The Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) this week settled the lawsuit filed against it in May by four blind patrons assisted by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Under the terms of the settlement, FLP has agreed to supplement its collection of more than 60 NOOKs with ten accessible devices, according to a press announcement from the NFB. Within four years, the library will transition to a collection of e-readers that are all accessible to the blind, and will begin incorporating an accessibility requirement into its technology procurement contracts.
Using cell phones to explore websites that are not optimized for mobile devices can be a frustrating experience. Libraries should consider this more than an aesthetic issue, since mobile devices are the primary Internet access point for a growing number of their users. Almost 90 percent of U.S. adults now own a cell phone of some kind, and 55 percent of them use their phones to go online, according to a June report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Seventeen percent of respondents said they do “most” of their online browsing on their phone.
For ebooks, “true collection development is going to have to wait…until we have more access, if not all access to everything that’s being published,” Anne Silvers Lee, chief of the materials management division of the Free Library of Philadelphia, said during a Saturday panel discussion at the American Library Association’s annual conference in Anaheim this weekend.
Baker & Taylor announced on May 22 that the latest release of its Axis 360 digital media platform includes accessibility functions that will allow visually-impaired patrons to use a library’s digital collections. The platform is now compatible with several leading assistive screen-reader technologies, including JAWS (Job Access with Speech), Window-Eyes, NVDA (non-visual desktop access) and System Access To Go.