• Creating Accessible University Libraries for Students with Visual Impairments: An Investigation of the Resources and Strategies used by Librarians.

    Sophia Griffiths (see profile)
    Academic libraries--Administration, Academic librarians, Academic libraries, Disabilities, Libraries
    Item Type:
    City, University of London
    academic librarian, CityLIS, print disability, Academic librarianship, Disability
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    Background: University students with visual impairments (VI) can have difficulties accessing the library’s collection. The growth in academic libraries’ electronic resources alongside developments in assistive software technology have given libraries the opportunity to make their material more accessible for visually impaired students, but previous research shows that equality of access has not been achieved. Aim: This study aims find out the ways in which libraries are trying to make their resources more accessible for students with VI, focusing on the role of librarians in this process. It intends to find examples of good practice that can be shared with other practitioners. Method: A questionnaire was sent to an email list for library professionals concerned with library access issues. Twenty-nine responses were received and eight of the respondents took part in semi-structured interviews. All interview participants were librarians working in university library settings. Results: The research showed that efforts were being made to create a library collection that students with VI could access independently. In spite of this, visually impaired students often required extra support and adjustments to access the library’s digital and print materials. Librarians had found their own methods to develop this provision and many also relied on the shared resources that were available. Conclusions: Although this is a small study and does not include the views of library users, it revealed some strategies that could be used by libraries to improve the services offered to students with VI. These may also be relevant to other print disabilities, such as dyslexia.
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
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