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Accessible Libraries Studies

Hearing the experiences of people with disabilities can help us understand the barriers they face and guide us toward creating accessible, inclusive and welcoming spaces for all. With the support of eBound, the Public Library Accessibility Resource Centre (PLARC) Project undertakes studies to gather information and experience from library users with disabilities and provides the analysis and accessibility recommendations to public libraries for free.

Is Your Public Library Accessible? Study

Date: June 2022 – January 2023

This study aims to determine how accessible persons with disabilities think their local library currently is. The study will include online focus group discussions, visits to their local public library (in person and/or virtually), and short surveys to be filled out each month after their visits. We hope that the study participants experience as many aspects of their public library as possible so that we can learn about their personal library user experience.

Please visit the Is Your Public Library Accessible? Study webpage for more information.

Accessibility in Public Libraries Survey

Date: February-September, 2021

This study aimed to inform the creation of the Public Library Accessibility Resource Centre (PLARC), a nationwide online Accessibility Resource Centre focused on awareness and training for library staff on the importance of accessibility. Library staff across Canada were surveyed to determine their accessibility training needs and preferred learning format. An advisory committee of 12 library staff members from all library sizes (large and small, rural and urban) provided valuable feedback throughout the study.

If you’re interested in reviewing the survey results, please check out the final report, Accessibility in Public Libraries Research Project, available in both Word and HTML.