a Zoom account, you will need to create one.
    • Individual session registration will not be available until after conference sessions are finalized and published.
    • Zoom Events takes credit card payments. If your institution requires an invoice and / or needs to pay the registration fee by check, here’s the process:
      1. Email with the subject line: "KLAS UC 2023 Alternate Payment"
      2. Let us know whether you need an invoice or plan to mail a check, along with the number and type of registrations you wish to pay for. We will also need the full name and email address for each attendee.Once payment is received, we will email a registration code to each attendee separately.
      3. Registration codes are NOT transferrable and can only be redeemed using the original email to which they are sent. So, if you wish to register with a different Zoom account than your usual work email, be sure to include the email address you want to use!

    What does the registration fee cover? 

    The conference registration fee covers transportation to/from the school, to/from the reception, printed conference materials, snacks and beverages between sessions, and lunch on the two full days. More details on the provided lunches will be available closer to the conference, but every effort will be made to meet any dietary needs or restrictions. The fee may also go towards technology to support hybrid sessions or other assorted hosting costs.

    The reception, attendee gifts, and speaker gifts are paid for by Keystone and your funds are not used towards those costs.

  • KLAS UC2023: Top 5 Reasons to Attend In-Person

    Artwork of the Nashville skyline with a stamp-type border and labeling. Greetings From Tennesse is written large over the buildings, and a guitar leans against the side of the image.
    Guest Blog post by Michael Lang, Kansas Talking Books, KLAS Users' Group Past President, KLAS Programming Committee Member

    It’s happening; the first in-person KLAS conference since 2019! I am looking forward to traveling to Nashville this summer for A Perfect Tenn: KLAS UC2023 and I hope to see many of you there. We know not everyone can travel and are happy to be able to offer an online option for those who can’t. But if you’re sitting on the fence about which one to choose, I’m here to offer a gentle nudge toward the face-to-face option with my top five reasons to attend the UC2023 in person.

    1. Hands On Sessions: Have you checked out the proposed schedule for this conference yet? Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday each start with a two-hour hands-on training block that is only available on site. I’ve been to an in-person training with Keystone staff and can guarantee you’ll walk away with something new.
    2. Meet Keystone Staff: Speaking of staff, getting to know the Keystone staff and drilling down into the nitty gritty of KLAS with them is a fantastic learning opportunity.
    3. Spark New Ideas: I always come back from a conference ready to implement big changes. From my recent experience, that list hasn’t been as long with online conferences. The conversational nature of an in-person conference seems to inspire more ideas than the online format, where I find myself drawn away from my computer screen to take care of day-to-day tasks.
    4. Networking: Meet your peers from across the country. Learn how they do things. Find new ways to use KLAS. Get recruited for a committee. Enjoy the opening reception with great food and entertainment! I’m really excited to tour the Tennessee School for the Blind and learn about the services they provide to their students.
    5. Share Your Expertise: This one is a cheat. You can share your knowledge with the KLAS Users’ Group in either format. Whichever you choose, we want to hear from you. You can help make this an extraordinary learning experience by sharing your expertise and creativity with colleagues from other organizations and libraries! Submit your proposals on the KLAS Users’ website.

    Whether attending in person or online, early-bird registration closes on April 30. Make your plans soon to save some money. Visit the registration page for details.

  • Planning the 2023 Users' Conference

    A large sign painted on a wall reading Welcome to the Tennessee School for the Blind, serving since 1844, with the initials tsb in fancy script in place of a logo. Hanging beneath that is a vinyl sign reading 2021-22 Best for All District.

    Are you looking forward to the next in-person KLAS conference? Or would you prefer to keep things online? Either way, I have some hopeful news: planning for the 2023 KLAS Users’ Conference is underway and picking up steam!

    Barring still more “unprecedented events,” UC 2023 will be held July 17-20, 2023 at the Tennessee School for the Blind in Nashville, TN. For those who can’t attend in person, we are looking into options for hybrid sessions, and plan to offer as much of the conference to you as possible. To facilitate this, we will likely be changing up the conference schedule, allowing in-person-only, hands-on content to occur in the mornings, and hybrid sessions to occur in the afternoon (when they will be reasonably timed across more time zones). Our goal is to ensure those attending in person get as much value for their travel as possible and provide a valuable experience for those who can’t join us in Tennessee, while ensuring both groups will be able to justify the expense to their funding agency.

    While we do not yet know what the registration fees will be, we will try to keep them as low as possible and still deliver a quality conference. Our top contender for the conference hotel has quoted us a nightly rate of $179 / night, which is below the 2022 government rate. We are researching transportation options to get everyone from the hotel to the school and back, and catered-in lunches will help keep daily meal costs reasonable. For online attendees, a minimal registration fee will help cover whatever equipment or software costs we incur to bring the afternoon sessions to you.

    Helping us to close in on the specifics, we just completed a site visit, checking out what has changed at TSB since 2019, investigating possible reception venues and caterers, and making sure the hotel is up to par.

    We have excellent Programming and Logistics Committees assembled who are digging into all the challenges of our first hybrid conference, as well as all the usual conference minutiae, but of course we need your help as well. How many people should we expect in-person or online? What precautions need to be in place to ensure everyone’s health and safety?

    Have a look at our proposed conference schedule, read on for a few teasers from our site visit, but also don’t miss completing our Pre-conference Planning Survey. With so much uncertainty, change, and opportunity for an amazing new conference format, we need your input this year more than ever!

