History of DCDL

  • April 24, 2023

    Program Specialist Joins DCDL

    Keith Delk joins DCDL as its Program Specialist.

  • June 7, 2021

    DCDL Welcomes A New Librarian

    Brandt Van Unen joins DCDL as its Coordinator and Librarian.

  • September 24, 2020

    DCDL Website Grand Opening

    The DCDL website launched on September 10. The community celebrated with a Grand Opening program which included Deaf Poet and Storyteller Fred Beam, Deaf authors Dr. Brian Greenwald and Sofia Seitchik, and ASL singer Savannah Dahan as well as Howard County Association of the Deaf President Bridget McCarthy and Maryland Association of the Deaf President Richard Jeffries.

    Montgomery County Public Libraries Director Anita Vassallo, Maryland State Librarian Irene Padilla and Maryland Governor’s Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Director Kelby Brick presented DCDL Coordinator Susan Cohen with the Pioneering Award for being the first Deaf Librarian in Maryland.

  • June 26, 2020

    First Virtual Summer Read & Learn Program

    Maryland DCDL sponsored its first virtual Summer Read and Learn program, “Stories to Tell: Read Classic FairyTales, Folklores and Contemporary Short Stories” by Sunshine 2.0, an RIT/NTID Educational Touring Theater Company, in a partnership with Frederick County Public Libraries.

  • May 21, 2020

    First Virtual Deaf Author Talk

    Maryland DCDL sponsored its first virtual Deaf Author Talk with Sofia Seitchik on May 21, 2020 in a partnership with Howard County Library System.

  • April 27, 2020

    Accessibility Through Zoom Presentation

    Susan Cohen, Librarian II of Maryland DCDL, delivers a presentation on Accessibility through Zoom to library staff through the Maryland State Tech Sandbox series.

  • April 26, 2020

    ASL Classes Begin

    Maryland DCDL sponsored its first virtual eight session ASL Class in a partnership with Montgomery County Public Libraries.​

  • December 5, 2019

    Website Demonstration

    Maryland DCDL staff and Eyeth Studios demonstrated the beginning of the work on the new website to library staff at the Maryland Tech Connect Conference to collect input.​

  • May 15, 2019

    DCDL Turned 5!

  • March 29, 2019

    Website Contract Begins

    Maryland DCDL engaged a contract with Eyeth Studios, a Deaf woman-owned web development company.​

  • July 7, 2018

    Statewide Survey Distributed

    A survey was distributed statewide to collect information to help staff plan for the new website, training programs for library staff, outreach/marketing, collections and library programs.​

  • April 30, 2018

    DCDL Staff Expands

    Linds Phelan, DCDL's first program specialist, joins the staff.​

  • February 7, 2018

    Library Staff Survey Distributed

    A survey was distributed to library staff in 24 public library systems, represented by 23 County library systems including Baltimore City, academic and government libraries to collect information to help staff plan for the new website, collections, and training programs.​

  • October 25, 2017

    DCDL Logo Designed

    The new Maryland DCDL logo was designed by Suzanne Stecker, a Deaf graphic designer.​

  • Fall 2016

    Temporary DCDL Website Launched

    Maryland DCDL website temporarily hosted on the MCPL website launched.​

  • November 29, 2016

    Friends of Maryland DCDL Hosts First Meeting

    The first meeting of the Friends of Maryland DCDL met. The first members included: Kat Brockway, Anne Dillon, Gina Oliva, and Kristi Peters.

  • October 14, 2016

    DCDL Advisory Board Hosts First Meeting

    The Maryland DCDL Advisory Board holds its first meeting at the Germantown Library in Germantown, Maryland. The first officers included: Dr. Carolyn McCaskill, David Strom, Ricardo Lopez, David Payne, Tara Congdon Schupner (MDAD), Deborah Nathanson (Maryland Governor's Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing), Irene Padilla (Maryland State Library), Susan Cohen (Maryland DCDL Coordinator/Librarian II), Karen Miller (Manager, Germantown Library), and Nini Beegan (Maryland State Library).

  • June 2015

    MCPL Selected to Host DCDL

    The Maryland State Library selects Montgomery County Public Libraries to host, develop and manage the Maryland DCDL. Susan Cohen, Librarian II, leads the project as its first Coordinator.

  • May 15, 2014

    Bill Signed into Law

    The Maryland General Assembly passed the bill to create the Deaf Culture Digital Library. The Deaf Culture Digital Library Bill (HB 653) was signed into law by former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.

    image of signing of bill - see description below
    Source: Maryland State Archives
    L-R Back Row: George Failla, Former Deputy Secretary of Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD), Andrew Phillips, National Association of the Deaf (NAD). Kathleen Brockway, Deaf author and advocate; Alice Hagemeyer, visionary library advocate; Charm Smith, former Maryland Association for the Deaf president; Lisa Kornberg, former Director of Maryland Governor's Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Sam Jones; Emily Ferren, DCDL Task Force member; and Raymond Conrad, DCDL Task Force member.

    L-R Front Row: Senator Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr, President of the Maryland Senate; former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, and Michael E. Busch, late speaker of the House in Maryland.

    Absent: Alec MacFarlane, DCDL Task Force Member

  • August 1, 2013

    Report Submitted to Governor

    The eleven member task force, established to study the feasibility of the DCDL proposal, submitted a report with recommendations to the Governor on the Deaf Culture Digital Library.

  • May 22, 2012

    Task Force Bill Passed

    In the Regular Session, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill establishing a Task Force to Study the Establishment of a Deaf Culture Digital Library.

The credit for the concept of the library goes to numerous advocates including Alice Hagemeyer, Silver Spring Library resident and longtime advocate for the Deaf community to have equal access to library services. Ms. Hagemeyer is the president and founder of the Friends of the Library for Deaf Action (FOLDA).