What are issues related to the accessibility of a library facility?

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Libraries can take steps to make their facilities, resources, and services accessible to patrons with disabilities. Below are some of the questions that should be addressed in order to ensure facility access.

  • Are parking areas, pathways, and entrances to the building wheelchair-accessible?
  • Are doorway openings at least 32 inches wide and doorway thresholds no higher than ½ inch?
  • Are aisles kept wide and clear for wheelchair users? Have protruding objects been removed or minimized for the safety of users who are visually impaired?
  • Are all levels of the library connected via an accessible route of travel, or are there procedures to assist patrons with mobility impairments in retrieving materials from inaccessible locations?
  • Are ramps and/or elevators provided as alternatives to stairs?
  • Are elevator controls accessible from a seated position?
  • Do elevators have both auditory and visual signals for floors? Are elevator controls marked in large print and Braille or raised notation?
  • Are wheelchair-accessible restrooms with well-marked signs available in or near the library?
  • Are service desks and facilities, such as book returns, wheelchair-accessible?
  • Are there ample high-contrast, large-print directional signs throughout the library? Are shelf and stack identifiers provided in large-print and Braille formats? Are call numbers on book spines printed in large type? Is equipment marked with large-print and Braille labels?
  • Are telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD/TTY) available?
  • Are library study rooms available for patrons with disabilities who need to bring personal equipment or who need the assistance of a reader?
  • Are hearing protectors, private study rooms, or study carrels available for users who are distracted by noise and movement around them?

For additional information on making libraries accessible to patrons with disabilities, visit the Libraries area of The Student Services Conference Room.

Last update or review: July 12, 2010