Arms Open Wide: Library Outreach to Customers with Print Impairments

KEHOE, Tara and KEARNS-KAPLAN, Mary (2016) Arms Open Wide: Library Outreach to Customers with Print Impairments. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session S16 - Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities. In: Creating an inclusive community of readers: Tailoring the Reading Experience to Meet Individual Needs, 11-12 August 2016, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Arms Open Wide: Library Outreach to Customers with Print Impairments

This paper will address how librarians and library staff can reach out in their communities to find patrons with print impairments, how to communicate effectively with this group of customers, how to partner with other agencies, and how to ensure that their library offers quality accessible services. With the population aging, the number of people with print-impairments is on the rise. Oftentimes, these individuals are homebound which can lead to isolation and depression. It is therefore increasingly important for libraries to reach these patrons. Many library staff lack knowledge and experience in how to conduct outreach to individuals with print-impairments. Too often, outreach is viewed as something that will use staff time and resources that could be better utilized elsewhere. The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework on how to get started in outreach, it will justify the importance of reaching all patrons with print-impairments in the community, and offer practical suggestions for accessible services to offer that cost little or are free. The outreach toolkit for public libraries, included as a link, is an extremely helpful resource.

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