This page is a list of stakeholder entities for LGS, with links to individual stakeholder pages. (These target pages will be formalized into Stakeholder Analysis Reports as per the proposal.)
- 1 Libraries
- 2 Library Administration
- 3 Public Library Software Functions
- 3.1 Core Functions
- 3.2 Other Functions
- 3.3 Probably GPII-Irrelevant Functions
- 4 Library Organizations
- 5 Other Accessibility Initiatives
- 6 Related Issues
- 7 Large scale research on accessibility in libraries
- 8 Individual Comments and Miscellaneous
Academic & Research
ALA division: ACRL
"Special" (e.g., state libraries for PWDs) and National Library Service
ALA division: ASCLA
NJ: Adam Szczepaniak
These libraries are part of a national network called the National Library Service (NLS) http://www.loc.gov/nls/aboutnls.html. They have in the past focused on braille and talking books; they still do that, but have an expanded view of their services in the digital world. Currently the network has 57 regional libraries and 86 subregionals. They get ~$60M annually, supplemented by funding for digital transition. Their 2012 Report to Congress says they have about 370K active users, 40% each blind and low vision, with the rest having other or unstated disabilities. (Compare this with Census stats that show 3.4 million people who are blind or have low vision -- ~10% use NLS.) Note: in 2012 only 15% of NLS patrons had signed up for download service, meaning a large majority still expect to use braille or talking books.
They have a plan for the future: http://www.loc.gov/nls/alternatives/index.html. This includes the following GPII-relevant items (section numbers in parentheses):
- Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD): Digital Books and Magazines via Internet Download (there was a demo of the new app at ALA MW 2014). This is their first major step away from dedicated hardware (talking book machines, special cassettes, etc.)
- User registration: about 60K new users per year (but similar outflow); done by netowrk libraries using NLS forms.
- Reader Advisory (RA) services: help with machines, materials selection. Has a profile capability -- users get recommendations of new materials. Comprehensive Mailing List System (CMLS) maintains authorization and other info.
- NLS subsidizes USPS to deliver materials at no charge. They have looked into whether it is possible to divert this subsidy to broadband providers.
- They are unclear about the potential of using commercial audiobooks....
- Want to work with public libraries directly, but these are undergoing budget cuts (so are unlikely to be able to support new programs) and there are concerns about QA.
- They want to collect data on NLS users who have/plan to get broadband (4.1)
- They see NLS as continuing to provide centralized services, but to a more distributed network (5.2)
- They plan to provide 'easy' services to the less-tech-savvy users (5.7)
- They see electronic distribution as 'long term' (5-7 years from 2011) (6.6)
- See no change in how user registration is done (7.12)
ASCLA maintains a wiki on the accessibility of library databases http://ascla.ala.org/toolkit/index.php?title=Accessibility_to_Library_Databases_and_Other_Online_Library_Resources_for_People_with_Disabilities
April 2015: the NJ NLS unit has had its budget cut; not likely to be able to particpate in any testing.
Exogenous administrators (e.g., municipal governments, school districts, university hierarchies)
Some public libraries are part of their city government (example: Free Library of Philadelphia). Obviously, a university library is part of the university's wider administration, although it may have some autonomy.
Many public libraries join regional consortia, sometimes by county. One reason is to share expenses, such as infrastructure. Although this saves money, some librarians have reported that it gives them less control over ICT, since the tech people don't work for them directly.
ALA has a LITA division on tech, but we understand that this is not the home of most library tech admins. We should find out if they have their own professional association, or if many are members of other orgs.
Public Library Software Functions
Central to the development of LGS should be what library functions it addresses.
Note: are we including the accessibility of library admin functions, for library staffers?
Catalog, self-service reservation, checkout, return, etc.
These are packaged and usually referred to as integrated library systems (ILS).
- Destiny (368),
- Symphony (324),
- Millennium (254),
- Atriuum (229),
- OPALS (215),
- Sierra (172),
- Polaris (143),
- Voyager (114),
- Horizon (108),
- ALEPH 500 (99),
- Koha -- ByWater Solutions (91),
- AGent VERSO (68),
- Apollo (54),
- Evergreen -- Equinox Software (54),
- Koha -- Independent (45),
- EOS.Web (39),
- Axiell Aurora (33),
- WorldShare Management Services (32),
- Absys.Net (31),
- LibraryWorld (43),
- Spydus (20).
This includes reserving an Internet workstation and managing time on it (most libraries limit users to an hour or 2 a day, due to heavy usage). The dominant software is PC Envisionware, which is reported to have serious accessibility problems. [JT has contacted them.]
Digital materials (e-books), including administrative functions
Overdrive is the dominant provider. From a 2013 study by Sarah Bright, 93% of libraries loan e-books, 97% use Overdrive (3M is 2nd at 16%). Although satisfaction is high (3.62/5), all but 11% of respondents would consider changing to another system; 63% gave "better patron interface" as a reason. There is also interest in having all available e-materials show up in an integrated catalog (not by vendor). http://www.forbes.com/sites/avaseave/2013/11/18/are-digital-libraries-a-winner-takes-all-market-overdrive-hopes-so/. Overdrive has an accessibility program in conjunction with Bookshare. According to that document "OverDrive is the exclusive provider of digital content protection, management, and storage for the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC)." Note from the flyer that Bookshare's registration form is accessible. So I think that there may be few accessibility barriers here overall.
