Coming December 7: Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language Webinar

macmillan-livenup_300indWednesday, December 7, 2016

2:30pm Eastern/1:30 Central/12:30 Mountain/11:30am Pacific

90 minutes; offered through ALA Editions

$60 individual; $120 group

Signing with young children of any hearing ability fosters bonding, stimulates language development, and reduces frustration for caregiver and child. Learn how to use sign language in storytimes to broaden their appeal and make them more participative. In this interactive workshop, Kathy MacMillan—American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, librarian, and storyteller—will use video examples to provide easy-to-learn signs that can be retaught and incorporated into stories, rhymes, and songs. You will be able to use the skills learned in this workshop to create programs that will help you, your staff, and parents communicate better with children.

At the completion of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • List 3 benefits of using sign language with young children
  • Describe at least 3 ways to use sign language in baby and toddler storytimes
  • Demonstrate 3 ASL signs appropriate for use in baby or toddler storytimes

Click here for more information or to register!

In the Community: Free ASL Classes at the Germantown Library

American Sign Language for Beginners

Sundays: October 16, 23, 30, November 6 and 13, 2016
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Montgomery County Public Libraries, Germantown Library (Lower Level)

19840 Century Blvd, Germantown, MD 20874

Learn to communicate with deaf and hard of hearing individuals through vocabulary development, conversation, and practice.  These sessions are appropriate for family members, teachers, child care providers, students ages 14 and older, and anyone who wishes to learn sign language.

Register online at the library website  or call the Germantown Library at  240-777-0110.

Note: These classes are not affiliated by Stories By Hand.  This information is provided as a resource to those seeking ASL instruction in the community.

Summer Reading 2017: “Little Hands Signing: In My Neighborhood”

Just in time for 2017’s Collaborative Summer Reading Program theme, “Build a Better World”, it’s…


Library, store, hospital, and more!  There are so many places to see in our neighborhood!  Join signing storyteller Kathy MacMillan for stories, songs, rhymes, and American Sign Language fun. (40 minutes; available as a baby/toddler, preschooler, birth-6, or all-ages program)

$275 per program; discounts available for multiple bookings.  Click here for complete rates and booking information.

Book a program for Summer 2017 by December 31, 2016 and receive 15% off the program price!  Ask about a free same-day author program for Kathy’s Young Adult novel, Sword and Verse (HarperTeen, 2016)!

Save the Date!: “ASL for Library Staff” eCourse to be offered again Winter 2017!

The next session of this popular eCourse, taught by Kathy MacMillan, will begin January 23, 2017. Watch this space or sign up to follow this blog by email to be notified when registration is open.

Description: American Sign Language (ASL) is an invaluable skill for library professionals. A basic grasp of ASL enhances your ability to serve deaf library users and opens up a new world of possibilities for storytime programs. It’s also a marketable professional skill that can translate to public service jobs beyond the library world.

Ideal for those without previous experience, this eCourse taught by librarian and ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan will use readings, multimedia resources, and online discussion boards to introduce basic ASL vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting. MacMillan will place ASL within a linguistic and cultural context, aiding participants in improving library services.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 30 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

Length of Course: 6 weeks (participants will have a total of 12 weeks to complete all assignments)

In the Community: Baltimore’s Biggest ASL Class

Community Sign Language Gathering

Tuesday, September 20 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Hearing and Speech Agency Auditorium


Free admission. Refreshments available for purchase in the lobby.

ABOUT THE CLASS: Lessons on Deaf culture, history and awareness.  Join us as we come together in an ASL-rich celebration of communication! This program is presented entirely in sign language and while no voice interpretation will be provided, we invite anyone to attend – whether they are fluent in ASL or not. This event is in participation with our Fall 2016 ASL classes.  For more information, please visit

In the Community: ASL Classes for All Ages at the Hearing and Speech Agency

Learn from a Deaf instructor at the Hearing and Speech Agency, a highly-respected Baltimore non-profit.



(Tuesdays 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
ASL 1 | ASL 2 | ASL 3 | ASL 4 | ASL 5 | Children’s ASL

(10:00 a.m. – Noon)
ASL 1: Tuesdays | ASL 2: Wednesdays
ASL 3: Thursdays | Signing for Seniors: Fridays

ASL for SLPs & Audiologists (Tuesdays 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
This course will combine introductory level skills with specific content, which will allow the audiologist or speech-language pathologist to conduct an interview, determine communication needs and work with interpreters within their practice setting.
The course will combine the elements of ASL I-III with specific vocabulary selected from educational and medical terminology. 
(Approved for CEUs by the Maryland Board of Examiners for Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers and Speech-Language Pathologists)

For pricing and registration information, click here.

