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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Wondwossen Mulualem Beyene

Accessibility metadata has been a recurring theme in recent efforts aimed at promoting accessibility of information and communication technology solutions to all…

2494

Abstract

Purpose

Accessibility metadata has been a recurring theme in recent efforts aimed at promoting accessibility of information and communication technology solutions to all, regardless of their disabilities, cultural differences, language, etc. The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of accessibility metadata in improving knowledge discovery and access in digital library environments, discuss developments in creating accessibility terms for resource description, and attempt to relate those developments to the overall purpose of universal design to finally recommend points for improvement.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an exploratory study based on review of selected literature and documentations made available by metadata projects. Search for related literature was made using Google Scholar, EBSCO, and Web of Science Databases using terms and combination of terms such as “universal design and metadata,” “accessibility metadata,” “inclusive design,” and “metadata and digital libraries.” Some documentation on metadata projects were obtained through e-mail correspondences.

Findings

The overall discussion shows that accessibility metadata can be instrumental in exposing accessible resources to search engines and in augmenting library resource discovery tools for the benefit of users with disabilities. Accessibility metadata would help users to quickly discover materials that fit their needs. However, the notion of indexing resources by their accessibility attributes remains an area that needs further exploration.

Originality/value

The paper gives emphasis to the importance of metadata research in universal design endeavors. It also provides recommendations for practical applications that would improve accessibility in digital library environments.

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

John Carlo Bertot, John T. Snead, Paul T. Jaeger and Charles R. McClure

Usability, functionality, and accessibility testing of digital library information services and products is essential for providing high quality services to users. This…

5255

Abstract

Purpose

Usability, functionality, and accessibility testing of digital library information services and products is essential for providing high quality services to users. This paper aims to detail a long‐term, evolving effort to develop meaningful evaluations for assessing digital libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi‐year study to determine appropriate evaluation techniques, tools, and methodologies for the Florida Electronic Library (FEL) and other digital library efforts. The evaluation protocols and approaches were designed iteratively over time through assessment efforts with other digital library initiatives and with multiple versions of the FEL. The research described in this paper relies on a combination of functionality, usability, and accessibility evaluation strategies applied iteratively to assess libraries from the perspective of patron needs.

Findings

By combining these three methodologies, the researchers found that they were able to create a rich and robust evaluation of digital libraries, accounting for needs of diverse user populations. These methodologies can provide detailed evaluations of the extent to which information and services are comprehensible for all users, the extent to which the features and functions necessary to provide library functions operate properly, and the extent to which the digital library meets the needs of a diverse population of users.

Originality/value

This paper aims to demonstrate the potential roles of multiple, iterative evaluation strategies in the development and refinement of digital libraries; details the methodologies that focus on how the services meet the needs of users; and encourages further discussion of the uses of these multiple evaluation approaches in assessing these libraries.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Amy Kazuye Kimura

The purpose of this paper is to review the library and information science literature related to the accessibility of digital resources by individuals with mental…

1828

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the library and information science literature related to the accessibility of digital resources by individuals with mental, physical or other impairments, to assess the state of research in the field and to explore new avenues for investigation.

Design/methodology/approach

There is an increasingly rich body of literature surrounding digital accessibility in libraries, ranging from practical guides for authors of Web content, to principles of universal design, to the ethical considerations of libraries subscribing to packages of digital content, to critical examinations of the accessibility guidelines themselves. This review is intended to be illustrative, not exhaustive; less attention is given to studies of specific tools that will become quickly outdated, and more attention is given to underlying considerations and approaches that will remain relevant even as technologies change.

Findings

Many libraries and vendors have taken steps to provide equal access to websites and electronic resources in recent years. While the literature reflects an increasing level of critical engagement with concepts around disability and diversity, it also demonstrates methodological weaknesses in assessment projects that do not lead to meaningful accessibility.

Originality/value

This review offers theoretical and practical perspectives from recent work that can assist librarians in planning and decision-making, as they deal with an increasingly complex landscape of digital resources.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 46 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2015

Paul T. Jaeger, Brian Wentz and John Carlo Bertot

This chapter introduces the role that libraries have played in the struggle for equity and access for people with disabilities. It explores the historical evolution of the…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter introduces the role that libraries have played in the struggle for equity and access for people with disabilities. It explores the historical evolution of the library and its service to patrons with disabilities and the significance that the now dominant role of the Internet and digital library resources hold in the realm of equal access to information and resources.