Libraries offer literacy training, often as part of a national program, many of which use online resources. While GPII can do a lot to help with literacy training, it's not clear at this point where we would hook into the current programs. We should ask pilot candidates what technology resources their literacy programs use, if any. Jim Tobias has been participating since 2013 with digitallearn.org, a diglit project of ALA. Several articles, including one about GPII have been published in their newsletter.
Language learning and other library-delivered online learning
Libraries offer their own lines of online learning materials in addition to whatever patrons can access via the Internet. For example, Mango teaches languages with interactive multimedia, and is available through libraries for use there or at home. Other subjects include genealogy, small business management, career and personal development, and health. Most offer access to online newspapers and magazines, and popular databases via EBSCO and other vendors.
Digital literacy training
Public libraries offer digital literacy ("diglit") training in several forms. Most relevant to LGS is the training offered online by large-scale programs. Many of these receive/received support from NTIA, which maintains the digitalliteracy.gov compendium of diglit resources. Another offering, aimed at seniors through libraries and other community institutions, is Generations Online. DigitalLearn.org is another compendium of resources and a portal for digital literacy professionals, supported by PLA and IMLS.
Probably GPII-Irrelevant Functions
- Possibly library admin software, if we choose to focus only on patrons.
- Book clubs, reading time, and read-a-book programs (e.g., summer reading programs for children)
- Other community activities housed in the library (e.g. classes, music events, craft clubs)
- Library governance
- Tax preparation assistance
ALA has several "Equity of Access" initiatives, housed in different divisions. Jim Tobias has been active with the NJ branch, NJLA. Below are some of the most active and relevant points of connection.
Universal Access Interest Groups (UAIG)
These are found within ACRL and ASCLA.
This is supposed to be an umbrella group, with ex officio membership across divisions.
Library Information Technology Association (LITA)
referred journal Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) http://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/ital/index
LITA has a Technology and Access Committee, whose checklist includes accessibility issues (although their main focus is elsewhere).
LITA also has awards and citations.
Public Library Association (PLA)
Has a Technology Committee.
Office of Information Technology Policy (OITP)
This is a staffed office within ALA HQ (not an interest group within the divisions, like LITA). http://www.ala.org/offices/oitp. This office is the mechanism by which ALA affects national tech policy, such as comments to the FCC on the National Broadband Plan. It's not an operations-oriented organization.
Other Accessibility Initiatives
This is the "Bay Area Disability Services Librarians", a listserv and informal community of practice.
This is "Librarians for Universal Access", an informal group and Drupal site. Jim Tobias has taken on the 508 side of this project, contacting library software providers to understand how they area addressing 508 and maintaining a page of library accessibility resource websites.
Broadband and Internet adoption
Literally dozens of organizations work on digital literacy. Jim Tobias has been working with one through ALA, digitallearn.org.
Public computer resources
from ALA Midwinter 2014:
Large scale research on accessibility in libraries
Pew Internet and American Life
Pew does a lot of library research, publishing a dedicated subdomain on their site: http://libraries.pewinternet.org/
Every year from 2006 to 2011 ALA conducted a study of the US (public) library environment: # of libraries, budget, staffing, focusing on technology: the Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study http://www.ala.org/research/initiatives/plftas. There have been only a few references to disability or accessibility.
At ALA midwinter 2014 we heard about 2 national surveys of public libraries aimed at learning what they're doing about digital resources; both have accessibility sections.
- At least one public terminal with assistive technology that enable use by persons with visual impairments (e.g., screen readers, magnification, high contrast keyboards and displays) is available at all locations 5 resource(s)
- At least one public terminal that can be converted with assistive technology to facilitate usage by people with motor and dexterity impairments (e.g., touch screens, trackballs, switches, voice-recognition software) is available at all locations 6 resource(s)
- The library has at least one workstation in each location that can accommodate a wheelchair or mobility vehicle 5 resource(s)
- The library website is compliant with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) disability standards as evidenced by the use of an online validation service 6 resource(s)
- Specific accessibility goals are included in the strategic plan 5 resource(s)
- Staff are provided with training at least annually for recognizing and serving patrons with disabilities 6 resource(s)
Digital Inclusion Survey (Univ. of MD)
- avg. 20 public access computers, most under 4 years old
- 40% of libraries report wait times for computer use
- 79% offer training
Individual Comments and Miscellaneous
From LinkedIn Forum on library & museum access, 2011: Maribeth Flynn: While I am now a consultant, as a museum access professional the most difficult challenge was engaging other departments outside of Education and Visitor Services. The second was finding staff time to develop and implement effective outreach activities. The third was finding resources to hire access professionals such as interpreters to lead public tours.