CONTACT:  Tom Peters, OPAL Coordinator


March 1, 2005


OPAL Selected for WebJunction Award and ALA Training Showcase


OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) –, administered by the Alliance Library System, the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center, and the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service has been recognized by WebJunction ( as a 2005 "Public Access Super Star" for building digital opportunity through community engagement.  Details about OPAL and the award can be found at 

OPAL has also been selected through a competitive application process coordinated by the American Library Association Continuing Library Education Network to present a poster session at the ALA 2005 Training Showcase during ALA’s Annual Conference in Chicago.  The Showcase will be held on Saturday, June 25, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time at a location to be determined. 


OPAL is a collaborative effort by libraries of all types to provide cooperative web-based programming and training for library users. OPAL utilizes web-conferencing software from Talking Communities ( which features voice over IP, text chat, web co-browsing capabilities, and presentations.  Examples of OPAL public online programs include book discussion programs, interviews, library training, memoir writing workshops, and virtual tours of special digital library collections.

Kitty Pope, Executive Director of the Alliance Library System, observed, “One of our major goals at Alliance this year has been promoting the use of our website ( and the web for our member librarians which has resulted in this collaborative initiative.”


Tom Peters, OPAL Coordinator, noted, “OPAL has the potential to significantly advance networked library public programming.  Everyone involved with OPAL appreciates the encouragement represented by the WebJunction and ALA recognitions.” 

WebJunction is an online community of libraries and other agencies sharing knowledge and experience to provide the broadest public access to information technology.  WebJunction's annual Awards program highlights the extraordinary work of libraries in the United States, Tribal and First Nations, and Canada that are committed to providing public access to technology and information in their communities.  Awards are selected quarterly in one of four categories. Up to five selections are made by WebJunction's Awards Jury in each category, depending on the number of entries/nominations and the level of patrons served.  Grand prize winners will also be eligible to share their success stories and highlight their programs to other community members by hosting online events on WebJunction.

Libraries of all types and sizes may join OPAL.  For more information on joining OPAL, contact Tom Peters, OPAL Coordinator at or 1-816-228-6406