ASCLA hosts President’s Program about the Universal Library


For Immediate Release

April 1, 2008

Contact: Eileen Hardy<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

ASCLA Marketing Specialist

Tel: 312-280-4398

ASCLA hosts President’s Program about the Universal Library

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />CHICAGO—Attendees will learn about the concept of the universal library and how to incorporate universal design into their library and services to patrons during the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) president’s program. The program, “the Universal Library: Mind, Body and Soul,” will be from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on June 29, during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Anaheim (Calif).

What is a universal library? A universal library incorporates the principles of universal design, which are equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive use, perceptible information, tolerance for error, low physical effort and size and space for approach and use. A panel of subject-matter experts will discuss strategies for designing and maintaining physical and virtual collections, a building that everyone can access with a staff that is diverse and reflective of all of the citizens.

The panelists are:

§ Mare Parker-O’Toole, director of Information Management, Adaptive Environments (AE), an international non-profit organization, Boston (Mass.). Parker will present a basic overview on the concept of universal design.

§ Kevin Jensen, AIA, CSI, disability access coordinator, Department of Public Works, the city and county of San Francisco (Calif). Jensen will speak on the physical plant attributes aspect of universal design, and provide tips on how to determine if products truly meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, as well as what to look for in mainstream products.

§ Mike Marlin, manager, California Braille and Talking Book Library, Sacramento (Calif.). Marlin will talk about collection development, including electronic media, and problems that can develop when products are inaccessible to all users as well as staff.

§ Valerie Fletcher, executive director, Adaptive Environments (AE), Boston (Mass.). Fletcher will address the needs of staff and patrons that develop or have disabilities and may need the attributes of universal design to continue to work or use the library.

ASCLA, a diverse and dynamic association, is a division of ALA. For more information on ASCLA programs and events at ALA Annual Conference, vist: