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Assistive Technologies in the Library
Barbara T. Mates with contributions by William R. Reed IV
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1070-2
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $57.00
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This title is also available for purchase as an e-book or as a print/e-book bundle.

176 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1070-2
Year Published: 2011
AP Categories: A, C, E, I

Read an article by the author from American Libraries and check out a sample of the book now!

There are plenty of products out there for making information accessible to all users, but how can administrators and managers determine which are the most practical and economical for their particular library? Mates, former director of the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, strips away the technical jargon and introduces dozens of the latest options, including hardware, software, and peripherals. This guide will help readers
  • Choose the products that are best for their organization, with the help of the evaluative commentary, lists of suppliers, and additional resources included
  • Set up work stations and train staff on how to use assistive-technology such as screen readers, Braille displays, keyboard options, listening devices, and more
  • Meet compliance with regulatory agencies while benefiting every member of the community
This sensitively written and practical guidebook will be an indispensable resource for ensuring that a library’s offerings are accessible to everyone.
Table of Contents


1.    The Library’s Mission: To Serve All Patrons
2.    Creating Accessible Electronic Information
3.    Seeing the Bigger Picture: Large-Print-Access Technology Solutions
4.    When Computers Talk: Listening to the Web and Printed Materials
5.    Touching the Internet: Braille Access to the Internet
6.    Seeing the Sounds: Technologies for Persons with Hearing Impairments
7.    Surfing the Internet with a “Different” Board
8.    Accessible Collections, Resources, and Discussion Forums
9.    Staff Make It All Work
10.    Finding the Funding
11.    We Got It—Come and Get It; or, Marketing
12.    Creating Avenues for Accessible Electronic Communication


Appendix A    Vendors
Appendix B    Additional Resources
Appendix C    Grant Opportunities

About the Authors

Retiring after 25 years as the head of the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, Barbara T. Mates now works as an independent consultant specializing on topics related to senior services and accessibility options for persons with disabilities. She is a longtime member of ALA’s Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), having served as the association president in 2007–2008, and she chaired ALA’s 2010 Schneider Family Book Award Committee. Mates has presented numerous papers and workshops across the country, and she is the author of 5-Star Programming and Services for Your 55+ Library Customers (ALA, 2003); “Computer Technologies to Aid Special Audiences,” which appeared in Library Technology Reports in 2004; and “Assistive Technologies for Today’s Libraries,” for American Libraries (2010). In 2001 Mates received the prestigious Francis Joseph Campbell Award. In 2010 she received the ASCLA 2010 Exceptional Service Award for her advocacy on behalf of persons with disabilities and older adults in regards to library services as well as within the ALA infrastructure.

William R. Reed IV is the regional librarian for the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, a part of the Cleveland Public Library. He has spent more than 10 years working in library services to patrons with disabilities and training patrons how to use adaptive computers and technology. He is also very active in ASCLA and is currently chair of the Libraries Serving Special Populations Section (LSSPS).

"There is probably no one better qualified than Mates to write about library accessibility for individuals with disabilities ... Whether a library is making a late start on accessibility efforts or updating existing services, this book will prove to be a valuable asset. Highly recommended. "
--Against the Grain

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