Kate Deibel, inclusion and accessibility librarian at Syracuse University, speaks on disability access issues.

Always Use the Microphone

January 28, 2019

Kate Deibel opened her session, “Pushing on the Frontier: Disability Access and the Future of Libraries” on Saturday, January 26, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Seattle, with this all-too-common question to make a point: “Always use the microphone. It’s one of the most important and easiest things you can do.” It helps … Continue reading Always Use the Microphone


2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

January 2, 2019

Michelle Obama at Annual At the Annual Conference of the American Library Association (ALA) in New Orleans, former First Lady Michelle Obama and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden conversed before an overflow crowd of 8,000. Obama spoke about her family, her career, and writing her memoir—and about getting her first library card at age 4. … Continue reading 2018 Year in Review


Disability and Equity

January 2, 2019

Many people with disabilities challenge these attitudes and advocate for change. They point out that cultural attitudes often create more difficulties for them than the disability itself. Despite their efforts, stereotypes persist—even in the workplace. I recently surveyed 288 librarians, interviewing 10 who identified as having a disability, about their experiences working at academic libraries … Continue reading Disability and Equity


Fingertips reading a Braille manuscript

Miracle in Marrakesh Makes It to US

September 27, 2018

Update: The Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act was signed into law on October 9, 2018. The legislation, passed by the US Senate in June, provides a copyright exception for “authorized entities”—including libraries—to make materials available across borders to people with print disabilities whose countries have already ratified the treaty. In fact, 350,000 accessible titles are already … Continue reading Miracle in Marrakesh Makes It to US



Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Serving Diverse Populations

November 1, 2017

Why should we do this? Because information is power. In Missed Information: Better Information for Building a Wealthier, More Sustainable Future, authors David Sarokin and Jay Schulkin argue that knowledge is central to human activity. We gather information to make decisions at almost every waking moment, both personally and in the work environment, depending on … Continue reading Serving Diverse Populations


Welcome to Wrocław

September 22, 2017

“It is time for you, at this conference, to engage and explore,” said Donna Scheeder, president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), to the crowd gathered for the Opening Session of the 2017 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) on August 20. “I’m sure among this group is a future IFLA president somewhere.” Speakers seemed … Continue reading Welcome to Wrocław


The 11 cascading levels of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Visiting Egypt’s Libraries

September 19, 2017

The new Biblioteca Alexandrina The Bibliotheca Alexandrina complex comprises not just a library building but also a planetarium and conference center. A large fence with guard stations about every 25 meters runs along the corniche. This was once where you could enter the grounds, but due to security precautions prompted by political turmoil, the entrance … Continue reading Visiting Egypt’s Libraries


Christopher Goodbeer (Photo: Ann Schertz)

Bookend: Feeling the Music

September 1, 2017

Goodbeer—a 2007 graduate of Indiana University’s master’s programs in music and library and information science—is a Braille music transcriber. According to the Library of Congress, which certifies music transcription in Braille, fewer than 100 people are listed as having such a skill. “It was an uphill climb at first,” Goodbeer says of learning the work, … Continue reading Bookend: Feeling the Music


Chris Hartgerink, PhD candidate at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, at the “Being Open About Open: Academic and Research Libraries, FAIFE, Copyright, and Other Legal Matters” session.

Opening Up: Day Five at IFLA WLIC

August 25, 2017

“The legacy of the paper era is two opposing forces: what’s good for science and what’s good for the people who communicate science,” he told attendees at the “Being Open about Open: Academic and Research Libraries, FAIFE, Copyright, and Other Legal Matters” session of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Library … Continue reading Opening Up: Day Five at IFLA WLIC


IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leitner shows a world map indicating the 140 countries that have so far participated in Global Vision Discussions.

Emphasis on Inclusion: Day Two of IFLA WLIC

August 22, 2017

The theme of inclusion was pervasive on the second day of the conference, with presenters sharing research and case studies framing ways that library professionals can improve access to information, services, and safe spaces—especially for marginalized users, including indigenous populations, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. Cataloging key to access For many, inclusion starts … Continue reading Emphasis on Inclusion: Day Two of IFLA WLIC


ALA President Jim Neal

Leaders in the Library

July 19, 2017

In addition to the many remarkable speakers and presentations that made the conference a rich educational experience, the work of the Association is also noteworthy: The Conference Accessibility Task Force issued recommendations for accessibility improvements at upcoming conferences. The Chapter Relations Communications Task Force issued a report to help improve chapter engagement with ALA. A … Continue reading Leaders in the Library