Methodology/approach

We introduce the three sections in this book beginning with libraries and their service and engagement of patrons with disabilities, continuing with a discussion of the accessibility of digital library resources, and concluding with a discussion of international laws and policies that relate to libraries and digital inclusion.

Findings

The Internet and related information and communication technologies have offered libraries around the world many new opportunities to support and extend their activities to support accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities. The structure of this book and its case studies provide inspiration for libraries and librarians that seek to expand the inclusion of their libraries and the communities that they support.

Originality/value

This chapter introduces a book that is intended to provide best practices and innovative ideas to share amongst libraries, while publicizing the contributions of libraries in promoting social inclusion of and social justice for people with disabilities to those in the library community, and helping libraries to better articulate their contributions in these areas to disability groups, funders, policymakers, and other parts of their communities.

Details

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-652-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2015

Jonathan Lazar and Irene Briggs

The chapter provides instruction on how public libraries can improve the services that they provide to community members with print-related disabilities.

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter provides instruction on how public libraries can improve the services that they provide to community members with print-related disabilities.

Methodology/approach

A combination of methods was used (interview, survey, document analysis, usability testing, and expert inspection), to investigate the current level of service provided to community members who are blind or low vision by the Baltimore County Public Library, in five areas:

1. Web Accessibility and Maintenance

2. Staff Awareness and Training

3. Physical Environment of the Library

4. Library offerings, including databases, materials, and equipment: what we have now and what we should have

5. Marketing materials: what, how, and where to be more visible

Findings

In all five areas, there were important findings about current barriers to accessibility, and suggestions for improvement in the future were made in the chapter.

Practical implications

The chapter details the steps taken by a large public library system, in a challenging budget environment, with changing leadership, to make improvements in the quality of service provided to people who are blind or low vision.

Originality/value

In the past, people with print-related disabilities were often referred to the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. However, over time, the nature of materials acquisitions at public libraries has changed. A large percentage of materials acquired by public libraries is now in digital format, which provides an opportunity for public libraries to start providing services to people with print disabilities.

Details

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-652-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2022

Iris Xie, Rakesh Babu, Shengang Wang, Hyun Seung Lee and Tae Hee Lee

This study aims to investigate the perceptional differences of key stakeholders in assessing the Digital Library Accessibility and Usability Guidelines (DLAUG), in which…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the perceptional differences of key stakeholders in assessing the Digital Library Accessibility and Usability Guidelines (DLAUG), in which design information is created and organized by types of help-seeking situations, to support blind and visually impaired (BVI) users. The stakeholders consist of BVI users, digital library (DL) developers and scholars/experts. The focus is on the identification of types of situations in which BVI users and developers show significant perception differences of DLAUG’s relevance, clarity and usefulness than the other two groups, respectively, and the associated reasons.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth survey was conducted to examine the perceptions of 150 participants representing three groups of key DL stakeholders: BVI users, DL developers and scholars/experts. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses were applied.

Findings

The results show that BVI users and developers had significant perception differences of the relevance, clarity and usefulness of the DLAUG than the other two groups held on five situations, mainly because they played distinct roles in the development of DLs with differing goals and expectations for the DL design guidelines.

Originality/value

This is the first study that considers different DL stakeholders to assess DL guidelines to support BVI users.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 40 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2015

Paul T. Jaeger, Brian Wentz and John Carlo Bertot

This chapter explores the historical and evolving relationship between human rights, social justice, and library support of these efforts through physical and digital

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter explores the historical and evolving relationship between human rights, social justice, and library support of these efforts through physical and digital access, as well as relevant legal frameworks.

Methodology/approach

We explore the connection between libraries, technology, human rights, and social justice. The human rights and social justice functions of libraries are descriptive of what libraries have become in the age of the Internet. Many aspects of the information and communication capabilities that are provided through Internet access have been leveraged to promote human rights and social justice throughout the world.

