Monday, July 29, 2019

How equitable is the help your library provides?

This has more questions than answers. I am writing it after thinking about GLAM Blog Club July 2019 with the theme of help, and yes, it still needs more thinking about by me, but I decided to go with this as a start.

Do you say your library welcomes all people, or do you demonstrate that your library welcomes all people?  They can be quite different.

Is your library designed in a way that only people from a particular social or cultural background can understand it? How do you help those unfamiliar with these quirks and foibles of design? What changes do you make? Can your library be easily used by someone in a wheelchair, or who is pushing a pram or a walker?  How have you tested this?  There can be a difference between compliance and usability.

How easy is it for someone using your library to ask for help?  How do they know they can ask a question, or get help with using the library including the relevant technology (and this includes apps to access library material)?

Is it easier to help someone when they are in the library or do you provide equally good help for people accessing your library resources and tools online (and what about help early in the morning or late at night, or a different times at the weekend)?

What languages are your collections in? Whose stories are told in your library? Whose stories are collected? Are you really working with the community? How can people who are fluent in languages other than English access your resources, do they have to be able to read or speak English to be able to access help?

How do you help people who are not library members find out about the collections, services and programs?  Do you go out to them, or do you expect them to come to you?

How do you help staff improve their skills?  Do they have to know the right way to ask for help, or are you proactive? The same goes for readers/patrons/clients. Do they have to know the right way to ask for help, or are you proactive? When people are in the library do you provide a roving service for help?

No comments:

Post a Comment