Creating Inclusive Library Environments: A Planning Guide for Serving Patrons with Disabilities
Michelle Kowalsky and John Woodruff
232 pages • 6 x 9
Year Published: 2017
Librarians are continually faced with challenges of how to best meet the needs of patrons with disabilities, whether those patrons have physical or intellectual disabilities, differing learning styles, or even temporary problems which impact their access and may change over time. And because planning considerations range from policies and organizational culture to facilities, technologies, and beyond, librarians need a guide that covers everything: areas that can be addressed quickly and easily as well as those that require long-term strategies. That guide is here. Packed with research-based best practices and handy checklists applicable to all types of libraries, this comprehensive resource
- defines what makes environments barrier-free, whether physical or virtual, and talks about how libraries can develop a user-centered culture;
- includes techniques for writing policies and procedures that are clear, realistic, and flexible;
- provides strategies for setting up facilities, training staff, and maintaining daily operations;
- discusses collaboration and outreach through community partnerships, including ways to connect patrons with nonprofits and disability organizations;
- offers programming and workshop ideas such as open houses, tutorials, and tours of the library;
- delves into assistive technology, website design, making vendor-purchased products accessible, and other information technology issues; and
- shares ideas for library assessment, realigning strategies, and staying current.
This planning guide will enable libraries to create and maintain a truly inclusive environment for all patrons.
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