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How to make an electronic library accessible

Rita Kosztyánné Mátrai (Department of Information Sciences, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 4 September 2018

Issue publication date: 29 October 2018




The purpose of this paper is to identify important principles which should be applied to electronic library websites to make them usable for all people.


The goal of this paper was to make the simplified user interface of Hungarian Electronic Library (VMEK) more accessible and usable by leveraging the latest technologies, standards and recommendations. Vision-impaired and motor-disabled people were also involved in brainstorming and collecting ideas during the design phase and in testing the implemented website.


This paper showed that the perspicuity of the Web page is greatly improved by semantically correct HTML codes, clearly defined links and alt attributes, hotkeys and typographic principles.

Practical implications

The paper presents the design principles of electronic library Web pages which can be applied by Web developers and content managers. The paper identifies design principles, which improve the perspicuity of user interfaces to a great extent (especially in the case of blind users); draws attention to the typographic principles, which promote reading and understanding documents; and recommends guidelines for developing electronic library home pages and managing the content of these home pages.


This paper bridges the gap between the information and library science field and the Web accessibility and usability field. Based on brainstorming results where people with various kinds of disabilities were involved, the paper gives 11 recommendations which should be taken into account while designing and developing electronic library websites to ensure equal access to their services and documents.



Kosztyánné Mátrai, R. (2018), "How to make an electronic library accessible", The Electronic Library, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 620-632.



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