    Site visit photos: 

    A man with short dark hair and a white t-shirt and face mask stands in front of a room filled with long tables and rolling chairs. In the front of the room is a projector screen, and there are two large monitors on the side wall. There are windows into another indoor space, plus higher windows to let in natural light, including a large round window at the peak of the sloped ceiling.

    Allen Huang, Director of the Tennessee Instructional Resource Center, shows us the school's atrium, which is excellent for general sessions with its comfortable chairs, large projection screen, and monitors set up to mirror the front screen. 

    The school librarian is a woman with tightly curled red hair and a purple t-shirt. Beside her is Dr. Hung, Katy, who has braided hair, glasses, a green face mask, and a green shirt with ferns and moths printed on it, and James, who has a black face mask and a blue plaid shirt, and who is waving to the camera. The library has shelves with books and other materials, a large front desk, and an area of comfortable-looking arm chairs and sofas arranged in a semi-circle.

    The school librarian shows Keystone staff Katy and James their conversation area, which is a good fit for casual networking or just decompressing between conference sessions.

    The hotel lobby, showing scattered seating and side tables, and a semicircular bar at the far end. The wall to the left of the viewer is mostly glass, looking out on outdoor seating, a pool, and a lawn. Overhead, round hanging lights contribute to a fun atmosphere.

    The hotel has plenty of hang-out space split between the interior lobby and the outdoor courtyard. The pool will be a welcome amenity come July, and there is an indoor gym, hot breakfast, all-day coffee, and a bar. There are a couple restaurants and convenience stores within walking distance, or biking distance on one of the hotel's bicycles. 

    Katy and James smiling at a restaurant table. James is waving to the camera again, and both have plates in front of them with biscuits and cornbread. There is also ice tea and a white gravy visible on the table. The background shows the restaurant's historical architectural features, including a marble fireplace, built-in shelves, and chandeliers, plus eclectic antique décor.

    James and Katy trying out the food at a possible reception venue, Monell's at the Manor, which is a family-style restaurant in a historic mansion. If we move forward with this venue, we would have exclusive access--only Users' Conference attendees and restaurant staff would be present, and there is a ton of room to spread out and for air to circulate. They serve fantastic Southern food in a unique and fun environment.

    I hope you enjoyed this sneak preview! As we get further along planning the conference we'll have more to share, but for now, please tell us about your plans and preferences by answering the Pre-conference Planning Survey!

  • Upcoming Training & Networking Opportunities

    Colorful game board pieces stand on a map of lines connecting them.

    Hoping to learn something new or touch base with Keystone staff? We've got some great training and networking opportunities on the calendar, with more in the works! Let's take a look at what we have coming up:Colorful game board pieces stand on a map of lines connecting them.

    Online KLAS LBPD Administrator Training - March 27-30

    The next online session of KLAS Administrator training for staff of Libraries for the Blind and Print Disabled will be held the afternoons of March 27-30. If you act as the KLAS Admin for your library and have never taken (or it's been a long while since you've attended) KLAS Admin Training, we encourage you to join us!

    This training is done via Zoom, sessions are recorded and provided to attendees for later review, and allows you to get down and dirty in parts of KLAS aimed to help you improve service for your patrons and give you the knowledge to better support your staff and library as they use KLAS. Cost is $600 / attendee and each must have the authority to change records and policies for their KLAS system.

    Find out more and then register for a session via these articles:

    E-Braille Circulation Roundtable - Date TBD

    During the year of a KLAS Users' Conference, the Program Committee focuses their efforts on eliciting sessions for and building the agenda for the conference, instead of offering an online program every month. However, we still aim to host one webinar each quarter (other than the one in which the conference takes place) to address more timely concerns and help keep everyone in-touch and up-to-date. 

    For our first quarter offering this year, we're seeking panelists for a Roundtable discussing the best ways to prepare for the NLS refreshable braille devices and manage E-Braille circulation. The session will be scheduled based on panelist availability.

    If you want to participate, please contact our session organizers, James Gleason at Perkins Library and Katy Patrick at Keystone Systems. We'd also love to hear what questions you might have, topics you want to see discussed, or tips you have to share!

    National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled Regional Conferences

    We're excited to have the opportunity to again attend NLS conferences in person to see and connect with you. Keystone will send two staff members to each of the three regional conferences this year. In addition to hosting the KLAS Users' Meetings, we hope to attend conference sessions, be available for informal discussions, and learn about your challenges, new initiatives, and more!

    Dates / times of each KLAS User meeting:

    • WesternRegional NLS Conference - Wednesday, April 26, at 5 PM
    • Northern / SouthernRegional NLS Conference - Wednesday, May 3, at 11:30 AM
    • Midlands Regional NLS Conference - Tuesday, May 16, at 2 PM (tentative; final schedule pending)

    2023 KLAS Users' Conference - July 17-20

    This one's a no-brainer, but you know we can't help it. This is the biggest opportunity we've had for in-person training and networking since our 2019 conference and it will offer even more ways to connect with other KLAS Users' since it's our first HYBRID conference! The KLAS Users' Program Committee and Keystone staff are working hard to plan learning experiences for all types and levels of KLAS Users.

    We hope you will help us make it excellent by joining us in-person or online, submitting an in-person or virtual session proposal, or sharing a session topic suggestion! 

    More conference info:

    We hope to see you soon at one of these training & networking opportunities! 

KLAS Users - Keystone Systems, Inc. logo

Keystone Systems, Inc.
8016 Glenwood Ave., Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27612