Library E-Resource Accessibility - Introduction

Introduction

The Big Ten Academic Alliance Libraries are committed to equitable service and access and are concerned about the inaccessibility of many library electronic resources. Purchasing and subscribing to inaccessible library e-resources goes against Big Ten Libraries’ commitment to providing equal access to information for all library users.

The Big Ten Academic Alliance Library E-Resource Accessibility Group was formed at the request of the consortium’s Library Directors in 2015 to address concerns about library e-resource accessibility. In 2019 the Association of Southern Research Libraries (ASERL) began partnering with the Big Ten Academic Alliance creating the Library Accessibility Alliance. The group was further expanded in 2021 with the addition of the Greater Western Library Alliance and the Washington Research Library Consortium. The group strives to engage with library vendors in initiatives to improve usability for all users.

Because of the group:

  • The Library Accessibility Alliance libraries fund a program to provide selected vendors with third-party accessibility evaluations. Evaluations, along with any responses provided by vendors, are posted on the E-Resources Testing page. This program provides vendors with the information and opportunity to improve the accessibility of their products and gives members of the library community information about the accessibility of these works.
  • The Alliance libraries created the Library Accessibility Toolkit to be a living document that provides libraries with resources related to library accessibility. The toolkit is intended as a resource for librarians to locate the latest research on library accessibility, useful accessibility terminology, tools for testing, assistive technology, and legal considerations related to accessibility. The toolkit is a space where all are welcome and encouraged to contribute relevant resources related to library accessibility.
  • The Big Ten Academic Alliance has also adopted model accessibility license language that can be found on the Standardized Accessibility License Language page. Library e-resource vendors may be approached about inserting this (or similar) text into BTAA Library consortial licenses or institutions’ individual licenses to ensure these contracts address accessibility concerns. 
LAA logo

Library Accessibility Alliance Contacts:

Maurice York
Director
Library Initiatives
Phone:  (217) 300-0945
Email:  maurice.york@btaa.org

Robert Van Rennes
Associate Director
Library Initiatives
Phone:  (217) 300-4744
Email:  robert.vanrennes@btaa.org

Elaina Norlin
Professional Development/DEI Coordinator
Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL)
Phone:  (520) 548-5326
Email:  enorlin@aserl.org

Joni Blake
Executive Director
Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA)
Phone: (913)370-4422
Email: joni@gwla.org

Mark Jacobs
Executive Director
Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC)
Phone: (301)390-2031
Email: jacobs@wrlc.org