Inclusivity on a Budget

June 30, 2024

“I had no experience but a lot of enthusiasm,” she told attendees of “Library for All: Programming Ideas for Adults with Disabilities on a $0 Budget,” a June 29 program at the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2024 Annual Conference and Exhibition in San Diego. Thanks to her efforts, MPL has hosted 150 programs for adults … Continue reading Inclusivity on a Budget

Participants at LifeWorks, a residential community for neurodiverse young adults, hold bags from Warren County (Ky.) Public Library (WCPL). WCPL recently opened a satellite branch at LifeWorks.

Meeting Neurodiverse Needs

March 1, 2024

To fill in service gaps exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Warren County (Ky.) Public Library (WCPL) opened four satellite libraries. These one-room, full-service satellites, housed by community partners, are meant to support populations that would otherwise struggle to visit a full-size branch because of socioeconomic, transportation, or other barriers. Last year, WCPL debuted a satellite … Continue reading Meeting Neurodiverse Needs

Headshot of column author Amy Holland

Beyond ADA Compliance

March 1, 2024

In 2020, staff members at Irondequoit Public Library (IPL) in Rochester, New York, began rethinking our approach to accessibility and inclusion. With reduced hours and services during the COVID- 19 pandemic, we had an opportunity to reenvision how we wanted to welcome patrons back. ADA guidelines provide for a minimum standard of service, but we … Continue reading Beyond ADA Compliance

Child actor and author Mia Armstrong at the 2024 LibLearnX conference in Baltimore

‘Do Say Hello’

January 21, 2024

“I wanted to inspire people with or without disabilities,” said Armstrong, who wrote the book about her experience as a person with Down syndrome.  Armstrong, alongside her mother Cara, discussed I Am A Masterpiece! (Random House Books for Young Readers, January) and the importance of belonging during their January 21 featured speaker session at the … Continue reading ‘Do Say Hello’

Comedian, actor, and disability advocate Maysoon Zayid speaks at the American Library Association's 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago on June 24.

The Power of One

June 24, 2023

“I am Palestinian, I’m Muslim, I’m a woman of color, I am divorced, I am disabled, and I live in New Jersey,” she said. “But I don’t want anyone in this room to feel bad for me, because I got 99 problems and palsy is just one.” Zayid appeared at the American Library Association’s 2023 … Continue reading The Power of One

KayCee Choi (standing at left) and Alicia Deal (standing at right), librarians at Dallas Public Library, present at "Deaf Culture: A Strategy for Inclusive Deaf Community Engagement,” a June 26 session at ALA’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Photo by Rebecca Lomax for American Libraries.

Deaf Is a Culture

June 26, 2022

“After joining ALA, I saw a lot of changes,” said Hagemeyer, who now leads Bridging Deaf Cultures, an interest group of ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. While services and outreach to Deaf people have improved over the last 50 years, libraries could be doing more in this area. That was the takeaway … Continue reading Deaf Is a Culture

American Library Association logo

ALA Announces $7 Million in Grants to Support Accessibility

March 3, 2022

The American Library Association (ALA) announced today that its Libraries Transforming Communities project will offer more than $7 million in grants to small and rural libraries to increase the accessibility of facilities, services, and programs to better serve people with disabilities. “[The] Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities [grant] represents an important next … Continue reading ALA Announces $7 Million in Grants to Support Accessibility

Dispatches with Carli Spina

Inclusive Media

May 3, 2021

The tech company Cisco predicts that by 2022, video will account for 82% of all internet traffic. In recent years, large libraries have jumped on this trend, producing recorded author events, tutorials, and promotional videos; since the pandemic began, the popularity of online videos has exploded even further. Ubiquitous as it is, much video content … Continue reading Inclusive Media

Portrait of On My Mind author Lesley Garrett

Bookmobiles for Justice

March 1, 2021

During my time as an organizer apprentice with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, our chapter led a successful campaign in partnership with the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Kentucky Fairness and ACLU of Kentucky to pass a 2018 civil rights ordinance in the city of Paducah that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. … Continue reading Bookmobiles for Justice

Mayra Castrejón-Hernandez performs at Milwaukee Public Library’s first Deaf StorySlam event in September 2019. Photo: Pat A. Robinson Photos/Milwaukee Public Library

Signing Stories

November 2, 2020

In September 2019, Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) hosted its first Deaf StorySlam, a storytelling event intended to highlight Deaf voices of color and their lived experiences and bring together the city’s Deaf and hearing communities. Out of 112 applications, the project was selected to receive the inaugural Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, a $2,000 prize … Continue reading Signing Stories