Presenters and Schedule for “Breaking Down Barriers” this Friday

Online registration for this Friday’s event on removing/overcoming obstacles for the disabled is closed, but you can still register! RSVP to Mike Kiel and write a check at the door. His information can be found on the event registration site.

Meanwhile, here are details on ACRL-MD’s January Program: Breaking Down Barriers, happening this Friday:


Joseph Beckett

Joe Beckett began working in the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in April 2014 as the Coordinator of the Maryland Accessible Textbook Program. Joe, prior to his position as MAT Coordinator, was an educator and administrator for seventeen years. He holds degrees in English and Special Education and has extensive post-graduate studies in the area of Education Administration. He is an avid reader, enjoys writing, and traveling (as often as possible) with his wife and daughter to any place with white sand and blue skies.  

Ashley Biggs

Ashley has had a wide and varied history as a librarian. She started her career in 2009 as a Reference Librarian for the St. Tammany Parish Library System in Covington, Louisiana before becoming the head of their Genealogy Department. While there, she began creating outreach, education, and marketing opportunities for the genealogy and local history collection. Through these efforts, the library saw an increase in use, and in turn, Ashley was able to successfully advocate for the inclusion of more digital materials and expanded collections. In 2013, she became the Branch Manager of a regional library branch in Central Mississippi; as a result of working a regional system, Ashley became passionate about outreach, marketing, and community engagement. To that end, Ashley began working with the local library association on teaching library leadership methods, creating community engagement opportunities, and promoting libraries as community hubs. She also worked diligently with local schools, Chambers, and community leaders to raise the standing of the library in the community, increasing library usage and event attendance. In 2017, she joined the MD State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped as the Outreach Librarian. Here, Ashley again became passionate about creating community engagement opportunities of all kinds, creating sustainable and accessible marketing opportunities, and connecting LBPH with branch libraries across the state. Outside of the library, Ashley is a strong advocate for mental health education and reform, writes picture books, and looks for any opportunity to dress up in costumes. For more information, please visit

Leslie Bowman

Director of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

LaShawn Myles

LaShawn Myles is the Youth Librarian at the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH). On a good day, you will find her creating accessible programs, building partnerships, and expanding services for youth with visual impairments across the state. LaShawn believes every child should have the keys necessary for this increasingly technological world, and has undertaken creating and implementing accessible STEAM programs with Maryland public libraries.  Before starting a career with LBPH, LaShawn worked as an educator and school library media specialist for 18 years with Baltimore City Public Schools.    

John Owen 

John is the Assistant Director at the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  In this capacity he coordinates internal operations including circulation and equipment, collection, reference and information, patron services and assistive technology.  John works to make sure he and the staff give excellent customer service at each point of the patron experience with LBPH.  He previously held positions at Baltimore County Public Library in several branches across the county both in buildings and bookmobiles.

Jerry Price

Assistive Technology Specialist

Karyn Schulz

Karyn Schulz, Ed.D. started her career in higher education in 1992 as the Learning Disability Coordinator at Essex Community College. She has remained in higher education dedicating nearly 20 years of her career to disability support services. During her tenure she has collaborated with peers in other USM institutions to establish state-wide documentation guidelines, policies and processes for use of certain services and most recently, was a part of a small group of disability support providers that created the USM Instructor Technology Guidelines and soon to be live, website. Through her work she has continued to stay up-to-date on accessibility issues, particularly focusing on technology, as she sees this as the means to independence for the students she works with at the University of Baltimore.


9:30-10:00 – Check in and coffee
10:00-10:15 – Welcome and Program Introduction
10:15-11:30 – Presentation John, Karyn, Others: Overcoming Barriers to Access
11:30-12:30 – Lunch
12:30-1:15 – Tour
1:15-2:00 – Technology Demonstrations and Petting Zoo
2:00-3:00– Breakout Discussions: Improving Our Libraries
3:00-3:15 – Wrap up
3:15-3:30 – Evaluations


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