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Making Libraries Accessible: Adaptive Design and Assistive Technology


As a provider of public space and digital content, your library is duty-bound to promote equitable access to all users, regardless of whether they use assistive technology.  In this issue of Library Technology Reports, editor Booth makes the case that that attention to the core principles of consistency, flexibility, and simplicity go hand in hand with libraries’ commitments to open information and accessibility. Even when staffing levels or resources aren't ideal, libraries can substantially improve the experience of people with disabilities.  In this issue, expert contributors address standards, spaces and services, devices, websites, and collections, offering advice on

  • Assistive technology products, including screen readers, literacy software, and speech input
  • E-books and e-readers for users with print disabilities, with charts comparing accessibility features of the most common e-readers
  • The nuts and bolts of using HTML, CSS, Javascript, or JQUERY for accessibility
  • Best practices for evaluating vendor database compliance


Char Booth advocates for the integration of pedagogical training in library education, informing user services through local research, creating library cultures of experimentation and assessment, and exploring open, accessible, and collaborative solutions to library sustainability. She is the Instruction Services Manager and E-Learning Librarian at the Claremont Colleges, and is on the faculty of the ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Institute. An ALA Emerging Leader and Library Journal Mover & Shaker, she blogs at info-mational and tweets @charbooth. Her publications include Reflective Teaching, Effective Learning: Instructional Literacy for Library Educators and Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies.



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