Universal Design for Libraries and Librarians

Monday, 8/1/2016 - Friday, 9/9/2016
Globe of Earth with a large white equality sign superimposedThis course has been re-scheduled from a previous date.
Universal Design is the idea of designing products, places, and experiences to make them accessible to as broad a spectrum of people as possible, without requiring special modifications or adaptations. This course will present an overview of universal design as a historical movement, as a philosophy, and as an applicable set of tools. Students will learn about the diversity of experiences and capabilities that people have, including disabilities (e.g. physical, learning, cognitive, resulting from age and/or accident), cultural backgrounds, and other abilities. The class will also give students the opportunity to redesign specific products or environments to make them more universally accessible and usable.


By the end of this class, students will be able to…
  • Articulate the ethical, philosophical, and practical aspects of Universal Design as a method and movement - both in general and as it relates to their specific work and life circumstances
  • Demonstrate the specific pedagogical, ethical, and customer service benefits of using Universal Design principles to develop and recreate library spaces and services in order to make them more broadly accessible  
  • Integrate the ideals and practicalities of Universal Design into library spaces and services via a continuous critique and evaluation cycle

Who Should Attend

Librarians, Instructional Designers


Holly Mabry

Holly Mabry

Holly Mabry received her MLIS from UNC-Greensboro in 2009.  She is currently the Digital Services Librarian at Gardner-Webb University where she manages the university’s institutional repository, and teaches the library’s for-credit online research skills course.  She also works for an international virtual reference service called Chatstaff.  Since finishing her MLIS, she has done several presentations at local and national library conferences on implementing universal design in libraries with a focus on accessibility for patrons with disabilities.

Jessica Olin

Jessica Olin

Director of the Library, Robert H. Parker Library, Wesley College.  Ms. Olin received her MLIS from Simmons College in 2003 and an MAEd, with a concentration in Adult Education, from Touro University International. Her first position in higher education was at Landmark College, a college that is specifically geared to meeting the unique educational needs of people with learning differences. While at Landmark, Ms. Olin learned about the ethical, theoretical, and practical aspects of universal design. She has since taught an undergraduate course for both the education and the entrepreneurship departments at Hiram College on the subject.



  • LITA Member: $135
  • ALA Member: $195
  • Non-member: $260

Moodle login info will be sent to registrants the week prior to the start date.

How to Register

Registration is now open.  Courses are listed by date and you need to log in.


Contact ALA Registration:  call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email registration@ala.org or submit print registration form [PDF]

Tech Requirements

The course will be delivered via the Moodle courseware system.  Participants will need an internet connection and computer with a current operating system and web browser.  Further details will be provided prior to the course start.  The course will proceed weekly for 4 weeks with an optional two weeks if students need more time to complete assignments.


For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration:  call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email registration@ala.org.

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty at mbeatty@ala.org.