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

    Author(s):
    Sophia Griffiths (see profile)
    Date:
    2020
    Group(s):
    CityLIS
    Subject(s):
    Academic librarianship, Academic libraries, Disability, Libraries
    Item Type:
    Dissertation
    Institution:
    City, University of London
    Tag(s):
    academic librarian, CityLIS, print disability
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/q3e8-6424
    Abstract:
    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.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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