HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

Reminder: Project ENABLE Seeking Examples of Library Initiatives to Increase Access for Users and Staff with Disabilities

(via Dr. Ruth Small, Syracuse University School of Information Studies)

Project ENABLE is continuing to collect impact stories, as part of our IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant. The purpose of these stories is to demonstrate how even small changes can have a big impact on your patrons with disabilities.

We are anxious to hear from librarians, support staff (including paraprofessionals, aides, etc.) and administrators willing to describe a change you have made or helped make, within the past five years, to improve accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities in your library, whether during a lockdown, renovation or fully open.

We have received almost 30 wonderful and inspiring stories of things that library staff have done to make their library more welcoming and useful to their patrons, members of their staff, board members and visitors with disabilities and are hoping to add many more of them. We are offering $100 for your story, if accepted by our Project ENABLE team, and will add it to our Project ENABLE database and may even feature it in our newsletter, PE News.

We accept stories from all types of libraries and from different departments within a library. Libraries worldwide are using them in their training programs to demonstrate how such changes have made a difference to their staff and patrons with disabilities.

To get an idea of what we mean by “impact story,” go here and choose “Resources” from the top menu. Once in our Resources database, choose “impact story” from the pull-down Format menu and click search. There are already several examples in there from all types of libraries across the U.S. and beyond. While you’re there, you might also enjoy looking at some of our “challenge videos” or printing out some of our “pathfinders” to distribute to staff or patrons.

Each impact story should include (1) your name, email address, the name of your library, and the location of your library; (2) what prompted your idea for change; (3) what that change was and its intended goal; (4) any barriers (if any) you faced when making that change; (5) any supports (e.g., people, funding) you had (if any) that helped enable that change; (5) evidence that you achieved your goal through impact, as revealed in an observation, a conversation, etc. of that change on at least one patron with a disability. Each story should be between 300-400 words in length.

If you have any questions or are ready to submit your story, please send to Dr. Ruth Small, Director, Project ENABLE, at drruth@syr.edu.

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