Findings

There is practical evidence through case studies and survey results that libraries have primarily embraced this direction through offering many individuals without Internet access or technology experience a place of physical access, education, and an ongoing atmosphere of inclusion and accessibility as society embraces an increasingly digital future. This focus on rights and justice exists within varying legal structures related to people with disabilities and to values of rights and justice. Many libraries have also created programs and services that are targeted toward online equity for people with disabilities. This proactive response regarding digital accessibility is indicative of the likelihood that there is an inclusive future for libraries and their services to the broadest of their communities.

Social implications

Highlighting this role and a motto of access for all will enable libraries to expand their significant contributions to human rights and social justice that extend beyond the traditional physical infrastructure and space of libraries.

Details

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-652-6

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 June 2021

Bo Skøtt

The purpose of this paper is to investigate what democratic challenges the digitisation of the public libraries in Denmark has entailed. Using the concepts from a national…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate what democratic challenges the digitisation of the public libraries in Denmark has entailed. Using the concepts from a national library professional strategy from 2012, an analysis of 9 librarians’ experiences with digital dissemination in practice is conducted.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a part of a larger research project called “If digitisation is the answer, then what was the question?”. This sub study builds on the semi-structured interviews with library staff members, case-descriptions of two central providers of digital public library materials, as well as literature studies of missions, vision and strategies from different public library policy institutions. To frame the study, a literature review has been conducted.

Findings

The author detects the presence of several incompatible conditions in digital dissemination. These conditions are predominantly of an organisational nature, potentially containing major consequences for citizens’ free and equal access to information, knowledge and culture. Among other things, the Danish public libraries risk substantiating an already existing and problematic polarisation between technologically capable and incapacitated groups of people.

Originality/value

The digital transformation of society has only just begun. Therefore, it is important to examine the consequences of the transition to digital media types for central cultural institution such as the public libraries. The present study is an early and minor contribution to the illumination of a process requiring many more and large-scale studies.

Details

Digital Library Perspectives, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5816

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Rakesh Babu and Iris Xie

The purpose of this study is to explore design issues hampering the accessibility of digital libraries (DLs) for first-time blind users.

1476

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore design issues hampering the accessibility of digital libraries (DLs) for first-time blind users.

Design/methodology/approach

A combination of questionnaire, pre-interview, think-aloud and post-interview methods was used to collect data on non-visual interaction experiences with American Memory Digital Collection (AMDC) from 15 blind participants. Qualitative analysis via open coding revealed recurring themes on design problems and consequent difficulties for blind users in accessing DLs.

Findings

It was found that AMDC is not blind-friendly. Five categories of design problems were identified. Participants faced difficulty perceiving, operating and understanding content and controls needed for information retrieval.

Research limitations/implications

This paper does not offer a comprehensive set of design issues prevalent across DL design models, instead it focuses on design problems observed in a publicly available DL.

Practical implications

This paper raises awareness of design choices that can unintentionally bar blind information seekers from DL access, and further suggests solutions to reduce these design problems for blind users.

Originality/value

The paper’s originality is its identification of unique design problems that prevent blind users from effectively interacting with DLs.

Article
Publication date: 5 January 2018

Wondwossen Mulualem Beyene and Thomas Godwin

Some of the usability and accessibility problems of search interfaces emanate from poorly organized search results, where different types of metadata are employed…

1372

Abstract

Purpose

Some of the usability and accessibility problems of search interfaces emanate from poorly organized search results, where different types of metadata are employed. Metadata is important to make well-informed selection of resources. However, putting too much of it on search interfaces could be counterproductive. Therefore, studies suggest that metadata-related decisions need to be informed by user requirements. The purpose of this paper is to explore library metadata from usability and accessibility perspectives. It identifies search-related problems users with print disability face and explores how metadata-related decisions could be tailored to improve their experience in resource discovery and access.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was posted online for two months. It targeted people with print disability who are using the audiobook app Lydhør. It was finally possible to gather responses from 113 respondents. Two open-ended questions dealing with search and metadata issues were selected for qualitative analysis.

Findings

Most respondents mentioned the Lydhør’s intolerance to spelling errors as a problem. Some suggested the use of faceted metadata, such as genres, for exploratory search to offset frustration caused by spelling errors. Most respondents indicated the importance of summaries to be shown among search results, implying their significance for lookup searches. There have been few demands related to accessibility metadata.

Originality/value

This study could be a valuable input for inclusive/universal design of library search interfaces.

1 – 10 of over 5000