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


2017 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition logo

Accessible at All Ability Levels

July 4, 2017

Their research focused on a middle-school librarian in South Carolina. The rural school supported 14 students with special needs. The school had achieved success with a mix of differentiated instruction, learning the students’ backgrounds and preferences, and making the students themselves more visible to the rest of the student community. A variety of potential strategies … Continue reading Accessible at All Ability Levels


Screen reader software synthesizes web content into speech for people with visual impairments.

Library Websites for All

June 1, 2017

Providing this support in user-centered and responsive ways fulfills the librarian’s obligation to offer service to all users. However, paying attention to accessibility for visually impaired patrons is not just the right thing to do. It may also protect your library from legal trouble. Legal precedents for access In 2012 the National Federation of the … Continue reading Library Websites for All


Implications for Accessibility in Academic Libraries

March 24, 2017

Big Data Digital scholarship Library services platforms (LSPs) Online identity Artificial intelligence The “internet of things” These trends will certainly shape the way students and librarians interact with library resources. How will they affect accessibility? Melissa Green, academic technologies instruction librarian at the University of Alabama, Rachel Thompson, director of emerging technology and accessibility at … Continue reading Implications for Accessibility in Academic Libraries


Creating Inclusive Library Environments

March 1, 2017

Providing information regularly to employees will help create a responsive organizational culture and a reiterative process that helps veteran staffers onboard new staff members with accurate information. Details about serving people with disabilities should become an ongoing part of this training. Disability awareness training Professional organizations are an excellent place to start for staff training … Continue reading Creating Inclusive Library Environments



A Bedford, Indiana, student reads on pajama day at school to Bridget, a therapy dog owned by Mary Hall of Bedford Public Library. Photo: Mary Hall/Bedford (Ind.) Public Library

Library Waggin’ Train

March 1, 2017

Thankfully, Hall, assistant director of the Bedford (Ind.) Public Library, had an ally she knew could come to the rescue: Bridget, a beautiful Golden Retriever therapy dog waiting in her office. “When she told him [about the dog], he stopped crying immediately and got up from the floor where he had been lying face down,” … Continue reading Library Waggin’ Train


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Access and Resistance

March 1, 2017

When I started working at the library, we handed out time-limited computer access passes to anyone who wanted them. Users included library cardholders, people who were homeless, the residents of a local halfway house, and people who worked in the city but didn’t live there. I loved that we provided a valuable service to those … Continue reading Access and Resistance