Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Sarah Kennedy, and a continuation of the discussion about the Access/ibility in Digital Publishing seminar at WVU this past July. Read Melanie’s first post here.
Greetings, readers. I am acting as a guest blogger today to contribute some thoughts on the recent summer seminar on Access/ibility in Digital Publishing at WVU, which I was fortunate enough to attend along with Melanie and about 20 other scholars. By way of introduction, I am the Librarian for Agriculture, Natural Resources, Design, and Extension at West Virginia University’s Evansdale Library. I attended the seminar in part because I am co-chairing a task force that is charged with re-thinking WVU Libraries’ digital presence in the 21st century, and I would like to educate myself on how we may build in accessibility from the ground up as we design new services and re-vision old ones. I also wanted to attend because I am generally interested in the topic, and yet I feel I know very little about it. I did not study accessibility concerns in any depth when I was in graduate school (2011-2012), and since that time my self-education has consisted mostly of occasional readings and conversations.
Like Melanie, I am definitely still trying to assimilate all that I learned from the other attendees. I was very grateful that, while librarians were certainly in the minority of attendees, the library was never very far from any of our thoughts during the seminar. First of all, it was really great to have the seminar located in the library space. I think just walking through the stacks each morning on our way to our meeting room served as a reminder to all attendees that the library as an institution has a great role to play in accessibility concerns. Also, kudos to Cheryl Ball and the other librarians in the room who pointed out opportunities for partnerships between librarians, faculty, and campus technology staff and also for addressing concerns that are perhaps unique to the library context.
Having said all that, I will provide a quick summary of my major take-aways from the seminar: Continue reading