Providing equal access to all library patrons is an essential component of every library’s mandate. In fact, the ALA Mission Statement asserts that librarians must “ensure access to information for all.” With that in mind, the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion hosted a workshop at ALA Midwinter on how librarians can become more aware of and even work against systemic racism: “If I Hadn’t Believed It, I Wouldn’t Have Seen It: Exploring Systemic Racism and Its Implications for Our Lives and Work.”
Posts Tagged ‘accessibility’
Harvard Law School has had about two months to work on its newest project, Free the Law. When I read about it in The New York Times, I was of two minds. The book lover in me shed imaginary tears as I read that the spines of nearly all the tomes in the collection were being sliced off to digitize the pages. Yet the former electronic content manager in me cheered at the access that this will grant myriad customers.
What would you do if an employee requested to use a service animal at work? The Manatee County Public Library System in Florida learned firsthand how to handle the situation when long time library staffer Terri Simon requested to bring her service dog, Mister, to work. Simon, who has a hearing impairment, relies on Mister to alert her to sounds of which she would otherwise be unaware. At work, this means notification beeps from the computer, patrons speaking to her when her back is turned, and other important sounds. These noises prompt Mister to rub against Simon’s leg to indicate there is something that needs her attention. Simon knew a service dog would improve her work performance, but it also brought novel challenges for the library.
Outernet, a satellite-based information source, is bringing knowledge to the furthest reaches of the globe, 24/7.
One of the library buttons pinned on my office wallboard conveys a simple truth: “Attitudes are the real disability.” My original plan this month was to write about “Outreach to People with Disabilities.” Yet that subject was soon replaced by a topic that preempts and precedes the concept of disability outreach: attitudinal barriers to library […]