llustration: Drew Bardana

Countdown to the Vote

November 1, 2019

National Voter Registration Day In the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, hundreds of libraries participated in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). Since 2012, the nonpartisan, unofficial holiday has been held on the fourth Tuesday of September with the aim of extending the franchise to eligible voters. Last year, libraries made up 14% of NVRD’s … Continue reading Countdown to the Vote


A child undergoes a hearing test at a Sense-Screening Storytime at Omaha (Neb.) Public Library’s Swanson branch. Photo: Omaha (Neb.) Public Library

Testing the Senses

November 1, 2019

Sight and sound are integral parts of storytime and early literacy, so it makes sense for libraries to take an active role in children’s eye and ear health. Across the country, institutions are hosting free vision and hearing screenings tied to children’s reading sessions. OPL started hosting its Sense-Screening Storytime program last September and has … Continue reading Testing the Senses


From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Inclusive by Design

September 3, 2019

“When you can navigate a space, whatever that space may look like, and you don’t have to ask for help and you can do it independently, that’s confidence-building,” he says. When we think of some of the foremost goals of our profession—advocating for the value of libraries, librarians, and library workers as well as promoting … Continue reading Inclusive by Design


On the Horizon for Accessibility

June 25, 2019

Reed Strege, director of library services at the Braille Institute of America, led “The Best in New Tech for Readers with Blindness, Visual Impairments, and Physical Disabilities” on June 23 at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., highlighting new and upcoming technology for blind and print disabled library users. “It’s a really … Continue reading On the Horizon for Accessibility


A Louisville (Ohio) Public Library patron uses an LED softie, a large beanbag cushion with an integrated light source and fiber optics, that produces a calming effect. (Photo: Michael Damron)

A Sensory Wonderland

June 3, 2019

Louisville (Ohio) Public Library opened an innovative Sensory Space in August 2018 with the help of a $50,000 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. It offers teen sensory relaxation sessions, adult sensory exploration, sensory storytimes, and other activities for patrons on the autism spectrum. Louisville is one of the first public libraries to offer … Continue reading A Sensory Wonderland


Members of Books for Dessert, Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library’s book club for adults over 21 with intellectual disabilities, meet to discuss The Case of the Bicycle Bandit. (Photo: Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library)

Everyone on the Same Page

June 3, 2019

“When people with developmental disabilities become 21, that’s the end of education for them, as if they don’t need to keep learning like other people keep learning as they get older,” says Comer, a trustee of the Port Washington (N.Y.) Public Library (PWPL). She enrolled her son in a local day program but found that … Continue reading Everyone on the Same Page


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


Underrepresented, Underemployed

November 1, 2018

Still, the Simmons College student worries that after she graduates in December with dual masters’ degrees in library science and history, her name, which is of Nigerian origin, will hamper her search for an academic library position. “My first name is something that most people in the United States would not be familiar with,” White … Continue reading Underrepresented, Underemployed


“Marrakesh Treaty in Force” presenters, from left: Hiroshi Kawamura, Victoria Owen, Dipendra Manocha, and moderator Kirsi Ylänne.

Marrakesh and More

August 28, 2018

Victoria Owen, chief librarian at the University of Toronto Scarborough, provided an overview of several guides on Marrakesh implementation—published by IFLA, Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), the World Blind Union (WBU), and other organizations—and their target audiences and purposes. Some guides are geared for libraries and librarians, while others are more suited for government decision … Continue reading Marrakesh and More


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Information Access for All

June 1, 2018

Let’s start with Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 2017, from the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Developed by the Library of Congress and ASCLA, these supersede the 2011 standards. … Continue reading Information Access for All


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


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

May 1, 2017

Creating Inclusive Library Environments: A Planning Guide for Serving Patrons with Disabilities, by Michelle Kowalsky and John Woodruff, begins with an overview of changes initiated because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the follow-up ADA Amendments Act of 2008—changes designed to ensure a barrier-free environment. From there, the book covers policy … Continue reading Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion