Equity and Accessibility
How to work for everybody
In late 2022, when Hillary Pearson joined the American Library Association (ALA) as its program manager, accessibility services, her mandate was straightforward: Support ALA's mission of making sure everyone has access to information.
Of course, that can be easier said than done. Part of Pearson's job is to help support and develop accessibility initiatives at the libraries where ALA members work. But she's also working on how ALA operates internally. In either case, part of the job means encouraging people to look at their environments in ways in which they are unaccustomed. Don't just look for who is participating. Look for who is not—and why that might be.
"Attitudinal barriers very much exist," she said. "If folks don't who's coming into your space, or don't see a group or community in the space, there's an assumption that those people don't need your service."
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