FREE Webinar: So You Want to Get Published

Are you a library staff person who wants to write articles or books?  Then check out this FREE online workshop:

So You Want to Get Published

Thursday, 8/4/2016
  • 3:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 2:00 PM (Central)
  • 1:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 12:00 PM (Pacific)

Want to write a book or article but don’t know where to start? Three published authors of resource books and articles for children’s librarians will share the ins and outs of getting published in journals such as School Library Journal and with publishers such as ALA Editions and Libraries Unlimited. Learn about the publishing opportunities that are out there for you, how to write a proposal, and how to get from idea to proposal.

Registration info:

Cost: FREE



Betsy Diamant-Cohen of Mother Goose on the Loose


Julie Dietzel-Glair, author of Books in Motion

Kathy MacMillan, author of Storytime Magic and other storytime resource books

Kathy MacMillan, author of Storytime Magic and other storytime resource books










Little Hands Signing @ Greenberries

logo-greenberriesRegister now for these upcoming parent-child classes at Greenberries  in Columbia and Baltimore!

Learn how to use signs throughout your child’s day to foster bonding, stimulate language development, and reduce frustration. Little Hands Signing brings the magic of American Sign Language to you and your child through age-appropriate stories, songs, activities, and games, along with tips and tricks for caregivers on using signs in everyday activities.  It’s an interactive class so please bring your little ones. No minimum or max age!

$14 per adult | $20 per couple

Click on the links below to register.

Playtime Signs:
Sunday, July 17 at 10 AM at 
Greenberries Columbia, 6925 Oakland Mills Rd, Columbia, Maryland 21045

Diaper and Potty Signs: Sunday, August 28 at 11 AM at Greenberries Baltimore, 915 W 36th St, Baltimore, Maryland 21211

Fall Signs: Saturday, September 17 at 10 AM at Greenberries Columbia, 6925 Oakland Mills Rd, Columbia, Maryland 21045




Move and Groove @ your library this summer!

Coming to a library near you!  For 2016’s Collaborative Summer Reading Program theme, “On Your Mark, Get Set….Read!”, it’s…

kid-clipart-clip-art-kids-1LITTLE HANDS SIGNING: LET’S MOVE!

Wiggle, giggle, dance, and sign!  It’s time for American Sign Language stories, songs, and fun that celebrate all the ways we move.  Click on the links below for more information about each library.


Baltimore County Public Library (MD)

Tuesday, June 28, 10:30 AM: Towson Library

Saturday, July 16, 2 PM: North Point Library


Harford County Public Library (MD)

Monday, August 8, 3 PM: Edgewood Library

Tuesday, August 9, 3 PM: Bel Air Library

Tuesday, August 9, 6:30 PM: Abingdon Library

Wednesday, August 10, 11 AM: Jarrettsville Library

Wednesday, August 10, 6:30 PM: Wilson Center (In conjunction with HCPL’s Darlington Branch)

Friday, August 12, 10:30 AM: Havre de Grace Library

Saturday, August 13, 1:00 PM: Joppa Library


Frederick County Public Libraries (MD)

Tuesday, June 21, 11 AM: Edward F. Fry Library at Point of Rocks

Tuesday, June 21, 2 PM: Brunswick Library

Tuesday, July 5, 2:30 PM: C. Burr Artz Library, Frederick

Tuesday, July 5, 6:30 PM: Middletown Library

Thursday, July 14, 2:30 PM: Urbana Library


Prince Georges County Memorial Library System (MD)

Monday, July 18, 10:30 AM: Hyattsville Library

Monday, July 18, 1:00 PM: Bladensburg Library


Find the complete calendar of upcoming programs here.












In the Community: ASL Classes in Baltimore and D.C.

D.C. Library to provide free beginner-level ASL classes during summer 2016

The D.C. Public Library will provide two series of free beginner-level ASL classes this summer. These are progressive sets of classes with each class building on the vocabulary and conversational skills learned in the previous classes in the set. Each series will cover 100+ ASL vocabulary words, fingerspelling, numbers, and ASL conversational skills.

Mondays: June 6 through August 15, 5:30-7 p.m.
Saturdays: June 11 through August 13, 4-5:30 p.m.

Registration is not required. However, space is limited, so participation on a first come, first serve basis, and is limited to those who show up early enough to get a seat in the classroom.

Both series will take place at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, Room 215, Center for Accessibility, 901 G Street, NW.  For more information, see


Community ASL Classes at the Hearing and Speech Agency in Baltimore

Learn American Sign Language from a Deaf instructor at the Hearing and Speech Agency, a highly-respected Baltimore non-profit.



SUMMER FUN SIGNS: Tuesdays 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
ASL FINGERSPELLING: Tuesdays 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
SIGNING FOR SENIORS: Tuesdays 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m
BABY/TODDLER SIGNS: Tuesdays 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
CHILDREN’S ASL: Tuesdays 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Summer Fun Signs Course Fee is $100, with no required materials. Signing for Seniors Course Fee is $100 plus $85 for required text.  Children’s ASL classes are $100, no materials required. Parents may accompany a registered child during class for an additional $50.

For more information and to register, click here.