Library as an Inclusive Space, Librarian as a Social Curator (From the RSLYA’s experience of working with young adults with special needs)

VASILEVA, Ekaterina (2018) Library as an Inclusive Space, Librarian as a Social Curator (From the RSLYA’s experience of working with young adults with special needs). Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session S06 - Library Services to People with Special Needs with Libraries for Children and Young Adults. In: Inclusive Library Services for Children and Young Adults, 23 August 2018, Singapore.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2334
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Library as an Inclusive Space, Librarian as a Social Curator (From the RSLYA’s experience of working with young adults with special needs)

The Russian State Library for Young Adults (RSLYA) has been working with people with special needs for many years, cooperating with various organizations. Relying on its own considerable experience, the RSLYA strongly believes in not singling out people with health restrictions as a special group, but taking into account their features. They are not inferior people, on the contrary, they have something that others do not have, and it is necessary to know how to work properly with them. It is important to use an inclusive approach, which is achieved by providing "accessible environment" and "equal opportunities". Despite that these concepts often go together, they are different. "Accessible environment" means that young people with various kinds of health restrictions can expect the readiness of libraries to accept them as equal users. "Equal opportunities" – the concept of a higher level - suggests that young people with special needs come to the library when they have an appropriate mood, need and opportunity to prepare for studies, attend an interesting lecture or meet with friends and peers. It means the library should be good for anyone and everyone and acts as a social curator. The author would like to share the RSLYA’s ideas and successful practices of inclusive library services for young adults with special needs. Both regular activities, which take place in the RSLYA and can be implemented in other libraries worldwide, and unique national campaigns such as the short film competition for young authors about young disabled people called Overcoming.

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